The battle between Apple’s iPhone platform and Google’s emerging Android platform is heating up. Both sides have rabid fans, snatching up the latest and greatest that each platform has to offer. Where the future of smartphones is headed is anyone’s guess, but this article will hope to elucidate the manner in which the smartphone wars may play out. Currently, the iPhone accounts for about 5% of total phone market share and 27% of the smartphone market share. This is expected to increase steadily to 10% by 2015 and 15% by 2018.
Scenario #1: Steve Jobs Departs Apple, Android Increases in Market Share
Steve Jobs is considered the driving force behind the innovation at Apple, and he’s the personification of its culture. In the light of Steve Jobs’ recent departure as CEO of Apple, this seemed like the most plausible scenario to consider. Apple’s product roadmap is pretty clearly defined over the next few years, so Steve Jobs’ absence won’t impact near-term operations.
However, for the sake of argument, in the event that Apple market share was to flat line at current values, it would not necessarily mean the end of the platform. Future growth of the iPhone market share accounts for stock valuations by most companies at around the $500 level, but even if growth was to stop entirely, Apple’s stock would not drop below $300.
It’s a virtual certainty that the Android platform would take any additional market share not protected by Apple, but whether they would completely destroy the Apple platform depends on how well Apple can continue to innovate without Jobs at the helm.
Scenario #2: Android Brands Get in Legal Hot Water
Apple is a one-man band. They produce the phone, develop the operating system, and have strong relationships with AT&T and Verizon. Android phones, on the other hand, are manufactured by hundreds of brands, have a large choice of cell networks, and can be modified at the operating system level, which is open source, to suit each individual phone. This means that there is a lot more that can go wrong with patent and trademark litigation.
If Android’s supporters were to lose key legal verdicts, it might mean that certain brands, including large brands like Samsung, would be forced to stop selling their phones in the United States or the European Union. This would be devastating to the operating system, which needs the support of phone manufacturers to proliferate.
It wouldn’t necessarily spell the end for Android—since so many phone manufacturers use its operating system or modified versions thereof—but it would deal a significant impact to the number of phones running the operating system that make it into consumer hands.
Scenario #3: BlackBerry Makes a Comeback
A worthwhile scenario to consider. BlackBerry is definitely down-but-not-out of the smartphone wars. If Research in Motion was to, say, focus on manufacturing extremely secure versions of its BlackBerry phones, it might find a foothold in the corporate or enterprise markets. In a scenario like this RIM would take significant market share from both Apple and Android operating systems given how many individuals use a smartphone to increase business productivity.
From a business standpoint, this is the most secure way to salvage the steady market share decline for Research in Motion smartphones. From a technological standpoint, there are a number of barriers that stand in the way of creating a completely secure smartphone. Unfortunately for RIM, half-measures are likely a death knell for the company, so it’s important to have a complete solution in place before pushing these claims on stockholders and techies.
September 22, 2011 at 11:30 am
I am sure Android will overcome at Apple,s market because Steve is the only person who is handling Apple but after his resignation i am sure apple will go down for sure.
September 22, 2011 at 5:12 pm
Thanks for the comment Reeha. That is definitely one of the possible outcomes. Only time will tell if Apple can still prosper without Jobs
September 22, 2011 at 5:49 pm
thanks for posting this information will all internet lovers
September 23, 2011 at 5:01 pm
You’re very welcome!
September 22, 2011 at 8:32 pm
Personally I think Steve Jobs has done a remarkable job with Apple and finding a suitable replacement will be one heck of an achievement. However, I would want to believe that he took so long to relinquish some of his power because he might just have been waiting for that one person who could still make Apple very competitive in the market.
September 22, 2011 at 9:25 pm
I have to agree with you. I can’t see Apple going anywhere but up in the near future. But after the iPad and the iPhone finish their product life cycle, I’m curious as to who is going to come up with that next revolutionary product at Apple.
September 23, 2011 at 3:24 pm
Apple has to keep their cool even if the job has left them..
