a16z Podcast | Apple and Google Won the Mobile OS War, But a New War Has Already Begun | Summary and Q&A

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January 2, 2019
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a16z
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a16z Podcast | Apple and Google Won the Mobile OS War, But a New War Has Already Begun

TL;DR

The war for the mobile OS is over, with Apple and Android dominating the market, but the battle for platforms and applications is just beginning.

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Key Insights

  • 🍧 Apple and Android dominate the mobile OS market, with Apple having around 10% market share and Android having around 45-50%.
  • 😚 The future lies in the development of platforms and applications on top of the existing mobile OS, with competition from companies like Firefox and Microsoft's Windows Phone.
  • 🧡 Smartphones are a more sophisticated and complex platform compared to the web, offering a vast range of opportunities for entrepreneurs.
  • 🎁 The battle for discoverability and engagement with users is still ongoing, with app stores playing a similar role to Yahoo's web directory in the early days of the internet.

Transcript

welcome to the a 16z podcast I'm Michael Copeland and I'm here with Benedict Evans who's actually just joined andreessen horowitz recently moved all the way from London he's a longtime mobile analyst and an all-around smart fellow benedict welcome hello great to be here at a 16 said Z as they say so it makes a good band name well you have to start ... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: Is the war for the mobile OS already over?

Yes, the dominant players in the mobile OS market are Apple and Android. However, there is still competition from other companies like Firefox and Microsoft's Windows Phone.

Q: How many people have affordable data plans?

The number of people with affordable data plans is more important than the number of people using a specific operating system. Many people in emerging markets are buying low-end phones with affordable data plans.

Q: What are some of the challenges for app developers in the mobile ecosystem?

Discoverability is a major challenge for app developers, as there are millions of apps available in app stores. Additionally, the future of apps and how they interact with the operating systems is still uncertain.

Q: How do Google and Apple differ in their approach to innovation?

Apple is focused on owning the entire stack and is moving down the stack to create new features and functionalities integrated into their devices. Google, on the other hand, is moving up the stack into the cloud and services, offering new innovations through Google Play services and other platforms.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Apple has approximately 10% of the global smartphone market, while Android has around 45-50% (two-thirds being Google Android and one-third in China or without Google services).

  • The remaining market share will consist of low-priced phones, with some competition from companies like Firefox and Microsoft's Windows Phone.

  • The future lies in what happens on top of the platforms, including the development of new applications and engagement with users.

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