Android Vs iOS: Mobile Operating System Wars in 2010

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Case Details:


Case Code : MKTG267 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 500;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 500 + Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Marketing Research / Business Research Methods
Case Length : 23 Pages
Period : 2009-2010
Pub Date : 2011
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Apple, Inc/Google
Industry : Information Technology
Countries : Europe, US, Global


This case is about the competition between the two mobile operating systems Android and iOS to gain the top slot among the mobile operating systems. Android was launched by Google Inc. (Google) to gain control over the way mobile internet was emerging. Android gained quick acceptance from consumers as well as handset makers and was locked in an intense competitive battle with Apple Inc.’s (Apple) mobile operating system iOS in the key US market. Though Apple dismissed the competition from Android, many analysts opined that the threat to iOS from Android was real and happening. Android was an open source mobile operating system which was given to various mobile operators free of

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cost in contrast to iOS which was a proprietary operating system used only in Apple’s mobile devices. Even though iOS had the largest number of applications available for any mobile operating system, the number of applications available for Android was increasing due to greater freedom being given to the application developers. Rather than being limited to just smartphones, the competition between Android and iOS was extending to other devices like tablet computers as these two mobile operating systems were increasingly being used in such other portable computing devices. To take the competition forward, Google said that it was planning to introduce low cost Android powered smartphones in emerging markets like India and China. Industry observers noted that the stakes for both the companies were high as traditionally it had been observed that in such a fight, one platform dominated the market (for instance, Microsoft vs. Apple and IBM, eBay vs. Yahoo Auctions and Auction Universe, Google vs. Yahoo and Microsoft). They were watching closely to see which platform would eventually dominate the market and which company would have the last laugh.


Critically analyze the mobile operating systems of Google and Apple.
Discuss the advantages of open source software products when compared to proprietary software products.
Understand the issues and challenges faced by the companies in differentiating their products and services (form, features, customization, design, reliability, quality, durability, etc.) from that of competitors.
Analyze the strategies that market leaders should follow to counter competition from new entrants into the market (expanding the total market, expanding market share, and defending market share).
Analyze the strategies that the market challengers should follow in attacking the market leaders (frontal, flank, encirclement, bypass, and guerilla).
Appreciate the importance of analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors properly.
Discuss and debate whether the strategies followed by Google would lead to the complete dominance of Android over other mobile operating systems in the long run.
Explore the ways in which Apple’s iOS could counter competition from Android and regain its leadership position.


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 3
A Brief Note on Android and IOS 5
The Slugfest 6
Comparing Android and IOS 7
The fight not limited to smartphones alone? 10
Competition set to Intensify 13
Who will have the last laugh? 14
Exhibits 16


Operating systems, Mobile operating systems, Open source software, Proprietary software, Differentiation, Competition, Strategy, Smartphone, Android, iOS, Apple, Google, Symbian, BlackBerry, Information technology

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