Storm Control

by Pablo Carlier.

There is no Apple vs. Android war.

That’s it. I said it. There is no such thing as a war between Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.

There is a war indeed between Apple, Samsung, HTC, Nokia, RIM, Motorola etc., for the profits in the handset space. Apple controls 73% of those profits.

There is also a war for the mobile ads revenue between platforms (iOS and Android mainly) to generate as much money from advertising as possible. Apparently, iOS quadruples the advertising revenue for Google that Android brings.

What can we extract from these facts?

Conclusion 1: Apple is eating almost all the money, and Samsung is reaping the leftovers of the cake, with regards to mobile phone profits. Basically everyone else is bleeding money quarter after quarter. This game is about making money, not about unit sales or other stuff. No war to be seen between Android and Apple here. Android is a platform for advertising created by Google, it does not play this game.

Conclusion 2: In the mobile advertising space, Google is the big fish, and it makes much more money from iOS than it does from Android. Interesting, but still no war here. This is a game about making the most money from ad prints. Sheer volume is meaningful here, as are user habits, willingness to purchase online services and more. Google does not care which phone you use, as long as the advertising revenue goes to their pocket. Android and iOS are not competing here. Android brings the sheer volume, iOS brings the revenue-per-user. Win-win.

Who is losing?

I dare say Apple wins big hardware money, Google wins advertising money, Samsung wins little hardware money. Everyone else loses money everywhere.

Android could really not exist: it has a strong userbase, but it really does not mean much for anybody. Samsung makes very good hardware that would sell equally well with their own Bada OS. Google makes tons of ad money from iOS, and it would make money from every other platform in the world… Even its own, that loses them money every quarter. Apple is generating profits at the stunning pace of $128 million a day. No real impact from Android here.

There really is no war. Where the dollars are, they are well controlled by Apple, Google and somewhat Samsung. Android just happens to have become the Symbian of the 2010’s: large user count, almost irrelevant financially for everyone. And it seems everybody’s happy this way.

Let there be love.