Apple struggled mightily in the 1990s. Helped by name brand and inexpensive PC clones, Microsoft software dominated, leaving Apple’s Mac OS with a tiny share of the market. Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt sees a parallel today in the competition between Android and iOS devices.
Schmidt told Bloomberg that booming demand for Android-based smartphones is helping Google grab a greater share of the market at its competitor's expense.
Recent figures from Gartner, showing Android gained 72% of the market in the third quarter, back that claim. Gartner said Apple’s share had dropped to 14%. Schmidt said that worldwide, over 1.3 million Android devices are activated daily.
“This is a huge platform change; this is of the scale of 20 years ago -- Microsoft versus Apple,” Schmidt told Bloomberg. “We’re winning that war pretty clearly now.”
However, the interview didn’t touch on tablet sales, where Apple’s iPad remains the acknowledged leader with a majority share of the market.
Apple has stuck to its strategy of maintaining control of its hardware and software, releasing only Apple-branded devices rather than license its software.
That control over software and hardware has led to consistently high reviews and ratings for Apple devices. Though he didn’t specifically cite Apple, Schmidt acknowledged Google’s growth strategy for Android isn’t about the same level of overall control.
“The core strategy is to make a bigger pie,” he said. “We will end up with a not perfectly controlled and not perfectly managed bigger pie by virtue of open systems.”