Google Won't Get Burned, Though the Heat Is on Droid: StockTwits

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Google's (GOOG), (GOOGL) Droid operating system is getting sniped at on all sides. The stock is feeling the pressure.

Google shares slid more than 1% Tuesday after Apple  (AAPL) unveiled new features for its competing iOS mobile operating system and Samsung (SSNLF) announced a new phone that doesn't run on Droid.

$GOOGL These boys have about 800 pounds of $AAPL sitting on their face!!!!

? MrX (@MrX) Jun. 3 at 11:17 AM

But don't feel blue for the little green robot or for Google investors, say folks on StockTwits.com. There's little reason to think that Droid won't remain the big kid in the mobile playground. Sentiment on the stock is 76% bullish, according to StockTwits analytics.

$GOOG $GOOGL is about to dominate the smartphone market. http://stks.co/g0gLF

? Paul Sigrist (@1UpWallStreet) Jun. 3 at 03:34 PM

Sure, Droid's best friend Samsung just unveiled a smartphone that runs on a competing operating system: Tizen. But it's not as though Tizen, with its few pre-installed apps, is any threat to operating systems that interact with robust app stores like Google Play and Apple's App Store.

And, sure, Apple execs spent a good portion of time at the worldwide developer conference making fun of the Droid operating system. They said that most Droid users don't update their software because it's not that great to begin with, and they pointed to customer satisfaction statistics showing users who switch from Droid phones to iOS are happier.

$AAPL $GOOGL "They bought an Android phone by mistake. And then sought a better life.? http://stks.co/d0cCc

? Daniel Miller (@WallStreetBean) Jun. 2 at 05:14 PM

But, as StockTwits' users point out, those Apple stats -- about how few Droid users bother to update their so-called bland software -- are deceiving. Apple, they argued, pushes out software upgrades and forces updates. Droid runs on many different platforms and some aren't upgraded as often.

$AAPL $GOOGL That stat about Android vs iOS is deceiving... Android is designed to have multiple versions of Android running separately...

? Chris Art (@moenchart) Jun. 2 at 01:49 PM

Ex: $AMZN fire runs on a different vs of Android than an Android phone. etc etc. While $AAPL attempts to force OS updates.

? Chris Art (@moenchart) Jun. 2 at 01:50 PM

Moreover, Google's Droid has something that competing operating systems don't have: an open source platform that allows any smartphone maker -- even cheap ones -- to use it on their devices. As a result, Google's Droid phones are available at many more price points than, say, Apple's iPhone, and accessible to many more people.

A search at BestBuy gives an idea of how many more customers Google's operating system can reach, thanks to price. BestBuy offers the iPhone 5C for about $50 with a two-year Verizon (VZ) contract. If anything happens to the phone, the cost to replace it is $599.99. BestBuy offers the HTC-Droid Incredible for as low as $1 with a new two-year contract. It costs $299 to replace the device.

Google dominates the smartphone market with about an 80% share, according to a recent ABI Research report. In the first quarter, more than 187 million Droid devices shipped, about 24% more than the same period a year ago. Apple shipped just under 44 million devices, 17% more from the same period a year ago. However, ABI said Apple's growth is flattening given the relatively disappointing sales of the iPhone 5c.

Research firms have predicted that Google's share will increase. However, Google can't be complacent. Apple undoubtedly has a new phone up its sleeve -- potentially with a larger screen to better compete with Samsung's popular Galaxy phone, which runs on Droid.

That said, Google doesn't have to get upset. With 80% market share, it will likely take awhile for Google to lose its edge in mobile. At least right now, all the anti-Droid talk is mostly just jealousy.

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At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

 

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