Google chairman: Android is clearly winning the smartphone war

By , Dec 12, 2012

Google chairman Eric Schmidt thinks his company is clearly winning the smartphone war with Apple and he goes on the record to say it in no ambiguous terms. The numbers certainly support Android’s position as the world’s most popular smartphone platform in terms of volume.

According to Gartner, both Samsung and Apple controlled nearly half the world’s smartphone market in the third quarter, or 46.5 percent. When it comes to mobile operating system share for smartphones, Android is in the clear lead with nearly three-quarters the market, or 72.4 percent, up from 52 percent in the year-ago quarter. Apple’s iOS held 13.9 percent. However, when it comes to the profits, Apple leads smart device profits and by a large margin, too…

Schmidt tells Bloomberg:

This is a huge platform change; this is of the scale of 20 years ago – Microsoft versus Apple. We’re winning that war pretty clearly now.

I like Peter Cohen’s response on The Loop blog:

In related news, Donald Trump thinks that Trump Steaks are the best-tasting steaks in the world and Jim Koch thinks Samuel Adams beer is the best beer.

Now, the very fact that Google’s chairman felt the urge to underscore that Android is winning could indicate a certain insecurity on Google’s part, if you ask me. Google, of course, knows that Apple’s platform is still the #1 choice for third-party developers and the biggest money-maker in mobile app revenue.

It’s nice to claim the world’s leading shipments, but then again the iPhone (along with the iPad in tablets) is still the world’s best-selling individual smartphone model which accounts for the vast majority of the mobile web traffic share.

More importantly, Apple owns the profits. In fact, if you ask people like Kantar, the iPhone in the US is beating Android to market share. Elsewhere, Apple’s handset is pretty much #1 in key usage statistics, the stuff like web share, e-commerce and so forth. Oh, and if Apple’s handset was irrelevant, T-Mobile wouldn’t be losing subscribers who wanted the iPhone.


This Citi chart contradicts Schmidt. Apple is clearly winning the profits game (via Fortune).

On the other hand, Google is not in the business of selling units and Schmidt acknowledges as much.

The core strategy is to make a bigger pie. We will end up with a not perfectly controlled and not perfectly managed bigger pie by virtue of open systems.

He also went on to defend Google’s tax avoidance in France, the U.K., Italy and Australia.

“It’s called capitalism”, he said. “We are proudly capitalistic. I’m not confused about this”.

And Google+, which has more than a hundred million active users, is a “viable competitor to Facebook”, Schmidt said.

Here’s an hour-long video interview with Bloomberg.

As for his Apple remarks, it’s true that the Play Store revenue has been on the rise lately as millions upon millions users go Android. On the other hand, Google is giving Android away to device vendors and its ownership with Motorola Mobility has yet to move the needle in terms of profitability.


Global mobile OS market share in Q3 2012. Source: Gartner (November 2012)

What the search firm is after are users’ eyeballs. To that extent, Android is clearly winning shipments, which indirectly benefits Google as the company gets to sell all those Android eyeballs to advertisers at a premium.

By the way, Google’s Motorola unit appears to have its sights set on Samsung, the biggest Android backer out there. A new Motorola ad campaign directly pits the flagship Razr phone against the Galaxy S III with a slogan of “It’s not easy. downloading… from another galaxy.”

Schmidt, 57, is increasingly becoming an unofficial spokesperson for the search giant.

Lately, the chairman has commented on a number of Apple’s missteps, from Mapgate to patent wars to Google’s relationship with Apple.

For instance, he noted last week how “extremely curious” it is that Apple has chosen to sue Google’s partners and not Google itself.

 

By the way, his open vs. closed remark from the above quote is really out of place, in my opinion.

Different things work for different people.

I may prefer Apple’s unmatched integration which by virtue stems from Apple’s tight control of every aspect of the user experience, but there are also people who like to tinker a lot with their devices and to them Android is probably a better choice.

Thoughts?

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  • http://twitter.com/myorangeisstuck wahaha

    Nah he’s just jealous.

  • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

    Says the man who still uses a Blackberry.
    (True Story, just Google it, can’t post links)

    Apple iOS, 1 Brand,
    Google Android, 50 Brands, like “100″ devices each.

