Jul 14th, 2009

Notice the “when” – I strongly believe that Android Market will outpace the iPhone App Store at some point in the not too distant future (2 years). Steve Jobs wouldn’t agree. On the iPhone App Store’s first birthday, Apple published a Press Release boasting about their 1.5+ Billion apps, 65,000+ apps, and 100,000+ developers. And Jobs himself chimed in on the significance:

“The App Store is like nothing the industry has ever seen before in both scale and quality,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “With 1.5 billion apps downloaded, it is going to be very hard for others to catch up.”

[Picture via TheiPhoneBlog]

There are a lot of “others” and I wouldn’t put any of them in the same class as Android. Carriers have their own stores, Manufacturers have their own stores and other Mobile OS’ have their own stores… but Android is different. The iPhone’s position is largely due to their first mover implementer advantage, and I completely agree that the company deserves a lot of credit and respect for what they’ve created. But Android is different.

Android was the first mover of a different kind. A mobile OS that is free in more ways than one: monetarily free, carrier-free, manufacturer-free… anyone can use it. How many different iPhones are there? Three:

  • Original iPhone
  • iPhone 3G
  • iPhone 3GS

Next year we’ll likely see at least one more – or maybe even two or three more iPhones. By the end of this year, we’re going to see 15 to 20 new Android phones. The year after that I would estimate at least double the number of Android Phones to launch in countries all over the world. I don’t see how Apple can keep up in terms of handset volume.

More phones = More consumers = More dollars up for grabs. Developers will follow the money. If you ask me, it is only a matter of time before Android overtakes Apple. I’m not counting out Windows Mobile or Symbian Foundation completely… anything is possible but I honestly think Android is in the best long-term position. Palm has something special with WebOS but they have the same issue as Apple – they are their only manufacturer (at least for the time being).

I don’t disagree with Mr. Jobs… others will have a hard time catching up. Just not Android – it is inevitable.

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