Several reports came out today about how Android devices have outsold Apple devices in the last quarter. That’s pretty great in all, but there was an extra fact in there that just blew me away: that since last year, Android sales are up 886%. That’s just an absolutely staggering number, though I’m sure it’s due in some capacity to the availability of Android devices on Verizon’s network. I certainly went out and got my Droid the day it came out, and clearly I wasn’t alone in that.
Over on TechCrunch, they tried to downplay this by saying that it’s actually 20 phones on 4 carriers versus two phones on one carrier. And I guess there is some credence to that, but that was an active decision on Apple’s part. For how long now we’ve heard rumors that the iPhone will be available on Verizon Wireless, but of course they’re never true. We already know Apple’s feelings towards letting other devices run their operating system, so it really just boils down to Apple wanting absolute control over their devices. Compare that to Google, who is more than happy to hand out Android to whoever wants it. The fact is that Google has made their operating system available and people are getting on board, so to say that it’s not a fair comparison is, if nothing else, trying to hide the success of Android.
The only problem in all this is that, for developers, developing for the iPhone is far more lucrative than Android. Part of it is how the app store works (you can return your apps on Android in the first 24 hours if you don’t like it) and part of it is the userbase. iPhone users have more cash kicking around or something, I guess. And the default app store on Android is just abysmal; it’s nearly impossible to find anything that you might like, so users are going so sites like AppBrain instead. There are also reports of piracy being more rampant on Android, and Google would do well to combat these issues so as not to stymie Android’s growth. In the meantime, I’ll be waiting for my Android tablet..