I like to think that other companies will rise as well, a blackberry come back seems to be possible..
nice article.. 🙂
September 23, 2011 at 5:02 pm
Thanks Jorge. I appreciate it. Time will definitely tell.
September 23, 2011 at 10:39 pm
I’m not sure about Blackberry making a comeback. I don’t know very many people who have them. I love my iPhone and I wouldn’t be surprised it they stick around, even with Jobs’ departure!
September 23, 2011 at 11:05 pm
I’m on board with you Kayla. I think Blackberry is dead in the water. Just read a statistic that iPhone has a 87% retention!!!
November 3, 2011 at 5:17 pm
Wow, 87%?? I have some friends who still get Blackberry phones from their work, I’ve always wondered why they don’t give them Droids or Iphones. I am curious to play with the new Blackberry’s though, I’ve never personally been a fan but I’d like to see what they have to offer.
September 24, 2011 at 8:56 am
Apple will maintain there present position
Android will continue to grow as fast as ever( a smartphone for everyone)
Blackberry near future seems doomed lets see if they ever will be able tu turn the table now!
September 26, 2011 at 6:09 pm
Thanks for the comment Vishal. I believe you will be correct, but only time will tell.
September 25, 2011 at 9:44 am
It’s actually hard to tell the future.. even if their status are tending to be positive now, we all know that apple is like other companies as well, anyone could be topnotch.. 🙂
September 26, 2011 at 6:12 pm
Thanks Terry. The future is quite difficult to predict! Who knows who will rule the market a decade from now! May be a new competitor that will come on to the scenes years from now.
September 27, 2011 at 8:11 pm
What about Microsoft Windows Phone 7?
September 29, 2011 at 6:02 pm
Very valid point Anita. There has not been TOO much buzz about Windows 7 phone. That can all change very quickly, but I don’t think Microsoft will be making any large leaps in the smartphone market any time soon.
December 8, 2011 at 3:23 pm
Interesting situation development as of today: Microsoft have not only released an Xbox app for Windows Phones, but announced porting it to the iPhone and iPad. I’m curious. 🙂
September 28, 2011 at 8:16 am
The post’s image looked like the android was the one who took a bite from the apple.. hahahaha.. maybe the android got some of the magic too.. 😀
September 29, 2011 at 6:03 pm
Thanks for the comment Briant. I’m sure Android has plenty of magic left!
September 29, 2011 at 6:26 am
Apple has to come up with something new.
What they have done with the Ipad2 in comparison to the ipad1 is just abusing the loyal fans.
They can not keep up with the innovations in android, Android is a much healthier market anyway because of the several big brands competing with eachother.
Also the majority of Iphone owners are very easily influenced, because they buy the phone for the “status”. They are easily influenced by more tech savvy people who will tell them which Android phones are actually much better than the Iphone.
September 29, 2011 at 6:06 pm
Danny, I honestly cannot agree with you any more. I am a huge proponent of open-source tech, and Apple and theur app store rev share will not be able to keep with the Android marketplace. Living in San Francisco, EVERYONE has an iPhone simply because everyone else has an iPhone. It is definitely amusing to see a bus full of people all using the same phone.
October 3, 2011 at 6:56 am
I think that the machinery of Apple is incredibly well entrenched and Jobs’ absence will really not hinder the company’s competitiveness in the near future. Also, I would suspect that even though Jobs “stepped down”, I am sure he still has quite a lot of say in day to day operations even today. And also, the present leadership is competent enough to know the best waters to steer Apple’s ship.
I believe for both Apple and Android, it will really be an all out competition for new market share. For example, Apple has been positioning itself to take advantage of the opening of the Chinese cellular market. That is huge! That is one big pie that both companies will definitely go after. And as far as which business model will be better, who knows. Whether it’s Apple’s one man show model, or Android’s more complex open source model, we will only know when the dust settles.
October 7, 2011 at 7:34 pm
This is my first comment on this forum since the death of Steve Jobs. RIP. No matter what happens in this Apple/Android competition, we love a great visionary.
