Steve Jobs may perceive Android simply as a weed that is encroaching on his walled garden, but it is a persistent weed that has become resistant to Apple's weed killers. Android devices are multiplying much faster than many of us could have predicted, and it seems to be very likely that Android will be Apple's second Windows. A new, rather sobering report for Apple
Apple has had an amazing ride over the past decade, with very few product flops and sheer genius inventions that propelled the company's market value beyond Microsoft's valuation. Now it appears that Apple and his Jobs-ness may have its first serious challenge on its hands. It's called Android, and it has already begun taking market share from Apple.
According to Comscore, Research In Motion remained the most popular smartphone platform in the U.S. in the second quarter of the year, but it lost 1.8 market share points, down to 39.3% in July 2010. Apple was second, but was also down 1.3 points to 23.8%. Google
It is interesting to note that Apple has maneuvered itself into this "problem," as it is still selling all the iPhones it can manufacture. The installed base may grow, but the market share does not, and that may have further implications for the platform down the road ... for example, advertising opportunities (which Google is after). Apple may not care so much about this trend now, as iPhone users are heavy App Store users, and developers around the world still claim that iPhone users purchase more applications than Android users. As the installed base of Android devices grows, however, that may change, and the number of Android users could make up for this disadvantage at some point.
It is unlikely that Apple will open up its platform to other manufacturers, even if it has shown that it is willing to compromise on software development. But it does not take a genius to predict that Apple will have to find ways to push its iPhone platform into more channels and possibly more battles. As far as we can see, this may be a battle of Steve Jobs against the world, and even that may be a bit too much for Apple's CEO. Could Android turn into Apple's next Windows experience? Absolutely. It already has.
As a side note, 25 years ago, on September 16, 1985, Steve Jobs left Apple, which he often described as the worst day in his career: Not even 10 years after he had founded Apple, his own company ditched him, but they paid a high price as the company almost died. Jobs returned 12 years later, on September 16, 1997, and turned Apple into the most envied tech company on the planet.
More from ConceivablyTech:
Google and Microsoft are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool owns shares of Google and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.