    Who’s winning Mr Shcmidt?

    • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

      exactly…that is so funny to me

    • ic0dex

      Thank you I’ve been saying this to everyone that brings this crap up. If Android was like Apple and was only on 3 devices then they would have only be 1% of the market share. Apple is clearly doing more with 3 phones then what Google is doing with 100.

    • Lordthree

      Not only does iOS make all the profits, they enjoy over 85% mobile web traffic. Who cares how many units android ships if the consumers aren’t using them?

    • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

      So you’re say cause Android gives choice and flexibility, it’s unfair to compare?

      Get your reasoning straight fantards, that’s like saying it’s unfair to compare Mac OS X to Linux or Windows because those two allow installation on a wide variety of hardware.

      • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

        Facepalm… Not sure if you are stupid, dumb.. or just both.
        1 Brand obviously will sell less than 50 brands… but even that, Apple alone are fighting against all of them and have huge sells… so, 1 brand only can handle with all of them.. that’s why it’s a winner!

        RIM: 1 brand, 1 OS.. losing…
        Nokia: 1 Brand, 1 OS (symbian) lost it…
        Microsoft: A few brands, 1 OS, losing…
        ( this last 3.. with decades of experience.. )

        Get it? or you need a draw on why Apple is still a winner…

        Fandroids theory: “Ford sells more cars (vans, pickups, etc) than Porsche, so obviously it’s a winner and better…”

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        A winner in what iTard sense? Don’t know if you’re blinded by your iTardness, too ignorant to see reality or both.

        They’re all running the same OS with several options on the hardware, and incase you didn’t know, non-itards want options. Calling the competition unfair because of Crapple thinking that “one fits all” is just an itard move.

        iTard theory: “Crapple makes larger profit per device sale, so obviously it’s a winner and better…”

      • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

        Apple wast money on suppliers, research, creating hardware and software, Samsung make their own shitsung, borrow a OS from Google, and use crappy plastic.. sell it almost at the same price of the iPhone and you say that Apple makes larger profit per device.. ? lmao…

        just grow up…

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        And your proof of this is where, iTard? What makes you think every other manufacturer out there doesn’t pay suppliers for parts, do research on their products, and create hardwares and softwares to suite their products?

        Talking shit out of your ass doesn’t make it logical, idiot.

        Just quit following Crapple’s behind so religiously and think for yourself…

      • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

        Says the fandroid crying about Apple… what a moral lesson

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Cause I don’t follow crapple’s behind so religiously and my reasoning is unbiased it means I use android? Very wise reasoning you iTards have.

      • http://twitter.com/xdracco Juan

        yea, that dude is a tool. I defected to Android after 4 years with Apple… why? Quite frankly, i hate religions and I really dislike the mentality that most apple rejects seem to develop once they upgrade their blackberry to the awesome iPhone.. FOMG, i’m so cool now.. I have an awesome APP INSTALLER!

    • Aj

      Yes that is true but android is an OS nd wat u r comparing is lik comparing 2 hardware companies. Like we can compare mac os x and windows and we compare mac and hp

      Do u get me, google is givin their os to every company but they are not telling those companies to make 100 other phones on android
      U can compare 2 harware companies or 2 software companies but not a hardware company with a software company

  • charlie

    yes….yes yes

  • http://www.facebook.com/khan.rulzz.7 Khan Rulzz

    Google chairman: Android is clearly winning the malware war :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Timothy-Polumbo/100000101263898 Timothy Polumbo

    I agree with the article. It’s all pretty close to the truth. But u have to define the word “winning”. It all depends on how you view it. Android hardware is pretty comparable to “PC” hardware, it’s a race to the bottom, there are great and also low quality hardware solutions, there is an OS that will run or mostly run across the hardware. But there are serious drawback to such a situation. This is why I DON’T use windows (or Linux) and I DON’T use android. just my opinions / observations.

    • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

      android sucks..

      • http://www.facebook.com/ledzeppelin96 Stanley Traub

        Other way around bro. Android dominates iOS. Tell me one good feature on iOS that isn’t already on android. Btw, iOS 6 was such a fail and I’m sure you would agree :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Timothy-Polumbo/100000101263898 Timothy Polumbo

        Both statements are short sighted and overly definitive. I choose iOS because it meets my needs better than android. Does that means android is inferior? No! It just means I can live with iOS’s shortcomings but can’t live with android’s. it’s all subjective.

      • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

        IOS is better as is iphone..

      • http://twitter.com/xdracco Juan

        lmao. if you say it enough, eventually, it’ll be true.. really dude.

      • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

        smooth stable consistent operation and app consistency across all devices is not on android…lol

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Timothy-Polumbo/100000101263898 Timothy Polumbo

        I agree

      • http://www.facebook.com/ledzeppelin96 Stanley Traub

        actually my friend, my old iPhone 5 had boatloads of problems starting with data and all the way to apps crashing and whatnot. so dont give me that plz. btw my GS3 is very smooth, so plz use some other argument.

      • Kurt

        iPhone sucks. I won’t be buying another. Ill stick with iPads though. Until Win 8 matures of course

      • http://www.facebook.com/ledzeppelin96 Stanley Traub

        Kurt, seriously like I said before, you think exactly like I do!

      • Kurt

        Because we are fair minded individuals. Unlike the puppets on this blog. iOS in 2007 was beautiful. 2012 now almost 2013? It’s old and ugly.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ledzeppelin96 Stanley Traub

        Exactly!

      • Damian W

        Android has more functions but they are implemented poorly. And they even look bad visually. iOS is plain simply yet pretty. Android is designed for people who have the need to use their phone as it was the actual laptop. iPhone is just a very powerful phone which does not try to be a laptop.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    there is no war.lool.. there is iPhone which most humans want… then there is android which most folks end up with when they just want a cheap phone then there is everyone else fighting for crumbs..

    • Dan

      Choosing android is not simply a matter of a ”cheap phone”. When I upgraded my phone, I could of gotten an iPhone 5 for the same price as a Galaxy S3.
      Choosing android comes down to the fact that some people prefer an open environment. I like to play around with settings, I like to theme, I like being able to torrent on my device, I like having access to files on my phone… The list goes on.

      The iPhone is for people who either don’t mind relying on jailbreak, or who prefer to let Apple choose what they have access too, simple as that.

      I’ll most likely get down votes for this, but that’s how I see it. I still like Apple, but when it comes down to choosing a phone, they won’t get me back as a customer unless they give me more control over my device.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Timothy-Polumbo/100000101263898 Timothy Polumbo

        You both have a solid point. I think both arguments are realistic and completely separate. Some people fall into each scenario.

      • http://twitter.com/piyushr21 Piyush

        but you are forgetting that ios devices have apps quality and smoothness and consitency which is big deal for anyone.
        for example apps like gta vice city and mc4 are launched on ios but for android still its taking time to launch those awesome title and this apps are only compatible to certain devices.than whats the point of all the marketshare.

      • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

        exactly its pure BS

      • Dan

        You have a point there, although I guess it depends on the phone. I have a Galaxy S3, I’ve played around with the cpu settings and I have no lag playing games like NFS or MC4. I’ll have to give GTA Vice a shot eventually. Although I usually play graphic intensive games on my iPad or PC tbh.

      • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

        ummm 99% of phones running android are random POS throw away cheapo phones FACT… they are bought by folks who dont care what OS their phone is running but google is quick to ad those folks to the stats as though they actually care about android being in their POS phones.

      • Kurt

        99% of your comments are obnoxious- FACT

      • droid4life

        Yup i mean i like apple but i dont love them

      • http://twitter.com/xdracco Juan

        99% of your comments are from your asshole. FACT.

  • Falk M.

    That pic needs to die.

    I hate seeing this ugly shot every other time he’s in the news…

    (Nothing against Schmidt, just this particular shot is pretty fugly)

  • Realgeek

    Google is getting volume, which is what it wants. But Apple is getting profits, which is what it wants. Now let’s take a closer look. Apple’s users are wealthier and higher quality, from an advertising perspective. Not to mention that they tend to use their phones a lot more than the average Android owner. So what happens to Google when Apple ends the iPhone’s relationship with Google? Google suffers. Who’s winning again?

    • wonderboydave

      I wonder who’s gonna be there search engine though.. Bing? fuck that.

