Hear Me Out: Why Android Will Fall

Posted by Matthew Snider with 11 Comments

android-will-fall

I have an iPhone, an iPad, an iMac and a Macbook Pro at home. I have been a user of Apple products for years now. This is not to say I haven’t tried other options. I tried too many to be honest.

This article is not meant to be a flame of Android, rather a well thought out diagnosis of what  believe to be a fatal flaw.

I went through a period where I went without a smartphone all together. I was struggling with keeping my iPhone in check when around the family. This was a time for me to reset my priorities and help refocus my love for the Apple products I use today.

After my time of no smartphones, I went through 4 Android phones, 3 on AT&T and 1 on Verizon. The lack of integration between the networks, the phones and the software was tough to take after having iOS on my phone.

The fragmentation of Android is why it will fall.

The downfall of Android can be due to many factors but here are three points I want to touch on.

Too Many OS versions (Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich and soon to be Jelly Bean)

Confused yet? Do you know what version you have? Depending on how long ago a device was purchased you may even be out of luck with future upgrades.

This fragmentation drove me nuts. Keep it simple, even for us tech guys and we all will be happy. As a support person at a vendor such as Best Buy, this must be a nightmare to help the customers.

Within the 2 months that I went through 4 phones, 3 out of the 4 had a different version of the OS.

Various sizes, differing carriers, Phones and TVs, Oh My!

Consistency is a good thing in life. Having over 109 phones, more than 80 tablets, E-Readers and TV’s (I own a Google TV), how can you know what Android truly is as the consumer?

Out of the 109 phones, how many can upgrade to the latest OS? Is that dependent upon when the carrier decides they want to support it or hack it to their liking?

Out of the more than 80 tablets, who can upgrade? When can they upgrade?

Fragmentation is rampant amongst these devices.

Device manufacturers branching their own versions of Android

This is the killer right here! The ability and availability to “brand” the OS on the carrier and manufacturer side is maddening to say the least. The options screens, the wallpapers, the carrier specific apps, the GUI. It all makes it hard for Android to stay Android.

Case in point, the settings and options of my 4 different Android devices all had different ways to get to the same settings, had different names for the same setting etc. My lovely wife thought she had Droid, the same as everyone else who had a Droid phone.

This has been an ongoing issue for many customers. I left Verizon back in the day for the original iPhone due to the fact that Verizon had to stamp all of their crap onto the phones OS’s. LG and Samsung phones were riddled with it.

Whats your opinion? Am I close? Am I way off? Will Android die soon?

 

Sources: Wikipedia, Wikipedia

Matthew Snider

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Matthew is the Editor-In-Chief, and founder of Geek for i. He has produced such posts as Top 5 iPhone Apps For The BathroomMac or PC and many more. His love for iDevices started back when he purchased the original iPhone.

11 responses to Hear Me Out: Why Android Will Fall

  1. Finally someone who sees the truth! hahah

    I was hoping I was not the only one who saw this. Not against Android as a whole, just how it is currently set up.

  2. i don’t think Android will “fall” but i do believe you are right about everything else. i had an Android first and loved it. i told people it was the best thing ever and iPhones sucked. then got an iPhone… thats all over now. haha. i think the simplicity of iPhone and the integration is a big reason why iPhones are “better” for the majority of people. but being able to push out a cheap phone with an older OS means that android will probably outsell iPhone, at least for a long time

    • While Sales may be the overall strategy, I think long term that has to change, or it will become the next blackberry. And maybe it’s all marketing and how terrible it is. Droid does, but your droid doesn’t and this one doesn’t.

  3. Also, to know that Android makes Google $0.00 money is a huge concern too. What’s not to say they’ll abandon Android and go somewhere else? Funny how Google makes more money from every iPhone being sold than their own OS. Once Apple goes away from Google Maps (rumored to be this fall) and search, they are going to be in a hole when it comes to mobile devices.

    Let’s assume Apple goes default on Bing search. What would happen? We would have Windows Phone 7 with Bing search (all Nokia devices), iPhones with Bing and that would leave Android as the loner in the group. The loner with $0.00 money coming in.

  4. These sounds like what people used to say about PC. “PC is fragmented, sloppy, buggy, etc. Linuz is sooooo much better!” Its obvious PC will fail and Windows will go with it….uh….wait…what’s that? Windows has 91% market share…are you sure that’s not 19%? Dang.

    • I honestly think this is a different beast all together. While you can liken it to the PC war, it’s not at all as PCs are making Microsoft money. Android makes zero money for Android.

      In a huge corporation, I am doubting it’s worth keeping things around that don’t make profits.

  5. I wonder how the profitability equation worked for Facebook when they purchased Instagram? Just because there are no profits now don’t assume you are seeing the whole picture.

    • Instagram is very valuable. It fits perfectly with the strategy for Facebook users. Facebook won’t make money from Instagram, but they did just buy 60 million users who just happen to become Facebook users. So on paper, FB got more ammunition and negotiation to bring to the table to marketers. All they’ll do is sell those users. Simple economics of “free” services.

  6. Great points all around. When Steve Jobs took over the reigns at Apple and laser-focused their product offering the company survived and skyrocketed.

    I think Apple has been very smart not to offer a fragmented iOS platform and instead systematically upgrade each year.

    “Droid does, but your droid doesn’t and this one doesn’t.” – genius

  7. I’m not an Android fan. But then neither am I an Apple fan or a Windows fan or a … well you get the point.

    However I do think that it’s very ‘fragmentation’ as you put it is key to it remaining successful and viable. Not everyone wants a phone that looks the same as there previous one. They want smaller / larger. They want the different colours the choice of carriers (though this isn’t such an issue in the UK / Europe as it is perhaps in America). Why do I need to upgrade? What runs on Froyo runs on ICS and mostly vice versa – maybe not as smoothly or … but it runs.

    I am a former iPhone owner and yes I liked (no, didn’t love) it and yes I am now an Android user and I like it too.

    At days end it is a tool for helping me stay in touch.

    I don’t want any one company (and nor should they have the right) to tell me how I can or can’t access my data (itunes ). How I restricted or not I am at doing / changing things (I’m looking at you ring & sms tones).

    I do want to be able to change what I want when I want. I do want to have the capability to mod my phone if desired. I do want to be able to plug my phone into any bit of hardware and have it talk to it without hoop jumping.

    So, I guess I disagree. It won’t fail, but they do need to do some tidying up.

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