Android has beaten Apple in the smartphone wars

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All these Android hardware vendors are struggling against each other, but all they really accomplish is to subsidize proliferation of the Android platform in hope things will get better. But they won't get better, reading between the lines here.

Google makes Android. And Google is the only force that stands to gain. All those Android devices give it a deep insight into the entire global population. And the cost of that insight has been negligible -- its hardware "partners" (or patsies?) took the risks.

Apple meanwhile has managed to create a smartphone business that makes it some money on the back of devices people love like and use. This means Apple has a sustainable business and can make long-range plans.

In the absence of any profits, Android hardware makers cannot make a long-term promise. How long can this continue, because as it stands it seems to me Android manufacturers have been hoodwinked into supporting a charity, the only beneficiary of which happens to be Google.

Predictions

This lack of profits means we will see further consolidation in the mobile market place. I also anticipate the drive to low prices will force the creation of a two-tier smartphone sector: Apple at the top with the latest and greatest devices, and a handful of others offering cheap Android devices.

There will be little in between these two camps, because the environment is too harsh to enable development of sustainable business -- look at what happened to Samsung.

In the end, all the boys and girls from the anti-Apple smartphone bloc took the terrible decision to subsidize Google's dominance, but failed to secure a percentage of the revenues the online ads giant evidently always planned to make on the back of their labors. Apple meanwhile -- despite a minority market share -- actually has a profitable and sustainable business. Its Android competitors do not.

So who is it who is "winning" again?

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Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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