Android phones and iPhones operate on entirely two different operating systems i.e., Android and iOS. These two operating systems are responsible to ensure the smooth functioning of the different features and apps installed on the phone as well as the proper working of the different hardware such as camera, microphone and other sensors etc. Android is a Linux-based operating system that is partly open source as well and is more customizable. In contrast, users of iOS often regard this as more friendly due to its unique design elements. As a whole, these two operating systems are the main difference between iPhones and Android phones (Jamalova and Milán). Furthermore, iOS is only owned by Apple, while all other small and big mobile phone brands such as Samsung, Oppo and Vivo etc., use Android as their operating system with the support from Google.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The essay compares and contrasts the Android and iPhones to explore their different features and functions that attract their respective customers. Moreover, a detailed analysis is made of how these two brands are positioned globally in terms of their sales and revenues.
The two different models of the phones running on Android and iOS can be compared in various aspects. Some of these are outlined in the following paragraphs.
The first feature which is common in both operating systems is the continuous software update. Both Android and iOS devices are receiving updates for the last five to six years to improve the functionality and users’ interaction (Cunningham). However, Apple relatively provides faster and more smooth updates because it also owns the mobile devices as compared to Android which is run on the mobile devices of many other brands which have their only policies for updates for different devices.
The second factor is the value and the reliability. The apple phones which run on iOS are generally considered more reliable and secure as compared to Android devices. The main reason for this is again the sole owner of both the operating system and the mobile devices by the same company (Cunningham). So, Android users are more likely to have a different opinion regarding the security of their mobile devices based on which brand they belong to.
Customer support is also a similar factor that attracts users to purchase Apple devices instead of Android devices. Getting help in changing the hardware or solving any software issue from the company is easier for iPhone users as compared to Android users. However, repairing Apple products is relatively costly and locally unavailable for iOS users which gives the Android users a comparative advantage to get their phones easily repaired in their local markets.
When it comes to having more features in the mobile by installing different apps, Apple’s devices through App Store provides better selection as compared to Android’s Play Store. However, most of the apps available in the App Store are not free while users can install a variety of apps on the Play Store for spending any amount of money. But there are more security risks in the case of installing random apps from the Play Store.
Lastly, the prices of Android phones have a wide range from being the cheapest to the most expensive ones. Therefore, Android phones as a whole have a relatively higher share in the mobile market. In contrast, the prices of iPhones roughly start from $700 while there is a significant price hike in every new coming model. The latest model i.e, iPhone 12 costs around $1100 while the Android phone can be purchased at a price as minimum as $40 (Leswing). In addition, there is very limited hardware customization in iPhones while Android phones come with a large range of hardware options to provide users with the flexibility to choose the phone that best meets their requirements of memory, camera and processor etc.
However, iPhone still holds a competitive position in the market with its demand increasing every coming year. According to Insider Intelligence Editors, iPhone users in the United States is projected to increase to 116.3 million from the previous usage of 113.4 million in the last year. This shows that the price is not the only factor that determines the growth and the competitive position of these two different mobile phones based on different operating systems. In the following section, the historical economic development and current market share of Android and iOS are explained.
iPhone has made a huge success since its first launch in 2007. In a single year, the company managed to sell over 1.4 million headsets in the world (Jamalova and Milán). The primary reason for such a remarkable entry is Apple’s operating system which provided users with a unique experience of interacting with any mobile device. Introducing the touch screen was the other factor that helped the company to grow tremendously. The company is introducing new mobile technologies every year, therefore, better known as the pioneer of the advancement and innovation in the mobile phone industry. Therefore, an exponential increase in sales can be observed from 1.4 million headsets in 2007 to 217 million headsets in 2018.
By analyzing the market share of Apple, it can be realized that the iPhone is one of the highly soled mobile devices in almost all regions of the world. For instance, according to Jamalova and Milán, apple products rank among the top 5 smartphones in Asia, Europe, Africa and North America which collectedly make them one of the highest soled mobile devices in the world. The net profit and the revenue of the company is another factor that helps understand the market competitiveness of the company. In 2018, the iPhone sales were 166 billion USD which have been further increased in recent years (Jamalova and Milán).
In comparison, Android was launched by Android Inc. which was later acquired by Google which later in 2007 announced the establishment of Open Handset Alliance allowing different mobile manufacturers to use Android as their operating system. Google uses a different strategy as compared to Apple by removing any restrictions on content and applications. However, both companies allow third-party app development and earn commission on every purchase. The Apples’ App Store was launched in 2008 which provided an opportunity for an independent developer to create apps and sell them on this platform (Jamalova and Milán). Now apple receives a 30% commission on each app that is sold through the App Store. It is further expected that global spending on these two application platforms will increase to $171 billion in 2024. However, Apple earns more on such app purchases as compared to Android. The same case is for the users of these phones where an average iPhone user earns 40% more as compared to an average Android user.
Both Android and iPhone are widely known phones in the world that share the whole mobile phone market. iPhone runs on Apple’s iOS which is significantly different from Android the operating system in Android phones. With respect to features and user’s interface, both phones have different characteristics. However, the pricing is the most differentiable factor that makes Apple’s iPhones the most expensive and Apple a highly profitable company.
Cunningham, Andrew. “IPhone vs. Android: Which Is Better for You?” The New York Times, 2021, www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/ios-vs-android/. Accessed 5 July 2021.
Insider Intelligence Editors. “IPhones Are Gaining Market Share in the US, but Losing in the UK.” Insider Intelligence, Insider Intelligence, 19 Feb. 2021, www.emarketer.com/content/iphones-gaining-us-market-share-losing-uk. Accessed 5 July 2021.
Jamalova, Maral, and Constantinovits Milán. “The Comparative Study of the Relationship between Smartphone Choice and Socio-Economic Indicators.” International Journal of Marketing Studies, vol. 11, no. 3, 12 July 2019, p. 11, 10.5539/ijms.v11n3p11.
Leswing, Kif. “Apple’s Full-Size IPhone 12 Costs at Least $100 More than Last Year’s IPhone 11.” CNBC, 13 Oct. 2020, www.cnbc.com/2020/10/13/apple-iphone-12-pricing-asp-could-rise-from-iphone-11.html.