While Apple may closely control its hardware and platform software — in complete contrast to Google — it instead allowed more vendors of applications, making it more attractive as a marketplace, the analysts argued. In addition, while Android represented more than 70 percent of smartphone shipments in the third quarter of the year, iOS generated more than 60 percent of mobile Internet traffic.
“Apple customers have shown more willingness to pay for complements than Android users,” they wrote. “This in turn makes iOS a more attractive platform for complement providers and this eventually attracts more users. The loyalty and quality of Apple’s user base, driven by its platform strength, enable it to command subsidies for the iPhone from the carriers in the form of a hefty wholesale average sales price.”
What’s the Next Battleground?
The analysts also predicted television to be the next battleground for tech companies. “Looking ahead, we believe the next big market disruption could be in the form of smart TVs,” they wrote. “These devices, integrated with existing mobile ecosystems, could be the battleground for the next big compute revolution. As such, smart TVs’ ability to become another platform component will likely mean significant investment from Apple, Microsoft, Google, Samsung, and others.”