2-min read

Google Android vs. Apple iOS; Who will win?

2010 saw just the preview of the smart-phone war. 2011 will see the complete movie.

It’s Google’s Android vs Apple’s iOS. Apple’s new in-app subscription model vs Google’s; Google’s competent music service to match iTunes and Apple’s Mobile Me to match Google Buzz.

Here’s a lowdown of the major features in the Android vs. iOS turf war:

Mobile Hardware

This is where the war treads on uneven terrain, because Apple sells just two smartphone models - iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS. Android, on the other hand, sells nearly 40 Android phones at all 4 major U.S carriers. Apple’s smartphones are available only on two U.S terrains. Android has just one iPad like device - Samsung Galaxy Tab and Dell Streak 7. Upcoming devices are Motorola Xoom, HTC Flyer along with devices from LG, Toshiba, a new Galaxy Tab, and so on. But Apple’s iPod Touch and iPad are selling by the dozen.

Third Party Apps

Apps are a major crowd-puller, and Apple and Google are leaving no stone unturned to ensure they get the best. They both have third-party apps like Dropbox, Evernote, Angry Birds and Amazon Kindle. iTunes has more than 250,000 iPhone apps and a few thousand more exclusively for iPad. The 250,000 applications have been downloaded over 6.5 billion times till September 1, 2010. Android has more than 100,000 apps and the number is ever increasing.

Music and Video

Apple soars ahead in the music game, being the dominant player in the U.S digital music business, owning around 70% of the market with its 13 million odd songs on the iTunes music store. Google is not that musically inclined, but is planning a cloud-based music service for Android. At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Sanjay Jha, CEO of Motorola Mobility, said Google’s music service would be launching soon. While Apple has wide selection of movies and TV shows on its iTunes, Android is using third-party services like Blockbuster.


Adobe Flash video is the most popular format for Web video, but Apple forbids Flash functionality to be built into iOS, instead insists websites to espouse iOS-friendly H.264 video with an mp4 wrapper. On the other hand, Android holds up Adobe Flash 10.1 in Android 2.2 and more. But this disadvantage too is not hampering Apple’s popularity, as most users are encoding mobile video in iOS- attuned formats.

Set-Top Boxes

Selecting, sorting and loading a video is one thing, while Television is a whole new world. In a bid to take TV to the next level, Apple and Google are preparing to enter the war against Microsoft, TiVo and Roku. Google TV combines videos, photos, games, social networking, without the need to switch between TV and Web. The iOS-based Apple TV is humbler and less threatening to other television networks and offers Netflix, iTunes, PC to Apple TV streaming via AirPlay.

The competition is neck-to-neck. With Apple’s user-friendly nature, customers are primarily attracted to it, until they discover the plethora of goodies that Google has to offer.

As I always say, Time has the best answer to who the winner would turn out to be!

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