How Will The Apple V Android Battle Affect Mobile Marketing?

Android is gobbling up market share at an alarmingly fast rate on its way to the top of the world of mobile operating systems, but if you’re interested in mobile trends, you probably already knew that. But as Android continues to conquer, it may not realize how significantly this trend could affect what has become common practice among advertisers and businesses looking to take advantage of the new media frontier. As Android’s growth outpaces Apple’s, even after the launch of the iPhone 4 just a few months ago, the once commonplace question for brands starting out with mobile marketing (native app or mobile website? ?) no longer seems appropriate for the state of the mobile market.

Those who built iPhone apps (rather than mobile websites) early on to capitalize on the market’s remarkable growth are now, in terms of market share, tied to Apple’s fate as competition intensifies. . To better articulate the problem of building native apps while the mobile market remains fragmented, let me first give you a little background information. The biggest barrier to growth for Apple right now, and what’s empowering Android to grab more of the market, is that distribution channels for the iPhone are very limited. In the US, AT&T isyetthe only wireless carrier that sells the iPhone. After months of rumors of a Verizon iPhone in the works, AT&T remains theuniquecarrier to service the iPhone and thus Apple’s sole distribution channel. Meanwhile, Android devices are available through any major carrier in the US, including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile, making the Android platform available to many more mobile users. That means that despite the huge popularity of the iPhone, unless and until Apple can reach an agreement with other major US carriers to distribute the device, iOS will continue to hit a ceiling when it comes to global market share. And so will the advertisers who have latched on to the iPhone star.

Whether or not Apple takes the necessary steps to regain market share (such as expanding iPhone distribution channels), marketers in the meantime need to start reevaluating their strategies for advancing the mobile web. In the past, a device-centric marketing campaign wasn’t necessarily a bad approach: Before the rise of the Android operating system and its adoption by consumers and carriers alike, iPhone owners were the audience worth targeting, whether through mobile advertising or developing a native branded app for the iOS platform.

But the companies that launched iPhone apps early on may not have realized how much that choice would limit their exposure in the months and years to come. Today, it has become critical for advertisers to consider market (and audience) segmentation when weighing mobilization options. And in many cases, unless there’s some circumstantial reason to consider iPhone owners a more qualified audience, or one with more purchasing power, it’s hard to defend an iPhone app, which will cost more to develop and will ultimately come to fruition. to less than a quarter of all mobile users.

If current trends are any prediction, the mobile market will remain fragmented as each platform grows and progresses separately from the others. This means that for advertisers and businesses that want to overcome market segmentation and reach mobile users on all platforms, the best option currently available is website mobilization. Although there are some situations where building an app can be advantageous for advertisers, when it comes to today’s mobile market, to make your business accessible to the widest audience, website mobilization is clearly the best solution. . With a mobile website, marketers, businesses, and individuals can work around platform fragmentation issues and start engaging a larger audience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *