Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Q1 2013 US Smartphone Share

Spoiler alert: Android is still winning, if you ignore pesky things like “numbers”. The subplot here is that Android — being a free operating system — can be installed on substantially cheaper products which are closer to feature phones than smartphones, and which are sold for lower prices in countries with lower median incomes. That’s unsurprising, but the US activation numbers are a reminder.

There’s nothing wrong with this approach, of course. It’s a good way to get a broad installation base and produce activation numbers which look good. But they’re not as impressive nor as relevant as revenue share to both investors and developers. Just because a new Android app can be installed on more phones than developing the same app for iOS, that doesn’t mean that the developer stands to increase revenue.