Android Activations Are A Lot Less Cash Cow And A Lot More Bull

In this article on Techpinions John Kirk discusses why Google’s Android Activations Are A Lot Less Cash Cow And A Lot More Bull. And That’s OK.

This is a point I’ve been making for a year.  Profits matter.  Market share doesn’t.

The iOS platform makes massive profits and Android doesn’t, but has more market share. Android is fragmented (a mess of inconsistent devices and OS versions), open (free and not making the players much money), runs on an ass load of cheap crappy hardware, has security, fraud and piracy problems continuously, and the majority of Android users don’t spend money with the platform.  All spells baaaaad news for app developers and service providers because it makes it so much harder to make money with Android.

This sums it up:

“Android can count more customers than iOS can, but they don’t count for much. The ranks of Apple’s iOS owners are filled with credit card carrying cash cows. As a result, Apple’s platform profits are udderly enormous. The ranks of Google’s Android activations are a lot less cash cow and a lot more Bull.

……It’s hard to milk a Bull. Dangerous too.”

I also think this is not going to continue.  If anything, the Tech business is about change.  Android will start to make money.  And market shares will fluctuate.  With new products coming from Apple later this year, I expect some big swells.

More Good Stuff

Another extremely useful part of this article is the wealth of links to supporting content sources at the bottom of the article.  Check em’ out.

“Open Trade-Offs” 

“Android is no slouch as a platform either, but Android is based on an “open” philosophy. Open is not inherently good or bad, it is a tradeoff. It has many advantages but it has many disadvantages too. The same open policies that make it easier for Android to gain market share are also the same open policies that make it inherently harder for Android to maintain a strong platform.”

This global unit share graph shows that Android ate Nokia (Symbian) and RIM (Blackberry) for lunch.  While Apple’s iPhone held steady.

Unit share graph

This stat blew my mind.  The graph on the left shows, Apple has 3 times more cash flow per account than eBay and Amazon – Combined !!!  Apple is number 1 and 3 times bigger than number 2 and 3 combined.

The Health of the iOS Platform

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