Google May Have More Handsets Out There, But Is That Enough To Effectively Compete With The iPhone?

Posted May 10, 2010

The Internet is going nuts about this report that got sent out by NPD Group that the Google Android mobile operating system is now available on phones that collectively outsell the Apple iPhone. Keep in mind that the Android operating system is open source and is available across multiple networks and multiple phones. The Android operating system is now the number 2 selling smartphone and is responsible for 28% of all handsets sold. Apple is 21% and Research In Motion (BlackBerry) is 36%.

“As in the past, carrier distribution and promotion have played a crucial role in determining smartphone market share,” stated NPD executive director of industry analysis Ross Rubin. “In order to compete with the iPhone, Verizon Wireless has expanded its buy-one-get-one offer beyond RIM devices to now include all of their smartphones.” NPD estimated the percentage of smartphone market share based on a survey filled out by about 150,000 people.

But is it enough to compete with the iPhone?

Apple has more applications available to download compared to the Android Market. More people have downloaded Apple applications compared to the applications on the Google Android Market. On several forums, high-end developers have reported making much higher amounts of money through the Apple App Store compared to the sales that they have made on the Google Android Market. If developers are making more money on the Apple App Store, then clearly Apple is making more money based on the 70-30 revenue sharing agreement. In January 2010, Steve Jobs said that three billion applications were downloaded in less than 18 months.

In terms of buzz, Apple has a lot more of it. How many times have you gone out socially and hear someone rave about the Google Nexus One? Almost never. Google is clearly the best search engine service around and there is no competition for that. But Apple is the elephant in the smartphone room.

I think that it is great to see Google effectively staying competitive in the smartphone market, but they really need to do more to promote the applications that they actually sell on the Android Market. The only marketing I’ve seen is that they are talking about in ad campaigns is multitasking and other features that may one-up the iPhone. But people want to know more about the capabilities of the apps that are available to download on the Android Market.