Google's Pixel Update Announcement Shows Why Apple Will Win Mobile

In the news today you'll see that Google has confirmed its Pixel smartphone will receive security updates until at least 18 months after it goes off sale. That's not a bad commitment, however the lesser reported news is that the Pixel and any successors will only get Android updates for two years from when they go on sale.

That's not exactly the wonderful news it first appears to be. Whilst it's a firm commitment, it's one that offers little more than other mainstream Android OEMs. Even Microsoft offers that level of support for its all but abandoned Lumias. 

As customers move away from contract-based two year replacement cycles the long term value of a smartphone purchase is more closely tied to its ability to get platform updates. 

And here Apple is absolutely peerless. An iPhone is going to be good for iOS updates for four years. That kind of commitment speaks volumes to customers. 

It's why I still recommend an iPhone as the only choice if you're spending your own money.

It's also on of the reasons why I believe the long term market trend is towards the iPhone. Apple has high loyalty rates amongst its customers, only Samsung in the Android world can claim the same. The Android market may be large, but not much of it is Premium. An awful lot is entry-level and those customers are often just making do until such time as they can afford to buy an iPhone.

One look at Kantar's numbers for market share show you what is happening. In the mature US, UK, Japan and Australia markets iOS is holding 40% of sales. In those markets the trend is towards Apple already. In price sensitive markets, South America, India, China and Southern Europe Android dominates. As those latter countries become more prosperous and price becomes less of an issue I believe they will follow the same trend towards iOS.

In only one country is this not the case - Germany, where Android dominates despite the maturity of the market.

Otherwise the stage is set for a continued shift of the global market towards Apple, because it is Apple who remains best able to understand what needs to be right to win customer's loyalty.

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