      • Realgeek

        They did it with Maps. They’re doing it with Siri. They can do it generally. Even if they just change the default search engine — most people wouldn’t notice, and those who do can switch back. But most people wouldn’t switch back, so Google would suffer.

    • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

      true

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1215314453 Jose Cruz

    I think apple fan needs to stop being so closed minder and agree with Dan. I think he is 100% right on his argument. I love my ipad mini, my iPhone 5 and my MacBook Air, however, I hate that all of these apple gadgets are overpriced and we need to rely on a jailbreak for the iPhone and the ipad to do what we should be entitled to do for the amount of money we paid for them.
    Who do you think are those people making the android more popular ? The Apple customers who are sick and tired of expending their money for something that can’t be altered without the permission of the big boss or who once was the big boss Mr. Jobs. I think Tim is doing a great job and he eventually will let us have control of OUR IPhone and IPad.. And trust me, you will see all those appledroid coming back to daddy. And you will also see mr Schmidt struggling. I am sure it was a few months ago when they were thinking that Google+ was a big failure. He better calm down before the other daddy get mad and start a war against google+.. You know Big Daddy Facebook… Lol…

    • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

      android owners need to accept that they are the “DELL owners” of the cell phone industry and iphone owners are the MAC owners ..

      • Aj

        Never forget, dell has cheap and low-end products but it also has some high-end,expensive products
        Same goes for android. They have both cheap,not so good in performance products and expensive,high end products (like the Samsund Galaxy S3,Note 2, HTC Droid DNA

    • http://twitter.com/Chindavon Chindavon

      Overpriced? Compared to what? You get what you pay for. Plastic creaky parts + crappy tech support Vs. high end parts + robust customer service? You get a random pc user and give him a macbook air for a week, then a pc laptop after that, for a week, and let’s see what he/she thinks. The experience, speed, fluidness, and overall satisfy feeling of that is worth every bit for the premium price of apple products. This goes with all devices, not just macbooks.

      iPod Touch Vs. What?
      iMac Vs. What ‘all in one’?
      macbook Vs. what laptop?
      Mac Pro Vs. what desktop machine?
      Mac Mini Vs. what?

      Exactly…

      • Jonathan Jaimes

        kindle fire HD 199 vs iPad mini 350 no HD which one is better.

    • http://www.idownloadblog.com/author/dujkan Christian Zibreg

      Not overpriced. Priced fairly. And this is why http://www.danpallotta.com/post/37794756891/apples-attention-to-detail

  • http://www.facebook.com/ishaanmalhotra92 Ishaan Malhotra

    Not happy with the stock ios. Bought an iphone because of the quality of the phone and the power of jailbreak ( jailbreak, please come soon :’(

    • Kurt

      jailbreak=sluggish, buggy phone that crashes often. but still even with the plethora of problems my iphones and ipads have, its still better than that crap OS we have. iOS blows. we only like the 3rd party apps that apple has nothing to do with. of course no one will agree with me on this site but you all know in your heart its absolutely true.

      • Damian W

        it is sluggish and crashes if you install unnecessary 100 tweaks. Instead, be smart and install the best 50 tweaks you think you will use all the time.

      • Kurt

        How I wish that were true. I have reduced my tweaks and problems still exist. In fact new ones started yesterday. My screen randomly won’t turn on. This has happened to my wife for the past year. Now it’s happening to me. I can wait for an SMS/call from someone or hold power and home button to shut it off and restart. I miss the days when devs knew what they were doing with their tweaks.

      • Damian W

        well, what i do…I look for tweaks that are updated regularly such as: BiteSMS, IntelliscreenX, CallBar, Forecast, Lockinfo etc. Then I look for the tweaks that are pretty simply and dont really cause any issues such as: delete word, manual correct, password pilot, infinidock. multi cleaner. Basically, I try to manipulate a set of tweaks to fit in the best possible way. If there is some inconsistency between two tweaks, I try to find it and remove a tweak I dont need so much or is less important.

        generally I avoid installing outdated or unknown tweaks. Some tweaks are repetitive having similar functions.

        I usually navigate to mobileSubtrate to disable tweaks in order to see which one is the culprit.

