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Android Businesses IOS Software The Almighty Buck

Illustrating the Socioeconomic Divide With iOS and Android 161

Posted by Soulskill
from the your-phone-is-your-class-marker dept.
An anonymous reader writes: "Android has a huge market share advantage over iOS these days, but it hasn't had as much success at following the money. iOS continues to win over many app developers and businesses who want to maximize their earnings. Now, an article at Slate goes over some of the statistics demonstrating this trend. A map of geo-located Tweets show that in Manhattan, a generally affluent area, most of the Tweets come from iPhones. Meanwhile, in nearby Newark, which is a poorer area, most Tweets come from Android devices. In other tests, traffic data shows 87% of visits to e-commerce websites from tablets come from iPads, and the average value of an order from an iPad is $155, compared to $110 from Android tablets. (Android fairs a bit better on phones). Android shows a huge market share advantage in poorer countries, as well. Not all devs and business are just chasing the money, though. Twitter developer Cennydd Bowles said, 'I do hope, given tech's rhetoric about changing the world and disrupting outdated hierarchies, that we don't really think only those with revenue potential are worth our attention. A designer has a duty to be empathetic; to understand and embrace people not like him/herself. A group owning different devices to the design elite is not a valid reason to neglect their needs.'"
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Illustrating the Socioeconomic Divide With iOS and Android

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 04, 2014 @07:33PM (#46665979)

    "iOS continues to win over many app developers and businesses who want to maximize their earnings. Now, an article at Slate goes over some of the statistics demonstrating this trend. A map of geo-located Tweets show that in Manhattan, a generally affluent area, most of the Tweets come from iPhones. Meanwhile, in nearby Newark, which is a poorer area, most Tweets come from Android devices."

    You don't seem to get it. Yet.

    Android is not "free" at all. For the vast majority of users, to have Android means to be a unpaid whore...and unpaid whore for Google. Google uses you. Google pimps you out for money. You get reamed. You get to play with a few baubles... a few apps which you think are 'free'. It's rather like the deal the original indians got when they agreed to sell Manhattan for trinkets.

    It isn't SMART to choose Android. It's the ultimate stupidity, in fact. Unless, of course, you don't respect yourself and your privacy and are Ok with being tracked and cataloged and bought and sold 24/7. Myself...I'd rather pay a few extra dollars and be free of the targeted ads. I'm worth that. Now if I could just sue Google for flying over my house taking pictures, recording my ip address as they drive by, and asking my friends to give them pictures of me and my telephone number. Google ranks up there with Monsanto as a corporation which should be driven out of business.

    "If you would not give your body to any passerby to do with as he wished, then why do you give your mind?" -Epictetus

  • by tlambert (566799) on Friday April 04, 2014 @08:16PM (#46666283)

    You pick a platform based on market size.

    PC's historically have had a lot more software available for them than Macs because you have a larger target market. If you target one platform, you target PC's, unless the market for your application is graphic artists, musicians, etc., then you target Macs. If you target two markets, you target PC's and Macs, and you don't target Linux.

    If I target iOS because I have a product that will work on a tablet/mobile platform, then I have the largest possible market. I'm guaranteed a practically forced upgrade to the most recent version of the OS the platform can run, and I'm guaranteed that the device is going to have the same set of sensors and input methods as every other device.

    I'm guaranteed that, even though it's not in AT&T's best interests, given their contract model, to not have the carrot of me not being able to run the latest OS unless I re-up my contract, I'm going to get the latest OS anyway, and screw what AT&T wants, and screw their business model, because that's what Apple wants.

    For Android, I have to target a lot of versions of the OS; I practically have to target whatever the version was at the time they did the repo code freeze on the android sources, and started the platform port. I have to target different screen resolutions. I have to target different input methods. I have to target different camera capabilities, resolutions, directionality, and so on.

    Practically speaking, each android device is an island. Some have a lager market share. If I wanted to target 6 platforms, 2 of them would be iOS, 1 of them would be iOS on iPhone 5 (different aspect ratio), and the other 3 would probably be Samsung Galaxy products (2 phones and a tablet, based on market share).

