One thing that caught my attention in the video is Android installations by country. Here is the slide.
As it shows, there is a direct correlation between device activations and app installations. US is the largest market followed Korea and Japan. I’d assume China is part of the ‘Others’ category.
Wait…think again. Korea is the #2 market for Android and Japan is #3. Why could that be? Here is my take.
Samsung, one of the leading device maker for Android is from Korea. I’d assume they own the local market which explains strong activation numbers from Korea. Regarding Japan, it is one of those countries where Android devices are aggressively pushed by carriers – just like the way Verizon promoted Android in US. In addition, Google says direct carrier billing is very successful in Android. This makes sense as carrier billing will be promoted by carriers backing Android.
In other words, it sounds like Android success has a lot to do with carriers (or OEMs) backing it. In contrast, judging by app downloads, Apple’s #1 market is US followed by UK. Then there are countries like Germany, France, Canada, Australia, Italy etc before getting to Japan and Korea.
Carrier backing isn’t necessarily a bad thing in business as long as the market share keeps going up. But for the tablet market where carriers have little impact, Android’s success could be very limiting. Judging by this, my guess is, Android’s tablet market share will be significantly lower compared to its phone market share, despite some optimism.