Tag Archives: Apple

Android Phones Pass iPhone in 2010 Unit Sales

According to Gartner Research, as of February 2011, Android has surpassed iOS in unit sales. Their research also indicates that Nokia’s Symbian maintains market leader status although the combined Android and iOS sales momentum in 2010 should have them worried about that status in 2011.

This is very important information to a marketer … at an aggregate level it would appear that marketers should continue to embrace iOS but need to ensure that they have a presence or app available for Android as well.  The press that the iPhone commands is misleading to marketers!  If your app is not available to Android (or Symbian) users then you are not engaging 67 Million folks (or 111 Million).  Scary, huh? And don’t get me started on organizations that are optimizing mobile sites for iOS with no thought or regard to Android … (note: I have both an iPhone and an Android based phone).

While the iPhone and iOS are “sexy” and hot topics … it is possible that the closed environment or ecosystem combined with limited distribution of Apple products may once again prove a challenge to Apple’s market dominance.  It wasn’t that long ago that Apple PC’s enjoyed a lion’s share of the market but limited distribution, closed environments, and high prices enabled Microsoft to quietly eclipse Apple as a market owner in less than 5 years.  This would explain the introduction of the iPhone to Verizon users this month – someone at Apple finally realized that they had limited access to the smartphone market with AT&T while Android based phones are offered by every carrier.

The lesson?  Organizations need to ensure that their mobile marketing presence is not limited to the Apple ecosystem.  The aggregate data and market research confirms that the iOS market share represents a minority of overall market opportunity.  Marketers who are partial to the iOS platform (and Apple) should be worried about the rapid increase in Android unit sales this past year … check it out for yourself in this killer video that shows the slow build of momentum since 2008 of the Android platform based on global Android activations from 2008 – 2011.  Pay particular attention to how quickly the platform base growth accelerates in 2010 and early 2011:


Thin Is In The Clouds – Apple’s Market Innovation, Execution, and the MacBook Air

Steve Jobs holding a MacBook Air (at MacWorld ...

Image via Wikipedia

Mark my words — The recently announced MacBook Air is going to be a game changer in ways that market analysts haven’t been speaking about.

We’ve all heard about cloud computing and the future being in the clouds, right?

Until the rise of cloud computing and resources, operating systems, utilities, etc. have been relegated to disc based delivery methods that have precluded innovation in technology hardware.  Laptop and Desktop manufacturers have been forced to restrain (or worse, refrain …) innovative prdouct development and launches because the delivery mechanism of software vendors was still in the proverbial dark ages of technology from the 1970’s.  If a manufacturer’s laptop or desktop didn’thave an optical drive then it couldn’t load software and be functional.

HP and Sony both introduced super slim, HD and SSD (solid-state drive) machines that lacked an optical drive in the early 2000’s.  (Great Article from Brooke Crothers here:  http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-20020535-64.html ) These machines were bleeding edge technology that were expensive and lacked an install base potential market other than the early-innovators and early-adopters.  Cloud computing (whether Amazon’s Cloud or Red Hat or Rackspace, etc.) was in its infancy and software firms were wary of delivering their goods outside of traditional distribution methods like CD’s or DVD’s – thus the clund infastructure for software needed by the innovative HP and Sony hardware didn’t exist and the products were doomed for mass market failure.

5 years later …

Apple’s introduction of the Mac Air re-introduces the innovation to the marketplace and is priced for early-adopters and innovators once again.  Apple’s entry into this portion of the market fast tracks software manufacturers into the cloud (example:  Microsoft’s Office 2010 is available for download as the preferred method of sale and delivery) and sets the stage for deeper market penetration as the cloud infrastructure grows and a new service delivery model is adopted by leading software firms.  The fact that SaaS (Software as a Service) has been infiltrating the B2B market for well over a decade as a precursor solidifies the market adoption notion and readiness in the B2C or Consumer market.

Apple is not the innovator in this market.

In my opinion, Apple is the hands down, strategic execution leader in this market.  Apple let other manufacturer’s foot the R&D costs for this type of technology platform (via HP and Sony), waited for a B2C SaaS marketplace to exist (and created one virtually with the iPod and iTunes), and for economies of scale in manufacturing to lower SSD pricing to a level that would allow for mass market penetration. The iPad (entertainment and no keyboard) set the stage for B2C SaaS computing and the MacBook Air delivers the full experience (with keyboard).  Other manufacturers, including the market innovators like HP and Sony in 2004, are going to be in catch up mode for the next two years.

While Apple has superior innovation ability, the past decade has seen the company transition into a superior marketing execution strategy that was missing in the 1990’s.  It learned the hard way and nearly landed in bankruptcy by playing the innovation superiority card in the 1990’s and has found itself the darling of Wall Street and the envy of Fortune 500 Boardrooms and CEO’s by developing an execution strategy that had been delivered (near) flawlessly in the past decade.

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