Apparently, all of the people who were predicting that Android would kill off iOS devices by now were a little too hasty in their predictions as Neilsen is now reporting that iOS has, more-or-less, clawed its way back to the point where its sales, in the U.S., almost match's those of all Android devices combined. Android still maintains its lead, but just barely, with some 48% of the market compared to iOS's 43%.
As you can see in Neilsen's chart above, iOS sales for new smart phones have increased rather sharply despite predictions of some Android worshipers who prophesied its death by now. That hasn't happen yet, but it more-or-less seems to be what's happening to Nokia, Microsoft's Windows Phone and, as we all know, Research In Motion and its beloved BlackBerry. In fact, Android and iOS together can now claim over 90% of the smart phone market in the U.S.
iOS's sharp rise can be attributed, in part, to the iPhone 4S and iOS 5, and its much smoother and better performance, but also probably because people are discovering the many problems that go along with Android, such as its security, or should I say its lack there of, and its app market that pales both in the quality and in the numbers of apps compared with that of iOS, and, of course, last, but certainly not least, Android's infamously big problem with fragmentation.
Android's fragmentation is so bad, in fact, that it means that its latest and greatest OS isn't even available yet on most Android devices. Truth is, however, that Android's latest OS version, ICE, or Ice Cream Sandwich, is now beginning to explode ..... almost doubling in its use, from 1.6% of all Android devices to a whopping 2.9%!
Wow, ICE after all this time has barely managed a measly penetration of less than 3 bloody percent! This is amazing considering that so much time has passed that Google is now readying its replacement, Jelly Beans, which would mean that anyone who finally upgraded (the few lucky ones that is) will still be running an older and outdated version of Android in a few months or so.
Ginger Bread, Android's now much older OS, amazingly still commands a whopping 63 plus percent of all Android devices. Most new Android phones, I believe, come with Ginger Bread on board, not ICE! In other words, owning the latest Android hardware doesn't guarantee that you'll necessarily end up getting the latest Android OS along with it. Most new Android phones are still running on and older version of the OS, and all thanks, in part, to its wide spread issue of fragmentation. Google, with Motorola Mobility, could always reign Android in, much as Apple does now with iOS, but even though that would mean that even though Android's quality would go up, and its fragmentation likewise would also go down, so too, in all probability, would Android's sales also go down as well, since it would mean that Android's so-called open nature , one of its so-called biggest and best features, would be hardly anything but, except maybe in name only.
In conclusion, is it any wonder, when it comes to Android, that people like Jason Perlow would write: "I'm sick to death of Android", because, as he also points out, in a recent update:
"Google has begun rolling out Android 4.0.4 updates for selected Nexus and Wi-Fi Motorola XOOM hardware, but not the Verizon LTE Galaxy Nexus yet.]
So the bottom line is, as a consumer, how much is one willing to tolerate this? If someone like me who is an astute observer of the industry has to do such intense research on which Android device to buy based on the potential for ongoing support and then ends up getting burned in the process, what is the average consumer to do?"
And that's my 2 cents 4 this mild, but cloudy Wednesday, April 04, 2012