Category Archives: Farm Tech

Apple or Android On the Farm?

This might seem like a story that doesn’t belong in the Ag section, but with farmers of all ages incorporating smartphones and mobile technology into their operations it’s becoming more important. In terms of the big picture, the global smartphone audience surpassed the 1 billion mark in 2012 and according to a study done by eMarketer, is estimated to total 1.75 billion by the end of this year. Pew Research takes it a bit further and tells us at the local level some 58% of US adults own a smartphone, including 43% in rural areas. Some private estimates are projecting about 50% of all US farm operators are using a smartphone. Of course these phones not only allow farmers to make calls and texts when out in the fields, they also give farmers access to apps that are helping them run their operations from the palm of their hand. It seems like every day there’s a new app built and released specifically for farmers. Farmers making the jump into the smartphone market for the first time have to make a tough decision…to go with the Apple or the Android based operating system. You might be surprised, but Apple only has 42% of the US smartphone market– and merely 12% of the global market — but in my opinion the company is starting to more clearly dominate the mobile tech battle. Data collected form “Black Friday” proves the same, where Apple’s iOS traffic accounted for 34.2 percent of total online traffic, more than double that of Google’s Android. In addition iOS sales accounted for 21.9 percent of total online sales, nearly quadruple that of Android, which drove only 5.8 percent of all online sales. Bottom-line, the Android operating system might have greater market share, but Apple’s iOS operating system is more popular when it comes to usage. Therefore if you’re a company looking to roll out a new app, you absolutely want to make certain it works best on iOS because that’s where the most action is taking place. With this in mind you have to conclude when the biggest agribusinesses like Deere, Case, DuPont, Monsanto, DTN, CME etc., roll out new technology the Apple platform will be of huge importance. Yes, you may have to pay for certain apps on the Apple platform that you don’t have to pay for on Android, but I truly believe with Apple you will have access to the “best” for years to come. Moral of the story, the “Apple vs. Android” battle has been going on for several years, but from my perspective I think Apple is starting to gain an edge. If you’re looking for a NEW phone this holiday season, I would go with the iPhone 6.