Android is an operating system that is built upon the Linux kernel (Kerrisk, 2010). It was originally designed for touch screen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. Touch screen mobile devices are those whose user interface is based on direct manipulation. The android operating system was initially developed by Android inc., a company that was at first financed and later bought by the internet giant, Google, the most valuable company in the world, in the year 2005.
The firm, Android inc., was created in October 2003 by Chris White, Andy Rubin Nick Sears and Rich Miner. The operating system was designed as a step towards the development of an operating system that is more aware of its owner’s location and preferences (Agarwal & Ramchandran, 2012). The company originally sought to develop software for digital cameras but shifted attention to developing software for smartphones due to the insufficient market for digital cameras.
Google bought Android Inc on 17 October 2005, thereby making it an extension of their assets. At that point speculations were that Google was planning to enter the mobile phone market. Google then marketed the platform to handset makers and carriers assuring them on the ability to provide a flexible and upgradeable operating system. This speculation over Google’s desire to enter the mobile phone market grew steadily as rumors had it that the internet services giant wanted its search and applications on mobile devices.
Projects must have a set of objectives or missions that they seek to achieve at the end of the duration given in the project proposal (Wilding, Cranston, Fisher, & Strachan 2011). In this case, the objective as stated by Andy Rubin was to develop an operating system that is more sensitive to users’ location and preferences. The level to which this objective has been achieved can be measured or judged by studying the level of growth in various local and international markets.
Scope refers to the extent to which the project is likely to cover. In this case, the scope will be the various devices that range from smartphones to tablets. It also covers an in-depth analysis of the financial implications on the individual companies based on their popularity. In addition, it covers analyses the origin of the two companies from inception to conceptualization, as well the current status of the products’ marketability in the market.
There are various methods that can be applied in project management depending on the desired goals and preferences. One of these methods is the traditional project management. In this method, all the various stages of the project are approached gradually in order of their importance as per dictated in the project (Stephen, 2005). In this method, a stage only begins after the previous one is completed.
Another method is the critical path method (CPM). This method assigns each task time duration and the relevant resources required to meet the deadlines (Stephen, 2005). This method is highly reliable in terms of meeting the deadlines as stipulated in the project schedule.
The critical chain project management (CCPM) is another method that is contradictory to the CPM. It focuses more on the resources than on time and deadlines (Wilding, Cranston, Fisher, & Strachan 2011). In this case, the critical chain is the amount of task that each member can handle efficiently. It is most efficient in cases where the resources are limited and the time is not of the essence. This is because this method distributes work in a flexible, collaborative manner.
Event chain methodology is most useful in projects which provoke other unprecedented chains of events. In this case, the completion of each task leads to the beginning of another task. Due to the volatility of these chains of events, they must be carefully managed very carefully to achieve the desired results (Wilding, Cranston, Fisher, & Strachan 2011). This is the method used in the popularization of the Android operating system as it was unpredictable of the customer’s response to the software.
The first phone on sale that runs on android was the HTC Dream, which was released on October 22, 2008. It was a product of the Open Handset Alliance, OHA. The OHA is a conglomeration of technology companies such as HTC, Sony, Sprint Nextel, T-mobile, and Qualcomm and Texas instruments (Hoog, 2011). More devices have been released since then. In 2010, Google launched Nexus. This was a first of a series of devices to be developed which would run on the Android operating system and be manufactured by partner companies.
HTC partnered with Google in the release of the first Nexus smartphone, the Nexus One (Komatineni, MacLean & Franchomme, 2012). In the same year, Samsung released its Galaxy S Smartphone, in partnership with Google, which at the time of release had sold more than 100 million phones. In the same year, HTC and Sprint release the EVO 4G, which was the first fourth-generation Smartphone (Mitra, 2012). The phone was also considered the best alternative for apple’s iPhone. Android had by this me captured 33% of the market share in the USA and had thus surpassed apple’s market share in the mobile phone industry.
Android version 2.3, also known as Gingerbread was released on December sixth of the year 2010 (Komatineni, MacLean & Franchomme, 2012). This was simultaneous with the release of Nexus S, which was Google’s second attempt at the Nexus program. This device was manufactured by Samsung and had similar features to those of the Galaxy S series (Mitra, 2012).
On the twenty-second day of February 2011, Android version 3.0, also known as honeycomb, was released. Unlike previous times, the source code is withheld by Google (Open-source systems pushed, 2003). Android’s market share in the USA was at this time 53%. It had surpassed Blackberry Limited's market share. On 19 0ctober, 2011, Android version 4.0 is released. It is codenamed “Ice Cream Sandwich (Mitra, 2012).” This version introduces a new twist in the device industry as it runs on both mobile phones and tablets. It is launched alongside the Galaxy Nexus which is a product of Samsung.
In 2012, Android 4.1 is released. It is codenamed “Jelly Bean” and is released alongside the Nexus 7, which is a tablet developed by Google and Asus. This version features Google Now. This is a personal assistant, which is more vigorous than Apple’s Siri hence making the Android software more efficient on mobile devices (Mitra, 2012). On 29 October, Google announces two devices. These are the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 10, which are a collaboration between Google and LG and Samsung respectively. As at this point in time, android had captured 75% of the total market share worldwide (Mitra, 2012).
