In April this year, the European Commission gave a heave of ears to Google when he began to investigate the alleged monopolistic practices carried out with its Android platform, current undisputed leader of the mobile operating system market. However, Google have a very contrary view and today published a text on their official blog that they defend themselves from accusations.
For Google, Android not only not has harmed the competitiveness in the mobility sector, if that has not stimulated it. Their main argument is that manufacturers, developers, and consumers have more freedom of choice, and it’s not a lie. However, there is no more to take a look at the distribution of mobile platforms to see that Android has a dominant position which inhibits the growth of other proposals.
Android has increased competitiveness, Google dixit
“In 2007 lanzamod Android, a free and open source operating system. At that time, smartphones were a very expensive rarity. We wanted to change that – stimulate innovation and increase options for consumers–and it worked”.
Thus begins the text published by Google on its official blog, a text that raised this and other arguments to try and remove accusations from the European Commission, which as we said accused them of monopolistic practices.
For Mountain View, their mobile platform is an advantage for all the actors involved. On the one hand manufacturers can install the free software in its terminals, which can also have a variety of hardware, and this causes that the supply coming into the market is very heterogeneous, both at the level of performance and price.
The company emphasizes that today can be more than 24,000 different, manufactured by more than 1,300 brands Android smartphones. This implies that there is a terminal for each user – from the high-end more pointers to the cheaper models – some even for derisory prices reaching up to 45 Euro.
Another important actor are the developers. Professionals who they have access to an audience of more than 1,000 million users at which to get their creations. Wonderful right? Yes, unless you want to launch a new mobile platform.
Android blocks the expansion of other platforms
Perhaps the definition of monopoly does not conform entirely to the current situation since Android does a competitor. Talk about iOS, Apple coming only installed on iPhones, mobile platform terminals manufactured by the same company. Yet the iPhone is situated in the high range, which leave the vast ocean of the middle and lower ranges everything for Android.
According to the latest data from Strategy Analytics, Android already has a market share of 87.5% globally, While iOS stays with 12%, a much lower figure, but that is not bad considering that there is only one manufacturer offering this platform and that, Furthermore, its catalog consists of a few terminals. The rest of mobile platforms, including the Windows Phone, is the ridiculous 0.3% share.
Even though Google says that it was not its initial goal, Android has become a steamroller that prevents the expansion of new mobile platforms, and the situation with Windows Phone does not only confirm it.
However, neither we can blame directly Google already that, with these figures, It is not surprising that neither manufacturers nor developers want to risk on a new platform that does not give them the backing of Android. And it is too heavy of almost 88% of market share.
Then, who is the blame?
The answer is not simple, but if we had to point out culprits would not be a “who” if not rather a ‘what’. In the graphic above these lines you can see very well the reasons that led to Android to the point where he is today. The first would be the time factor.
Android came to the market in 2008 at the hands of the HTC Dream, a key moment in the expansion of what is now known as smartphones. Apple started the revolution with the iPhone just a year before and the idea of new telephony began to Jell, but iOS was not an option intended to bring together all over the world. We needed a proposal that could reach any user and Android was the platform that covered the gap.
After the arrival of the iPhone, we needed a more open platform that could reach around the world. Android covered that gap while their competition was very slow
The blue curve began to climb toward 2009 and since then has not stopped while if we look at Microsoft, what he did was lower because they failed to adapt to the boom in fast enough smartphones and when arrived Windows Phone 7.5 meter interface, it was late.
Symbian or BlackBerry OS could not stop their own decline and meanwhile Android became more and more strong. For its part, Apple kept its audience over the years and, although due to its model you can never overtake Android, is the only platform able to survive push the proposal from Google.
The situation It resembles what we in the PC market, where is Windows only available in a huge variety of equipment from different manufacturers, and Mac in Apple machines. We don’t forget Linux, but until relatively recently there was no brands that bring it installed in series, if not that were users who installed it and yet it is still a minority choice.
In short, the slow pace of competition and successive improvements that Google has been implemented on your platform have made Android a very solid and versatile product that is very difficult not impossible to beat, not impossible.