    If you could resolve the android version difference problem, that'd go a hell of a long way toward making android competitive. It would require changing the android development model, and some of the partnership agreements.

    Instead, Google is concentrating on forcing branding onto the boot screen, and forcing apps onto the device by default. The apps are a good thing, in general, since they tend to rationalize the user experience, but not the same way the VGA standard rationalized the user experience on PC's: minimally, there should be resolution and aspect ratio requirements for android - they matter a hell of a lot more to establishing an applications base than putting up a logo at boot time.

    The walls on Google's walled garden are also rather porous. They are more "We won't let you play with the toys we have" rather than "we will keep the bad guys out". And it shows. It shows that other people can run android app stores, that they do, and that there's a huge amount of malware out there in those place. They show in the balkanization of the market by OEM vendor stores, and by carrier stores.

    It's crap that I can buy an iOS device, and get "The Apple Experience" - a uniform thing across all the devices - but that I can't buy an android device and get "The Android Experience" - unless you call a balkanized chaos "The Experience".

    So yeah, as a developer, I don't target android unless I'm Roxio and have more money than God to spend on programmers for platforms where I'm going to end up selling 50 copies of the game that everyone has, and then sell follow-on modules on a monthly basis until the cows come home, in order to monetize that investment over a long (I don't care how long; I'm not living hand to mouth, I'm Roxio!) period of time.

    So yeah, android has shit apps. Make it a uniform platform, instead of me trying to develop for the Mac and the Apple IIe and the Ohio Scientific, and the Orange Micro, and the TI-99/4A, and the Timex Sinclair Z-8000, and the Tandy CoCo, and the Wang word processing station, and the ... or keep your balkanized mosaic of "Choice, man! Yeah! Choice!" and write your own damn software.

  • Re:People with money (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 04, 2014 @09:27PM (#46666673)

    People with money

    Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and Note 3 are the best selling Android phones in the world at the moment. Both are cheaper off contract than the iPhone 5S, but not by a huge amount, and both are older models now being discounted. The 5S is price-comparable with Apple's equivalent and is likely to be the best-seller when it's widely available.

    So the demoraphic isn't showing that only rich people can afford iPhones.

    It's more likely that the wealthy areas are more socially conservative and tend to stick with what they know. iPhones have maintained a consistent interface longer than Android, and compared to Android, have a kind of unchanging retro appeal which is well suited to the "if it aint broke" school of middle-class conservatism.

    TLDR iPhones have become the Toyota Camry of phones, a solid, unfrightening, and familiar choice for people who don't want to make risky choices.

  • by Windwraith (932426) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @01:50AM (#46667737)

    I can confirm this, and that's considering Barcelona is a hotter spot for Apple than other cities, where Apple only has a small corner in a number of shops. Their presence is growing slowly but steadily, but the market here usually prefers those local kiosks for availability and price, and they predominantly offer Android devices of most brands.
    Towns and cities with Apple Stores usually have only one of it, whereas there are dozens of sellers for Android devices scattered all over, predominantly in malls as you said.

    Offers are usually pretty cheap subsidized phones, and even for free with binding contracts, and they even renew your phone once every year in several cases, for minimal or no cost. However, as you probably realized, this stops being nice and shiny the moment there's any issue or nonstandard need whatsoever. Every side service, from tech support to repairs, is sub-par. Most people will go around with busted phones waiting for a renewal instead of bothering to repair it, which is notoriously complicated, requires a lot of time (and trips) and it usually ends just in replacing the thing entirely.

    The prices, the complicated repairs, and the large availability kind of created a culture of changing phones very regularly, even in people with limited income. Good repair shops exist, but they tend to be little electronics workshops in some little corner that you only learn about by word of mouth, and are only used when you are attached to your device for some reason (sentimental value, niche features, etc), or when someone wants to unlock a phone to use with other provider's SIM card.

  • by Arker (91948) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @03:32AM (#46667961) Homepage
    You're right about android. Where you are wrong is thinking iOS is any better.

    It's not. It's the same crap at a higher price. With a little extra spit-shine.

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