Repeating the 90s. Android > iOS

If you’ve been paying attention to my Twitter account over the past year or perhaps just engaged me in a conversation on the subject, you’d know by now that I’ve been predicting (even back in 2009) that Android would quickly overtake iOS (previously known as iPhone OS) as the #1 mobile platform in the U.S. and then the world. Supposedly top-notch analysts at Gartner said this wouldn’t happen until 2014 and that Symbian and Android would hold the top two platform spots.

Well, they were right about the second part, but wrong about the timetable. It wasn’t in 2014 that Android took the #1 spot. It wasn’t even in 2012 that Android steamrolled iOS. It was 2010–a whole four years ahead of analyst predictions. Rock on, I say.

This isn’t quite as amazing a feat as was the rise of Windows two decades ago, but it’s very similar. Apple is sticking to its guns and locking its software to its hardware. This is per-usual, of course–but as we’ve seen from the numbers, they still have to combine iPad sales with traditional Mac sales to even make a dent in the overall PC space. Yet, they still seem to be counting the iPad among mobile devices as well. Attempts to count it under both categories is a little shady, but that seems to be the status quo.

Words are just words, of course, but I can’t help laughing just a little at Steve Jobs’ jabs at “other” tablet devices. Calling them “stillborn,” “dead on arrival,” or “unable to compete” was clearly a miscalculation on his part. It would seem that the Reality Distortion Field affects not only fans around the world, but even the Founder himself! That’s gotta be pretty scary for investors.

So here’s to the Motorola Xoom, the upcoming LG slate, various HTC and Motorola DROID phones, and the plethora of other Android-based devices shipping in 2011. Make it a memorable one!

My prediction: Android will ship 150% more units than iOS. I’m guessing I’ll be way off and that the actual percentage will be far higher…

May the best platform win.

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