Android smartphones are catching up to Apple's iPhone and are almost way ahead in every direction.

Though Android smartphones started picking up about a year later than Apple, sales for them ramped up and have revived the smartphone market with refreshing product line. It will be an understatement if we say these phones meet all of the functionalities of iPhone. The reality is that they have outdone iPhone in nearly all aspects - ranging from an extensive list of features to a growing market share.

Apple didn't launch iPhone 5 at the Worldwide Developers Conference held in June 2011. The company just showcased the software of the product, instead of the hardware.

If a user is expecting great changes in iPhone in terms of hardware, then the dream may be short-lived as Apple has been ecstatically revealing that there are more than 200 features going to power the iOS 5. Apple has indirectly given an indication that when it comes to hardware, not many great changes are expected. Hence, iPhone 5 will be featuring more of a software upgrade. Even introduction of iCloud is a way forward for explaining what Apple is planning to do.

Android phones have already begun outselling iPhones in the U.S. and Android is eating the lunch of every major smartphone platform, according to new data from comScore released this month. While everyone else lost at least 1 percentage point of market share, Android gained 5 percentage points of share in the second quarter of this year. The data is based on user surveys. It reflects subscriber base, not just market share, of a specific quarter sales.

Another data revealed by comScore, analyzing the growth trends of the smartphone platforms across the five leading European markets (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom), shows that nearly 1 in 4 smartphone users in EU5 reported using smartphones running on the Google Android platform. Android exhibited the fastest growth among smartphone platforms, increasing its markets share from 16.2 percent to 22.3 percent. Apple iOS and RIM platforms experienced gains of just slightly more than 1 percent. Surprisingly, HTC leads in Europe while Samsung phones follow close behind.

Here are five reasons why Apple iPhone 5 may not be able to outperform the Android phones.

Hardware Choices: Some users prefer a big smartphone while others may prefer a smaller and portable device. A few others want a phone with high-resolution camera lens and all the multimedia functionality support. And certain consumers don't want to pay for the extra stuff what they don't want. There are users who want a smartphone with a nice physical keyboard, specifically for comfortable data entry.

With Android products, the users can choose a phone based all these above mentioned points. However, with Apple products, you have a few choices. In fact, with iPhone, there are really only two choices to make when buying the product - one is storage and the other is connectivity, which even Android phones do better than iPhone. Moreover, iPhone 5 is expected to come only in two models whereas there are over hundreds of Android phones out there to meet different needs.

Software flexibility: With iOS, there is a very limited tweaking and customization possibility. If you want to do something that is not within the boundaries Apple has set for iOS, then you have no luck.

Apple's closed system can't win against an open system, especially in a market changing as rapidly as the smartphone market. Android's openness will foster more innovation. And in the smartphone market, innovation wins.

There is much more rapid innovation taking place in an open environment. Having a tightly controlled ecosystem, which is what Apple has, is a large short-term advantage and a large long-term disadvantage. Android App development is catching up. The operating system itself is not especially tailored for multi-tasking or work-focused tasks such as building presentations, editing files, and juggling several bits of information at once.

Faster Pace: The production of Android phones is really fast. In fact, smartphone consumers want something new and needs of data hungry consumers are almost unsatisfying. Most of the users are driven by new, flashy and fashionable products. Apple introduces just one smartphone per year whereas Android phones keep coming out every now and then.

Apple is at a disadvantage, because its release cycle can't keep up with the many release cycles of competitors. Also Apple has to bring out their best product as they introduce just one product is released. Suppose, if Apple get's any version of iPhone wrong, then Apple will end up in big trouble because an entire year will be lost. In case of Android phones, even if the one manufacturer gets it wrong, there are plenty of other manufacturers who are releasing phones now and then.

Pricing: Android phones give you more options to fit your budget. When a new iPhone is launched, it is priced exorbitantly and is pretty much out of reach for most consumers. Android phones, on the other hand, are a mixed bag as far as price is concerned. There are so many of them which cover almost every price segment. Many powerful Android smartphones are available for less than $100.

Lately, Android chipset makers are introducing low-cost components to support popular specs like Bluetooth, GPS, dual core ARM processors, 8MP cameras and capacitive displays. The best example is Broadcom. Phones built on their new chipset will retail under $100, possibly even touching the $75 price point. That would allow an average user to buy a high-end Android phone. With such a device, the user will be able to subscribe to month-by-month plans offered by carriers or skip the carrier data plans altogether and just rely on cheap voice and messaging plans and connect to the internet using free WiFi hotspots.

Accessibility: The Android-powered smartphones are available from several different devices manufacturers like HTC, Motorola and Samsung. They are also available with a choice of carriers and different plans to suit different users' needs.