October 3, 2011 at 11:17 pm
I think because the Android is open source and you can find progressively cheaper smartphones running Android, that eventually the Android system will pull ahead.
October 7, 2011 at 7:36 pm
MO, I love open-source. I think the future is open-source. If that is true, Apple needs to adapt or Android will have many more developers willing to allow their platform to prosper.
October 4, 2011 at 12:35 pm
there are a lot of possible outcomes with this kind of setting.. nice article..
October 7, 2011 at 7:35 pm
Thanks for the comment Briant. I appreciate it.
October 4, 2011 at 9:03 pm
I think it will go very legal with the way things are going, too many legal people in the world with too much time
October 7, 2011 at 7:35 pm
Lessa, I am not sure what you mean by legal. Do you mean anti-trust laws and lawsuits will determine the outcome of this competition between Apple and Android? That is very well possible.
October 9, 2011 at 3:18 am
Yes, when I read my comment back it is a little vague but you got it – thanks for clearing my ambiguity up!
October 12, 2011 at 2:50 am
android is the best phone its cheap and affordable
October 13, 2011 at 9:57 pm
But it has not cracked the ergonimcal issues iPhone has as far as the size of the phone (i.e. allowing to hold in one hand and scroll with same hand thumb) nor can Android’s compete with the battery life of the iPhone….But you are very correct, Android phones are on average cheaper!
November 1, 2011 at 9:30 pm
Interesting, I am constantly asking people who have Droids how they like them- and it seems my Droid using friends like them better than my Iphone friends like their phones! I have one or two friends who have tried both and they seem to like the Droids better, but I love my Iphone. Though I only use a handful of apps a lot, and I don’t use ALL of the bells and whistles. but it does what I want it to do, and that’s all I need.
November 9, 2011 at 10:43 pm
Droids are for the more intense user in my opinion. Also, if you are an advocate of open-source knowledge and development, get a droid!
November 5, 2011 at 6:52 am
The battle between Apple’s iPhone platform and Google’s emerging Android platform is heating up. Both sides have rabid fans, snatching up the latest and greatest that each platform has to offer.But all that is nice to use.:)
November 9, 2011 at 10:44 pm
Thanks for the comment Joanne. Very good points!
December 13, 2011 at 1:26 am
Blackberry is absolutely a great gadget for me. However, what turns me off are the paid applications for BB. Compared to other phones, I don’t even need to spend lots of money just to get the application that I want. On the other side, I prefer android phones compared to other phones because of the features and the prices as well. Pretty much affordable than any other smartphones with high quality features too.
December 13, 2011 at 6:49 pm
Blackberry is almost a non-factor when it comes to non-business users. Apple has the larger more secure app market, but Android is quickly growing and open-source allowing access to root programming and much more robust functionality when it comes to the app’s user interface.
December 14, 2011 at 6:30 am
You’re totally right! Its robust functionality appealed most people to try android than any other phones available in the market.
January 28, 2012 at 4:26 pm
It looks like there are lots of people now who are enjoying android phones compared than anything else. Aside from the reliable features of android phones, the prices of this kind of phones are absolutely affordable.
April 20, 2012 at 1:46 pm
Yes, its true. Now the trend is to have androids and to say we also prefer getting it than any other one. But anyways we can’t predict the future.
February 29, 2012 at 8:19 pm
I think apple will not be able to grow market share like they have for the last few years. nokia has 40% of cellular phone share and will make thier own smart phone soon. Rim owns the majority of smart phone share and could come out with a new phone people like. apple stock is over priced it must be perfect to continue. they have 100 billion dollars overseas that they do not bring back because they would have to pay taxes on the money. this money helps support the stock price but earns the very little and is a waste of investors money.
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November 8, 2012 at 1:39 pm
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January 7, 2013 at 2:12 pm
I think android will keep taking more share of the market. i do not know how many people will keep buying a new phone every 3 months. Once the cell phone companies make people pay for the phone people will switch to android. Apple stock was in the teens a few years ago.