Refuse to Lose

It is comical how much of a competition it is for iOS zealots to be #1. I’ve read I’ve still never seen a single person using one in the wild, so I don’t think it’s helping Samsung sell tablets, which is a perfectly fine metric for measuring growth [/sarcasm], and, oh, one of my favorites was how Apple won simply because people are “copying” them. You can Google the past few years and see many of these arguments change. It seems the common thing to do now is dissuade readers into believing the stats don’t matter because You cannot compare Android to an iPhone. That’s comparing an operating system to a hardware device, like we’re not smart enough to know it means “Android-based Smartphones vs iPhone”. It is all an interesting game of checkers. There seems to be a thread flowing through all of these common posts: losing matters.

Does there need to be a winner? If so, how do we measure it and will that measuring stick be the same next year? At first it was by sales [back when I used an iPhone 3G], to which the iPhone killed Android, but the tide changed and Android is murdering iOS in marketshare so now the focus is on profit share. Gruber of Daring Fireball actually summed it up quite well, if you pull out only this part:

It’s easy to pick and choose the numbers you want to back up the theory you prefer. So if you’re rooting for Android to dominate the industry, it is tempting to focus on unit sale market share, and to attribute Windows’s historical dominance to its massive unit sale market share. But you can flip that around, and argue that because I am rooting for the iPhone, I cherry pick the data to fit the story I want to see unfold — and so I say profit share is what matters, not unit sales, only because that’s the figure that puts Apple’s position in the best light.

That is exactly what’s happening right now. Gruber falls off in the same post though:

But I like the odds that I’ll be proven right. Money is how you keep score, because it’s the one thing whose value everyone agrees upon. That’s what money is.

Google builds an open-source OS [meaning free] and the comparison is the dollars they get vs the dollars Apple gets from the iPhone? Color me weird but if you want to compare money, add up every dollar of profit from every Android manufacturer and compare that to Apple’s iOS profit share. Either way…if Apple wins that fight, iOS users shouldn’t feel great unless they are getting their dough back in stock. You’re paying more than is necessary and Apple is raking it in!

Point is…why is winning so much of a focus? You can take a site like Android Central and find an occasional joke at an iOS device embedded in a post about Android but look at their sister site TiPB.com and you’ll find numerous negative posts about Android news. It feels almost cultish, where the leader(s) continuously use negative “advertising” for that which they feel could cause their flock to stray.

Android users aren’t free and clear from dumb arguments either. It is the Windows vs Mac argument, no one will win it, but I increasingly see ignorant posts by iOS zealots trying to find that winning metric or reason why Android sucks just to make themselves feel better. I never see an Android site bashing iOS at every corner.

Use what works for you. My mom just got an Atrix [wanted it over the iPhone, which was my suggestion to her] and she’s loving it, even though it is too complex for her [came from a flip feature phone, never had or used a smartphone]. She can get on the web, Facebook, and call people. That’s all she wants and needs. To her, Android is winning.

Winning is relative. Deal with it.

Here is my absolute favorite. The Kindle Fire is selling like hotcakes and ChangeWave did a study on tablet purchases for the holiday. Andrew Wray posted this on TiPB:

Interestingly, it looks like the Kindle Fire may be eating away at Android tablet demand even though Android tablets have been on the market for some time now, which could be an added boon for Apple.

Ummm…Kindle Fire IS Android, no matter how much it is skinned or what is “missing”. HTC Sense, Motoblur, Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color tweaks, etc are all skins and they count as Android but a hot product like the Fire isn’t because it is missing the default Android “experience” [market, gmail, etc]. :-D I love it. Great try but Kindle Fire sales will count as a part of the Android tablet marketshare and profit share, when the number game comes up again.

Original image from http://www.moillusions.comWhat’s great about Wray’s post is the exact same post showed up on SplatF earlier that day and here is the title: Kindle Fire purchase intent already at one-third the iPad’s level. Compare that to Wray’s title: Consumers want the iPad over Kindle Fire for the holidays. Gotta love it.

I believe this picture sums up the slant I see from iOS zealots vs Android zealots vs sites like The Verge [my favorite tech blog] who tell you what is without the slant.

They simply refuse to lose.

  • Cody Beckner

    Two things I disagree with you on. First, Android is NOT free, not anymore. “Google has complied with the requirements of the GNU General Public License for Linux, but the Apache license on the rest of Android does not require source release. Google has said it will never publish the source code of Android 3.0 (aside from Linux)” (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/sep/19/android-free-software-stallman)  There are many other articles out there form reputable sources that are putting lie to the “free” and open-source aspect of Android
     
    And the second, Winning does matter, and it is not relative.  There is #1, and the losers.  Life / Business is not a marathon where everyone gets a medal just for showing up and finishing the race.  If you’re competing against somebody for business, you either land the contract or you don’t.  While it may be agravating, I almost admire their dogged determination.  They are flagging in the race, sure, but they’re not giving up, nor should they.  If you were in a similar situation, would you?  I know I wouldn’t.

    • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

      Honeycomb, according to Matias Duarte at the Galaxy Nexus launch, wasn’t released because it wasn’t done “right” [meaning it wasn't up to the standard where they were comfortable releasing]. Every other version is available for download. One version missing does not equate to it not being open-sourced but it definitely gave zealots a match.

      No one has paid for Android, thus…free it is. :-D

      Winning is relative in this argument just like Mac vs PC. After N years of OS fights we now have another one and no one will win. Android is winning if it works for you. iOS is winning if it works for you. Winning is relative when one company owns one stat and the other company owns another…there is no clear winner and even if there were would it make you switch from Windows Phone to Android or iOS? No. Winning is relative to the user making the purchase.

