Android Nearing 80% of Smart Phone Users. Will iPhones be Relevant?

While the iPhone really got the smartphone age started, in less than a decade the proportions of the smartphone pie have completely reversed in favor of Android. Android OS will be on 80% of phones worldwide as we move deeper into 2014. Furthermore, the pie is at least 10 times larger compare to when the iPhone was king. That might not be so bad for Apple"s iPhone and the iOS system if Apple's absolute numbers of users were growing as fast as Android's, but they are not.

You can see an informative graph of smartphone growth in a Business Insider's post from this week at
While sales of iPhones are very profitable and benefit just one iOS company (Apple), it is also true that many new iPhone sales rely on current users trading in for new models. In a world where smartphones link the work and lives of billions of users, what will be the incentive for developers to make iPhone Apps as well as Android Apps?

As a casual maker of Android Apps myself (biomedical scientist is my daytime JOB) I have already foregone making iOS versions of my Apps. Why? Because the numbers of vision scientists I saw walking around the last ARVO2014 Conference this month were mostly using Android devices. Most tablet users still seem to be using iPads.

Given that it cost me a ONE time fee of  $25 to register as a developer in Google"s Play Store and $ZERO to register in Amazon's Android App Store, I can make and distribute Apps that are free to users and even Ad-free. My developer name is ANDROMITON. My apps support an open access vision science journal "Molecular Vision", and followers of Amateur sports, Olympics, Special Olympics, Paralympics, College and Pro-Sports. Its not a money making venture for me, at this point in life as a busy Professor, but my inner 15 year old computer geek still sticking it to "the man" as a hobby.


I love Apple, and my lab and science is full of iMacs that analyze and publish our eye research. BUT, Apple needs to do two things quickly.

1. Cheaper iPhones, less than $250? and,
2. Make it a $25 one time fee to register as an iOS developer in the Apple App Store.

Hey Apple. Consider my suggestions. I discovered the structure of a Human gene once, so maybe I am right on this one too?

I fully understand that Apple puts out the best quality and best software, and there will be new Apple instruments that will be bought by the richest 15% long before the same features get into the hands of the rest of us. However, many of us would flip for a cheaper iPhone now to iCloud with our iMacs and Macbooks.

Ken Mitton

PS. You can read more details about smartphone market share in the link below at

PPS. Despite the fact that Android is more fragmented and clunkier than iOS, I just wrote this blog post on my two year old $59 Android SmartPhone from my kitchen.

No comments: