Some Thoughts on Mobile

Chris Dixon:

Fans of Apple and Google have been arguing lately about which company is winning mobile. Apple has more profits, but Android has more users. But what really matters is when and if developers switch over to developing for Android first, or even Android only. For now, iOS users tend to monetize much better than Android users, more than making up for the smaller user base. (Emphasis mine.)

I couldn’t agree with this more. I often see Apple people citing profit share as a primary defense against people who claim Google is “winning” at mobile. But what matters isn’t how much profit Apple makes. It’s how much “mind share” they continue to hold with developers, and developers don’t give a shit about Apple’s profits. Right now most developers perceive iOS to be the platform where it’s easiest to build the best looking apps, where it’s easiest to make money or gain traction with users, and where it’s fastest to build and ship an app. As long as that remains true, I’ll consider Apple to be “winning.”

The switch to Android first hasn’t happened yet, but at least based on conversations I’ve had with entrepreneurs, it seems likely to happen in the next year or two.

I have no idea if this is true or not, but if it is, this is what I’d worry about if I were running Apple.