      “If you were in a similar situation, would you?”
      By that I believe you mean if I were in business like Google and Apple. If so, yes I would but none of the mentions above were from Apple or Google; just people proclaiming their choice is the best.

      • Cody Beckner

        Still waiting on ICS to be open sourced… at any rate, I’m not going to disagree with your Android vs IOS… Windows Phone 7 is clearly superior to both. ;-)

        My disagreement here is not with the technology, but rather the “winning is relative”.  Just because noone has “won” yet, just means that the race is not over yet.  Someday PC/Android might win, someday OSX/IOS might win, someday, a 3rd option will come along and eliminate both. 

        In saying that winning is relative “to the user making the purchase”, that is not a declaration of a winner so much as an individual preference.  Just because I have a preference for chocolate chip cookies, it does not mean that they have “won” over white chocolate and macadamea nut.  It just means that I, as an individual, like them more. I am a zealot.

        The interesting thing about combining zealotry with competition is that it allows the people racing to accomplish more than they ever could alone.  This counts whether you are talking about companies, sports teams, or individuals.  The people/companies/teams that are truly in competition are ultimately what matters.  The zealots are the cheerleaders.  The zealots claim that they “win” when in fact they have done nothing.  The zealots go to extraordinary lengths to prove that their “team” is better than the competition.  However, the “team” is ultimately going to win or lose, despite whatever actions the zealots take.  So, of course people are going to proclaim their choice is the best.  They should.  It is how they support their “team”. 

        At the end of the day, there is still a winner and a loser. 

        oh… and happy birthday. :)

        • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

          ICS is out: http://source.android.com/source/build-numbers.html. I’ll respond to the rest later…off to birthday duties. :-D Thanks man!

        • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

          “Windows Phone 7 is clearly superior to both. ;-)”
          They still make those? ;-) lol. Mango is really slick though. I kind of want one but would miss too many Android features.

          I hear you on winning but the point is it being relative to your preference. No matter if iOS comes back and takes over all stats as the clear leader [winner], I will not care and will simply enjoy my tasty [Android] treats.

          If you’re looking at a rack of cookies and choose chocolate chip, Hershey [or whomever] just won…your choice not the “fight” against macadamia nut or white chocolate. Mainly because we all know Snickerdoodles own the cookie game. I’m a [snickerdoodle] zealot. :)

          Yes, the competition helps us all. We’re in a perfect spot right now because we, the users, are reaping the benefits of the parents fighting. :-)

          lol @ cheerleaders. That’s a true statement. I’m all for them cheering for their team, I agree they should, but cheering “against” the other team is the problem. Imagine watching a football game and every 3rd chant is a negative statement about the other teams QBs weak arm, RBs inability to cut left, etc. That’s how reading these blogs come off. Just cheer for your team. :)

          Yes, in the long run there will be a legit winner but I think we’re a ways away from that point.

  • http://charlie.griefer.com Charlie Griefer

    “Winning” should only matter to the shareholders.

    I’m an iOS user, and as a user I don’t really care who’s beating who. Does my phone work any better if iOS has the lion’s share? No. I use iOS because I like it. End of story.

    If either side truly lose and cease to exist, we all lose. The competition is good for us, the users. Look at the shiny new notifications in iOS 5. Notifications BLEW pre-iOS 5. And yes, the new notifications system was taken from Android, who got that right. Win for iOS users. And win for Android users, who got… well, everything else from iOS (i kid, i kid… kinda) :)

    There are definitely zealots on both sides. I personally refrained from buying Apple products at one point because I hated the Apple fanbois so much. Still do, but nowadays I think the zealotry exists on the other side just as much, so at least there’s a balance.

    And one last point on the “winning” and stats… stats can be manipulated to say whatever anybody wants them to say. An article that says “technology A” is beating “technology B” is meaningless, really. There’s really only one metric that matters to you as a user. Do you like your device? Why does anything else matter? Those people who feel the need to crow about articles that state that their chosen technology is “beating” any other technology really need to get over it and get a life.

    Use what works for you. Use what you like. Zealotry in any form pro or con, immediately renders anything that you have to say as being worthless.

    … all IMO, of course :)

    • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

      “I’m an iOS user, and as a user I don’t really care who’s beating who.”
      My point exactly Charlie. Winning is relative to your decision. iOS wins because it works for you.

      lmbo @ “everything else from iOS.” :-D haha.

      Yes, there definitely are crazies on both sides. Maybe I follow too many iOS blogs where they are zealots than I do Android. Considering dropping TiPB all together but I’ve been there for years, since back when I was an iPhone lover.

      Great point on stats. Apple comes up and says “We’re doing X and our competition is wrong.” Good comes up and says “We’re doing Y, regardless of what our competition says.” That was funny to see and showed true to your statement here. :) Also very true on the questions posed here as to who’s winning.

      “… all IMO, of course :)”
      In your opinion and in mine. :)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FBQUXB574PW3YDIZPUTXM2ZPDM Tomas

    We all know Windows won the 1990′s Operating System war vs Mac. What us MacHeads didn’t know back then was that Windows 95 and beyond were in effect superior to Mac OS Classic. It was only after OSX 10.4 that one could say that OSX had achieved parity with Windows. Now, with Apple’s continued improvement of OSX, one can enter a technical discussion (if one has the free time) and argue that an Intel Mac OSX is superior to an equivalent PC with the same tech specs. One reason is that even though you can run OSX (with a much larger list of available applications), Windows (even the older versions) and Linux on the same box, you’re most likely to stay on the OSX part.

    The same should happen with the mobile market: OS quality and app availability will keep a product on top. One thing that Microsoft had that Google doesn’t is that their OS is their main product. Same with Apple, their cash is coming from iOS products.

    Cheers