It’s official- the Android OS is now bigger than Apple’s iOS and the gap is only going to get bigger in 2012. All this reminds me of the 90s when Apple was without Steve Jobs and the company was at its nadir.
The problem had always been that even though Apple had an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) and PCs had DOS, Bill Gates had shrewdly deduced that the software was the key, not the hardware. Microsoft licensed DOS (and later Windows) to PC makers and Windows became the dominant operating system in the world.
When Steve Jobs returned to Apple, he introduced the iMac and then the iPod, Macbook, Macbook Pro and finally the iPhone. Apple was back and the company has never been more popular.
Things are changing yet again in the ever cyclical tech world. We have lost Steve Jobs, and Apple’s iOS is only available on the iPhone, and the iPhone is made by Apple. This pleases hardcore Apple fans and new-comers to the phone alike. Now though, as illustrated in the infographic below, Google’s Android is now the #1 operating system for smartphones and as we roll into 2012 the gap will continue to get larger worldwide.
Android OS is available on multiple manufacturer’s handsets and the Samsung Galaxy SIII is currently the leader in the Droid market and easily matches the iPhone feature for feature and even beats it in a few areas0 like with its Near Field Communication (NFC) that allows pictures and videos to be shared from phone to phone just by bumping them together. In a way, Samsung is the Apple of the Droid market, with handset makers HTC and Motorola competing (and innovating) fiercely too.
Is this the end of Apple’s Phoenix like rise? Will iOS start to fade just as Apple did in the 90s or can Apple find a way to compete with the exponential growth of Android?