Before Latest Phone Debut, Apple Has Harsher Competition
By NICK WINGFIELD and JENNA WORTHAM
Published: October 3, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO — As soon as Apple unveils its highly anticipated new version of the iPhone on Tuesday, millions of people are likely to start plotting how to be among the first to buy it. But millions more may be considering a competitor — an Android phone.
Despite all the hoopla surrounding the Apple announcement, more people buy smartphones running Google’s Android operating system than buy Apple phones. Android’s share of new smartphone sales is now more than double Apple’s share, a striking change from a year ago, when the two were roughly even, and a reflection of how Android phones have improved and become more broadly available.
In this altered competitive landscape, any new phone from Apple will have to stack up favorably against the most popular Android phones. Even app developers, many of whom once devoted all their energy to building for the iPhone, now have more divided loyalties.
“The more the Android platform matures, the more it becomes a real competitor,” said Mike Novak, an Android engineer at GroupMe, a group messaging service that has over a million users. “It’d be foolish not to support both Apple and Android.”