Android Dominated Apple At CES
Apple CEO Tim Cook
About 150,000 people attended the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year, about 5,000 of whom were tech journalists.
Yet everywhere you went, people were using large-format Android phones instead of Apple’s iPhones, which are generally smaller.
There is an assumption that most tech bloggers are Apple fanboys and girls. Yet when I got in line to see the big Samsung keynote address on Day 1 of the show, the crew from one of Business Insider’s more annoying rival publications were all using Android.
I must have seen thousands of people (not just bloggers) using their phones at CES this year — and I felt alone as I tapped away on my little iPhone 5.
Of course, there is a huge bias in my anecdotal, straw-poll impression. Samsung dominated the show this year, and the company had flown in hundreds of its employees for the conference.
Apple, by contrast, doesn’t “do” CES.
To give some credit to Apple, I did notice an executive of one of Samsung’s vendors carrying both an iPhone and a Galaxy S4. Turned out the iPhone was for personal stuff; the Galaxy was for business.
One of Samsung's "booth babes."
This is not a good sign for Apple.
CES attracts the earliest of early adopters, as well as execs who have to make decisions about which mobile platforms they need to get into bed with. Most of the business is transactional — exhibitors are there to sign up new customers. It’s also an intense business environment: CES is huge, and using a laptop or desktop there is often impossible. So the fact that many attendees appeared to be using Android devices — or at least non-iPhone devices — for mobile communications at CES ought to worry Apple.
The size difference between iPhone and Galaxy was also acute: My tiny iPhone looked like a dumbphone next to Samsung’s Galaxy and Note devices.
It turns out that using a large Android has a distinct business advantage: Business users need to write lots of emails and texts. Doing so on a large Android screen is easier than on Apple's small screens. Call it the revenge of BlackBerry: One of the reasons BlackBerry still has customers is that it's easier to type on a machine built for typing, like a BlackBerry with a keyboard. And while Apple changed forever what people want from their phones with its large touchscreen, the Apple screen is still not large enough to do a lot of typing.