        I got to say it works for me very well. It took me a year or two to get good at it. But now my iPhone 4 runs smoothy with 100 tweaks or more. If I had iPhone 5 i would throw 300 tweaks because it has a great boost in performance

      • Kurt

        looks like im in the exact opposite situation as you. before i was fully loaded with all kinds of tweaks. luckily, i never had problems that others did. not sure why. but this past year with my iphone 4S and iOS 5 I’m having all kinds of problems with crashes, sluggish OS, etc. I’m glad to hear you aren’t having these problems. I should go through mine and see if I can get rid of some tweaks. I downloaded so many tweaks for Siri. but on my ipad It is unbelievably slow. but still i dont want a stock ipad so ill deal with the crashes. so many many many apps just wont start.

        you’ve given me the little push i needed to go through my tweaks and see if I can improve the problems i’m having and my wife is having. thanks for that!

      • Damian W

        I used to keep all kinds of tweak. I remember that at some point I always had installed more than 300 Cydia packages. Surprisingly my iPhone and iPad run pretty good with some rare crashes. However, I think lots of tweaks got updated for the newer devices and my old i devices simply slowed down. I know that one time the same tweaks were causing issue and crashed , then after reinstalling them the problem disappeared. Usually, there should not be any issue with more famous tweaks, if there is I recommend reinstalling them, or even restoring iPhone. For example, Quasar on iPad works really good by itself, but if you combine it with couple other tweaks like CardSwitcher lock info and zephyr you will run into some serious issues.

      • Kurt

        yeah, thats the problem with tweaks. compatibility with other tweaks.cardswitcher and zephyr are awesome. almost like using my touchpad

      • Damian W

        from what i remember siri tweaks can slow down your device significantly. the reason for this is that Siri is always working in the background, and if you add extra tweaks to it, they will take away that ram or cpu power you need to open some of the heavy apps. Usually, out of 100 tweaks i have there is two or four tweaks that cause memory leak. They take aways lots of Ram because they are buggy or not optimized. As a result i was unable to open certain apps that need more ram.

      • http://www.facebook.com/xxLIUZHENYUxx Liu Zhenyu

        Dumb comment, you should feel bad. Maybe that’s why you love android so much, you install unnccesary tweaks before crying about how iOS sux even with jailbreak.

      • Kurt

        No gay boy. You’re still an idiot homo

      • http://www.facebook.com/ishaanmalhotra92 Ishaan Malhotra

        I agree with you. But the best part of ios is that when it starts getting laggy, all you gotta do is restore or update it and its all brand new.

      • Kurt

        problem with it being back to stock is it sucks :P but I do love how easy it is since iOS 5 to restore your phone. I think the best thing about iOS is 3rd party apps. other than that its lacking way too much for me to give it praise. and the stock apps suck, except for safari, and iMessage. mail has been improving so that’s great.

  • Josh Graff

    so in other words apple is leading the market… Apple isn’t working harder… they’re working smarter

  • Milad Khahil

    Schmidt’s recent statements with a grain of salt is the fact that this isn’t the first time Google’s former CEO comes out with such talk that can turn against him later down the road.
    He did say a few years back that the Nexus One was a one time thing for the company, but we all know what followed soon after that: the Nexus S, or the second Nexus handset. Then came the Galaxy Nexus and now we’re looking at the fourth Nexus-branded smartphone, the Nexus 4 and hopefully not the last.
    About a year ago he did say that Android Ice Cream Sandwich will become the OS of choice for developers instead of iOS. That did not happen, and ICS is yet to get the main slice of the Android pie.
    Then he prophesied that Google TV will be one of the main players in the TV business, with the majority of TV owners having it on their TVs by mid-2012. Google TV is still a product that’s yet to find its way, and while we don’t have exact numbers for Google TV deployment at this time, it’s clearly not where Google would like it to be.
    So when he says now that Google is clearly winning the battle with Apple in a Microsoft-like fashion, let’s doubt it for now, as the battle is far from over. What’s happening though is that Android devices are overall selling better than the iPhone. But since not all Android OEMs are profiting from the Android revolution, market share alone is not enough to win the battle.

  • http://twitter.com/ja808hi Ja808hi

    Mercedes clearly better then Honda. Honda sells more cars becuz they have more cars to choose from. Does that make it better? No. Style over quantity I say.