Analysis: The iPhone 5 and Apple’s dominance
Much has been said and written in recent years about smartphones that could become "iPhone killers"— from competitors such as Samsung and its Galaxy models, who adopted Google's Android platform, to the launch of Windows Phone 7 and the expectations it generated at the time (along with its Nokia alliances). But today’s tech scene – and not just smartphones, but apps, gadgets, lifestyle and so many other things wrapped up in the Apple device – is still dominated by the iPhone and now its latest version, the iPhone 5, which sold 2 million units in 24 hours, doubling the previous record set by the iPhone 4S. Sales have been so high that Apple has already increased its waiting list to 4 weeks for those who want to buy it, and the wait could grow longer yet.
Is Apple dominating the market? If we compare the number of Android vs. iOS installs, which in the third quarter of 2012 were 104 million to 26 million, respectively, the dominant players are clearly Google and Android. But this is only if we compare them in that area, since in many others Apple remains the dominant market player. According to Google Trends, the term Android is searched less than half as many times as the term iPhone, and in news references the iPhone always appears in first place (in other words, the iPhone gets more press than Android). The same is true when we compare it with the term Galaxy.
Beyond dominating market buzz, other areas in which the iPhone is still winning are apps (550,000 vs. 440,000 for Android); number of downloads (25 billion apps have been downloaded for iOS and only 10 billion for Android); app sales (Apple’s App Store generates six times more revenue than Android’s, and 67% of Apple’s apps are paid, against only 34% of Google’s); and customer loyalty of those who already own an iPhone (94% of iPhone users plan to buy another in the future, against only 47% of Android users; while 42% of these same Android users want to buy an iPhone), among other indicators.
What does Apple’s continued dominance of the technology industry and its surroundings mean? First of all, the obvious: people keep giving their vote of confidence to the iOS platform and what it offers, which also can be translated as a vote of confidence for the brands and publications appearing on this platform. But beyond this, it shows that when it comes to innovation (or at least conveying this feeling to the masses), Apple is still the leader and probably the only one capable of continuing to set the pace and pulse of the industry. Finally, it remains to be seen how iPhone 5 sales and the recent battles won by Apple against Samsung will level the playing field for Apple and its innovative and desired smartphone.
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