The world’s most popular computing platform is Android, the mobile operating system from Google.
Many people believe that Android’s popularity will eventually lead mobile application developers to make fewer apps for iPhones, making iPhones less useful and even less popular. They say that’s what happened to Apple computers when Microsoft became the most popular PC platform in the 1990s.
In a new Sam Grobart cover story for this week’s Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Apple CEO Tim Cook, lead designer Jony Ive, and software boss Craig Federighi explain why they think their mobile platform, iOS, is healthier and more successful.
They say Android is “fragmented.” “I don’t think of Android as one thing,” Cook told Grobart. Cook says it is a “compounding problem.” “It will show up in developers,” he says. “It will show up for people that no longer have access to certain apps. It will show up in security issues because if you’re not moving your customer base to the latest version, then you have to go back and plug holes in all of this old stuff, and people don’t really do that to a great degree.”
They say this fragmentation will keep Android from dominating the way Windows did. “Microsoft kept things the same, and the level of fragmentation wasn’t as much,” Cook says. “There weren’t so many derivative works out there with Windows.”
They say Android users don’t use their phones as much as iPhone owners. Cook admits “it’s even more a two-operating-system world today than it was before,” but says, “When you look at things like customer satisfaction and usage, you see the gap between Android and iOS being huge.”
They say that Android phone makers stuff their phone with useless new technology. Grobart writes: “Without mentioning competitors (Samsung), it’s clear the two executives think some of what passes for innovation is illusory at best.” Ive says: “We didn’t start opportunistically with 10 bits of technology that we could try to find a use for to add to our features list.” Federighi says: “New? New is easy. Right is hard.”