iOS and Android are opposing forces in our network society. iOS operate a closed system while Android have an open one. Android holds 84.6% of the market while iOS has just 11.9%. Android does have an advantage in the market however, as almost every phone manufacturer runs Android, while only Apple runs iOS.
The iPhone was first released in 2007 and original had a completely closed operating system. A year later the app store was introduced which allowed users some control over what their phone had to offer, however, Apple still had the final say about what programs were allowed to be available in the app store and apps such as ‘I am Rich’ were removed after Apple deemed them not good publicity. This closed system is a good idea, however, as it means that Apple can only ever offer great quality. Everything that is offered is in working order and if something goes wrong they tend to just replace it quickly and quietly. This creates strong brand loyalty.
Android was created as a competitor to the iPhone. As it was starting from the beginning, the plan was to join with google and create a completely open operating system that is available to anyone. As a direct contrast to the iOS system, as well as being able to offer far cheaper phones meant that Android could build a serious competitive position in the market.
Seven years later and iOS and Android are finally slightly altering their systems. This week Apple announced the iPhone 6, 6 plus and watch and iOS 8. However, they also have allowed two keypad apps into their app store as an alternative to their design. This is the beginning of open software and a step against Android in an area in which they have always been vastly superior. Android, on the other hand, has slowly been closing its system. This article explains what and how.
It is unknown what these changes will lead to, in software development or market share, but I think that customers will always be either completely attached to iOS or Android and it will take a very big change to stop that.