On July 24, 2013, Android 4.3 is released still under the codename “jelly bean.” This is done alongside Google’s second generation of Nexus called Nexus 7. On September 3, Android 4.4 is released in the name “KitKat” with expectations of the launch of Nexus 5 later in October. Android’s domination in the world market share was impressive and stood at 80% (English, 2011).
Android has a business model that supports the cause of "subalterns" (Goold & Luchs, 1995). It started an 'open handset revolution' (Kavanagh, 2004) that enabled several companies to manufacture Smartphone devices across price brackets. Apple's operating system and the Android operating system account for about 90% of the world’s mobile phone usage in terms of operating systems.
The android operating system was first put in use in a commercial phone a year after that of the official launch of the iPhone (Komatineni, MacLean & Franchomme, 2012). This gave the rivals, iPhone, and an advantage of time for marketing, resource allocation, planning, scheduling, advertisement and logistics (Thiessen, 2002). This, however, did not come to count much in the long run. Currently, five years into the market, the Android operating system commands 80% of the market share control (Manners, 2010). In the USA alone, Android overtook the other mobile phone giants such as Symbian and Blackberry in the first three years since launching of the first device (Arthur, 2012).
A research conducted from November through February by Kantar Worldpanel Comtech indicated that the sales of Android phones are surpassing that of the iPhones in the ratio of 52.1:43.5. These statistics portray the path that technology in consumer electronics, and particularly communication devices are shaping up. They also reveal how the completion is shaping the markets.
Research conducted by the Comscore MobiLens study in an attempt to measure the platforms for smartphones and tablets used by everyone above the age of 13 also shows that Android is the preferred user to iOS. This also makes android is a preferred platform for consumers from a wide age bracket because even customers with less technological know-how still find it easy to operate it.
In the global market, Android has sold more units than Apple according to IDC, which are the international data compilers. Statistics also show that the Android operating system is also responsible for 70% of the world’s sale of smartphones (Smartphones top sales of mobiles, 2013) while Apple commands only 20%, which is less than a third of Android’s market-share control (Smartphones top sales of mobiles, 2013). According to the IDC statistics for tablet shipment, 2012, Android operating system accounts for 53% while Apple accounts for 48%. This puts Android operating system ahead of Apple in the fourth quarter further cementing its success.
The above information gives a crucial insight into the trends in the mobile phones and tablet devices industry. The dominance of Android operated devices as compared to Apple is an indicator of the projected financial implications this will have on two companies. Much as Android sold most units, the profit margins of Apple smartphones are far much more than those of Android devices. Android devised companies either broke even or made losses as far as device sales were concerned.
This argument, however, has been disputed because when it got to the downloaded applications as Android operated devices recorded higher downloads than the Apple operating system. Research conducted by Canalys indicated that Android devices have downloaded more than those from competing brands.
Many changes have taken place in the world of smartphones and tablets, in the device technologies in general. The Android operating system has permeated the mobile device industry with particular gigantism and success to smartphones. This can be attributed to Google’s communication networks and various platforms of reaching customers and expanding their markets. Through this, Google has been made able to expand the markets and receive more customer reviews, which they use for their internal reviews and analysis.
Apple on the other has reduced in sales from 16% last year to 13% this year. This implies a loss of market shareholding to rival companies. This can be attributed to the high prices with which they charge people. It substantially affects the market share they control through the reduction of able customers to afford the devices. These high prices also function as a tool of market division based on the prestige that comes with owning such a costly device. This is the same reason as to why apple remains the sole company to have made profits in the last quarter. Apple seems to have few but trusted consumers. These remain loyal to the brand irrespective of how attractive new inventions seem to be.
The battle between these two giants does not look like it will be ending anytime soon as both seek to improve and upgrade their systems to attract and retain consumers. The consumer is the biggest beneficiary of the fierce competition and battles, as each works hard to serve customers in more areas and be cost-effective. The strong competition also encourages more innovations, as each player works hard to stay ahead of competition.
Android should change their marketing plan to include changes in the prices of their commodities and services to cater to more factors and also increase their profit margins from merely breaking even to more profitable ventures. In addition, they should consider an expansion of their market to reach and explore new fields and boundaries so as to reduce competition and at the same time ease management. The android operating system could also be improved to use less data and more security measures b added unto it to make it more secure.
Apple should lower the prices of their devices to increase the number of customers who can afford their devices without putting so much stress on them. This will also increase their market share control thereby increasing the probability of their high control of the market based on increased market share. This together with their profits will propel the company to another level of business. It could possibly lead to a monopoly in the market as the command of these two sections of the business is among the most crucial.
Apple could also increase its investments on tablets and consequently increase their profit margins. Apple should also do more market intensive advertisements aimed at expanding its customer base. It is also recommendable that they encourage the development of applications that are easier to use and more tailored to consumers to challenge the likes of Samsung’s and Google’s Google Now application. Over-relying on their strong brand name can also encourage laxity in the company’s marketing strategies.
Furthermore, for the company to stay competitive it should be more flexible and design strategies aimed at meeting client needs and expectations. They should come up with more colored phones. Analysts have criticized them for having a very small range of colors to pick from. This will create a market niche for them, especially among the younger generation who appreciate color diversity in products. It is evident that both the android and apple operating systems have a lot to do to not only maintain their positions but also to forge ahead as they seek to dominate the market.
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