Published: October 22nd, 2016
Written By : Ronak Pol
Smartphones is a 400 billion dollar industry with the top two players controlling nearly 37% of the market share. But with the launch of the new Google Pixel smartphone the internet giant is gearing up to go head to head with the flagbearers of the game.
As with any competitive market a new player is a good news for the consumer, but in an industry stagnated in terms of design and innovation the question of what turbulence this new player will bring remains to be seen. But we can safely say that the top dogs in the industry are soon going to lose their market share.
Android OS vs iPhone OS
*OS – Operating System
Apple and Samsung have dominated the smartphone market for the last decade. Samsung established itself as the largest player in the game, pushing for products in all price brackets. The company has now become synonymous with android phones. While Apple has always played in the premium smartphone category a market that Apple owns.
Apple iOS and Android OS is also on a more philosophical battle on how they see people interacting with their devices. Something that lies far beyond the spectrum of this article. But the main advantage that Apple had over any android device was in the form of hardware and software integration; meaning it made the hardware and the software.
Why is that a big deal? – To begin with, it aids with optimisation. Anyone who has used an android phone will be aware of the software lags that creep up within months of purchasing any Android phone. These lags are when your phone slows down or when your phone suddenly crashes and you are asked to format your device. These lags are because most manufacturers heavily skin the android OS in a bid to distinguish their product from the competition.
The software part of any android phone is made by Google. The company makes a standard android OS and the same platform is run on various phones across price brackets ranging from 10,000 rupees all the way to 50-60,000. Apart from the premium you pay to buy the brand value associated with the phone, the additional money also buys additional hardware to run all that modern software. This in a sense future proofs your phone.
Chances are your expensive android phone will handle the latest and greatest software updates with a breeze, while the other small capacity phones struggle to catch their breath. This has been a recurring issue in the fight of android vs iOS. Apple phones have always had the benefit of software and hardware integration meaning the two seamlessly worked together to provide you with the best possible experience. (This in no way means that iPhones don’t age; but just means that they age better and slower)
Now for those of who are saying – but there was always the Nexus line up! and I agree with you. Nexus was the pure interpretation of googles vision for an android phone. They showcased the purest expression of what the platform offered. There was a niche market was for a nexus phone but they never broke into the mainstream. This was because the nexus phones were always a collaborative effort and were never offered as flagships phones. Meaning they never got the attention or the budget that a flagship smartphone would.
Google Pixel has been launched to break that barrier between pure android and the consumer. This will be the first android phone designed and manufactured by Google and will also have Google’s android OS. This means it promises the same hardware optimisation that Apple offers with its products. It is also a player which has the G logo strapped on its back meaning it has the marketing budget that comes along with that badge. This will surely help Pixel establish a place for itself in the smartphone market.
With Samsung struggling after Note series blowing up (quite literally) and apple losing momentum in the smartphone industry, google plans to carve out a spot for themselves in the market. Irrespective of how the market dynamics change we can be certain that Apple and the Premium Samsung line up will bear most of the brunt of this launch. Although most of Samsung’s revenue comes from the entry level and the mid-tear phones that the company sells, losing the market share in the premium smartphone department will damage the way people perceive a Samsung product.
Apple, on the other hand, has a second layer of protection – The Apple ecosystem. It is widely accepted that when you buy an Apple product you buy in the ecosystem that works seamlessly across devices meaning convincing an iPhone user to switch to an android device will take a lot more than convincing another android user to change his phone.
Manufacturers who mainly operate in the mid and low tier of the smartphone market have nothing to worry yet. Google pixel has been launched at a price range that is not a natural transition for a mid-tier smartphone user. But there sure is increased competition from companies like One Plus who have taken the mid-tier segment by storm.
The smartphone market redefines itself every six months. Ever year you receive flagship phones that try to catch your attention and send a stir across the market. But never before has a tech giant like google ever challenged the status quo of the smartphone market. When a company like Google enters the market they will send a few waves and not just ripples in the market.
Companies will have to adjust their sales outlook while coming up with strategies to protect their market share. But for the consumers – We now have a brand new toy to play with!