Difficult to predict at this stage as the following course of events surprisingly turn more in favor of Apple’s Closed Source (iPhone) than Google’s Open Source (Android) development approach. As a matter of fact, it all depends on a number of issues that range from whether open or closed source development policy, quality control factor, proliferation of Android app stores, etc to determine who will annihilate whom.
Apple has always been recognized for its closed source development policy and as such it only has access to its Operating system [iOS]. It also means that while it permits third party developers access to develop apps for its iPhone Smartphone and iPad tablet, it closely chaperons the API that controls the development process as well as checks every app through a rigid approval process. Google, on the other hand, has taken an open approach, akin to the one the PC/Windows market which probably gave it a faster lead over Apple. But the burning question is whether the ‘Open’ approach will indeed be successful? Please read on to know better.
Google is recognized for its Open policy that has given its Android OS or Operating System more than 50 per cent market share as compared to that for Apple’s iOS. This is largely accounted for its open source development policy that permits third party developers to trifle with the operating system to suit their specific needs. The same is true about app development and the resultant lack of quality control. No wonder that most developers feel dissatisfied and find it difficult to make money selling Android apps, due mostly to poor quality control.
The poor or absence of quality control that has given rise to proliferation of ‘pirated’ or rip-off apps has no doubt made it difficult for legitimate developers, too to earn as much money in the Android market as they make in App Store or iTunes, the Apple app market. Where do you think it leads to? Again, difficult to predict.
The other issue is that, given this extra latitude, anyone can setup an App Store. But the resultant problem is that it becomes more difficult for consumers to locate a centralized resource where they can search for and download genuine Android apps. But the picture is totally different with the Apple model, where they have fullest control over the one stop destination for apps – the trademarked App Store. Besides, the Apple model proves easier for developers and consumers alike to handle their apps.
Do the preceding paragraphs indicate that the Android market, though higher, truly mean less for the company? Perhaps Apple’s market share is just a bit of a higher quality and that eventually in the lack of any type of dependable infrastructure to contain their development policies and app store, the Android market will be stifled and in the end lose to Apple.
Maybe, Apple’s rigid control over its market (and developers) will keep on paying rich dividends to the legacy of Steve Jobs and company for many days to come. Or is it that the more open Android model, which is rather too young, will soon mature and because of its flexibility will one day cut into Apple’s market share? Perhaps time will tell!