Those statistics just blew me away. The WallStreet Journal reported that Android has 79.3% of the Smartphone market and Apple only 13.2%! Windows (fuggedaboudit) has a whopping 3.7% and Blackberry (oh how the mighty have fallen) 3%. The report is actually from IDC (a leading technology research company).
I can’t say I’m terribly surprised. My early career was with AT&T Computer Systems — a huge proponent of open systems. UNIX, the first truly open operating system, came out of AT&T Bell Labs (where I once worked). Open means more competition. Vendors have to build superior products to survive — and they have to price them competitively, too. In a proprietary world (like Apple) you have closed the gates limiting your users to the products you want them to have. Less competition means higher prices and usually less innovation in the long run.
Apple may increase its market share later this year when iOS 7 (the new version of its operating system) is released.
Long term I still place my bets on open systems.
I’ve been in high tech for more years than I care to state here. Hell, I’m old enough to remember that a “minicomputer” was a device with 64KB of Ram or LESS. Yes, I’m “that” old!
But I also have a teenage son. My son is 14 and he informs me loudly and often that he knows more than me about technology. As if. But one has to remember that he is 14!
My son sure does know a lot! Maybe it is genetics. Maybe it is dumb luck. My son is the one that children and adults turn to for help when they get a virus or even have a hardware problem. For “fun” he has torn apart two old laptops. He did this to see how they worked. Yes, this is my lot in life — to have a kid outshining me.
How does all of this relate to making money with technology? A lot. Having a teen son makes me realize that technology is not just for business or “fun” any more. Technology is literally a part of “who he is.” It is as if he were born with ear buds firmly in place and a chip imbedded in his brain. My son begins high school this fall and his new school requires that every kid have an iPad®. No more school books for him! He will be using an interactive Algebra app from Pearson with animations and videos. Along with the book he has access to something called “MathXL” which will have him do his work online, check it for accuracy (no waiting for the teacher to grade it). If he gets “stuck” the app will lead him step by step through the solution. If he did need help then MathXL will present him with a new, similar problem, to see if he can do it “on his own.”
At this new school I can track my son’s grades daily, online. If he is missing an assignment he has no excuse of “I forgot it at school” because all will be in the iCloud.
Needless to say, Apple and Pearson (and a few others) are all making money — mostly from a subscription SaaS (software as a service) model. I must say I’m impressed with the concept. Later I’ll tell you how well the reality stacks up to the hope / hype. Still, the use of an iPad and Internet at a very mainstream school just goes to show that technology is (more than ever) part of our lives — who we ‘are’ not just ‘what we do.’