'Google's New Android Math Doesn't Add Up'

John Kirk for Tech.pinions, on what Android’s market share stats really mean:

“Android” is not a single entity. So why do we add all of the “Android” numbers together? We do it because we assume that higher numbers mean a stronger platform. We use it as a proxy for the strength of the platform. But it just ain’t so. Total numbers mean nothing. The only numbers that matter are those that strengthen the platform.

[…]

What we most certainly should NOT be doing is lumping all Android sales and activations together and pretending that they’re one and the same and that their total numbers are advantageous to all of Android’s separate participants, such as Samsung, HTC, Amazon, Google, developers, etc. If an activation or a unit sale doesn’t count towards the strength of the whole operating system, then it shouldn’t be totaled. Totaling Android’s numbers together doesn’t make sense because there isn’t a single, unified Android platform.

What we also shouldn’t do is look at Android’s market share lead as trouble or a “loss” for Apple. Just because Android has a higher percentage of the market doesn’t mean it’s inherently better or stronger than iOS. It just means Google decided to whore out make their OS “open” instead of controlling everything. Different strategies for different companies. Meanwhile, Apple makes a shit-ton of money in this space -- most of it, actually. So, you know, “winning” is relative.

(via John Moltz)