iPhone vs Android vs Anything

Earlier this evening my colleague Kevin Tofel reviewed the new Windows Mobile powered Nokia Lumia 900 that is designed for AT&T’s LTE network. He seems to think that it as a legitimate third option to iPhone and Android. I had bought a Nokia Lumia 800 when in India and was going to do a review. After using it for a week, I put it in a box and forgot about it. Just like I have some of the Android phones that got sent for reviews.

The non iOS devices for me are purely for academic purposes and to keep up with the devices, trends and apps. Sure, there are some great things about all these non iOS platforms. However, since I end up spending bulk of my day on my iPhone, I find it hard to switch switch gestures and learn new interaction behaviors with the new platforms. And that is why I have stopped doing reviews of any of the smartphones — not to mention that Kevin is simply awesome when it comes to device reviews. Also, I think I have become an obsessive iPhonegrapher and love taking pictures with my iPhone all the time.

Responses

  1. Lee Swagerty (@leeswagerty) says:

    April 7th, 2012 at 4:47 pm Reply

    Got linked here from Mr. Dalrymple at LoopInsight… you summed it up perfectly Om.

    As a previous self-proclaimed hardcore Linux and Android user (who constantly rooted both of my Android devices, overclocked, custom ROMs, etc, etc and so on) I finally gave the iPhone a shot after using a iMac at work.

    Now i’m iPhone 4, MacBook Pro at home, iMac at work and am never looking back to the annoyances and pitfalls of Linux/Windows and Android.

  2. College (@collegeitdept) says:

    April 4th, 2012 at 7:53 am Reply

    BTW I just bought my iPhone 4s (AT&T) about 3 months ago. Believe it or not I moved up from my 5+ year old RAZR V3.

    LOL. It’s funny thinking of how much of a dinosaur my phone was. I don’t know how I could have lived without an iPhone for so long.

  3. College (@collegeitdept) says:

    April 4th, 2012 at 7:49 am Reply

    Hi Om,

    This is my first comment on any tech site (and probably one of my lasts… I’m never one to add a comment)…. but I just wanted to say thank you for starting an intellectual site that I love to read.

    Also, this post couldn’t have said it better for most Americans and young-adult consumers. For my age group having little technological gizmos like a mini projector, pen stylus, and so on DO NOT MATTER!!! Although the iPhone may not have the best things by specs… the iPhone is by FAR hands down the best phone for the market and for its consumers.

    And your post said it best. For my age group when someone (rarely) gets an Android, we see it play with it – but then always go back to our iPhone without a second thought.

    The iPhone is simply better that no one can describe in words. You have to see it and use to believe it.

    1. Om Malik says:

      April 4th, 2012 at 1:47 pm Reply

      Thanks for choosing to losing your comment shyness on my blog @collegeitdept. Thanks for the honor.

  4. Hetal Patel (@hetaldp) says:

    April 4th, 2012 at 7:02 am Reply

    There are always a space in market for Second or third Quality otherwise there were no Walmart and only European apparels brand in USA. or only Mercedes or Jaguar on Road, Why fight

    Quality is not every thing. Cost and Economics also play in second and third economy, USA people are obessed with Contracts and find $200 iPhone best / But in other country like in India iPhone 16GB Sold at Rs 45500 and S2 @ Rs 27500 here come the economics of affordability

  5. John R. Kirk says:

    April 4th, 2012 at 6:25 am Reply

    “I’ve had the HTC Sensation (which runs on Android) since its release and haven’t had a single issue with it; whereas a large majority of my friends complain about their iPhones for various reasons”-Andy Mepham

    Andy, do you know the difference between “anecdotal” and “statistical” evidence? You should look it up. You are telling one mans story about one phone. Based on your comment, I’m pretty sure that you culled the complaints you heard about the iPhone and ignored the compliments. But that’s an aside.

    The iPhone has a 96% satisfaction rating. It’s won the J.D. Power satisfaction rating 7 times in a row. Does that mean that the iPhone is best for you? Not at all. But it is very strong evidence that it is satisfying the needs of its customers far better than any other phone is.

    It is perfectly fine for you to love your phone and tout its features. Each to his own. But please stop telling me that your phone is superior to the iPhone. Even the people who own your phone and who answer surveys don’t agree with you. And please stop telling me that the iPhone is inferior. Your opinion is not a fact but the collected opinions of thousands of users is. The iPhone may not be the best phone for all but clearly it is the best phone for many.

  6. Chip Heyboer (@cheyboer) says:

    April 4th, 2012 at 6:07 am Reply

    I agree with Macnaticopr, I have had the same anecdotal experience. I have had many family/friends/coworkers switch to iPhone, but have heard of none switching back. I do have one other log to be thrown on the fire here. Is there something to be said for brand identification here? Is all this the reincarnation of the Apple II and the original Mac? For us 30-40s year olds, that colorful Apple logo is imbedded in our collective elementary classroom memory banks as Macs and Apple IIs were the first computer experience at school for many of us. Could this long term commitment to education be now paying off in commercial ways?

  7. ZuDfunck (@ZuDfunck) says:

    April 4th, 2012 at 5:38 am Reply

    Apple is great and all, but I personally went bankrupt trying to keep up.

  8. macnaticopr says:

    April 4th, 2012 at 3:39 am Reply

    I know a lot of people close to me at work and in my family who have switched from Blackberry or Android to iPhone. I’m still waiting to meet the first person to switch from iPhone to anything else. Hasn’t happened yet.

  9. OpineApple (@OpineApple) says:

    April 4th, 2012 at 2:36 am Reply

    No @Andy, the fact that competing OSes want to slavishly add near-identical features to the iPhone is a shame for diversity between platforms.

  10. Shiraz Salejee (@ShirazSalejee) says:

    April 4th, 2012 at 2:01 am Reply

    You’ll find this insane but bear with me, and the voices in my head.

    Warfare

    A battlefield dIvided into thirds. On either end sit opposing battle camps, and in the middle the stage where the battle will be fought.

    On one end, sits an army made up of many diverse tribes. The strength of this army is clearly in its numbers. But though they’re on the same side, each tribe has its own agenda. They have different beliefs, speak different languages and they often have their own squabbles and grudges with each other. Each seeks its own glory and any one is like to stab the other in the back for personal gain. The majority are not prepared for this level of warfare. They war because they must and cannot be trusted not to run away in the middle of the fight. Throughout this army, soldiers don the same uniform and carry the same weapons, though each tribe has tried to personalise their versions of it all, sometimes hindering the very purpose of the items. Many of them seem to wear them badly, sometimes donning two sizes too small, or missing important functional pieces. Any advanced weapons they have brought seem poorly made, and no individual tribe wants to share these weapons with the others. Occasionally among these ragtag soldiers stand individual champions. Dressed in perfectly suited armour, they are without doubt mighty and skilled, inspiring fear in their all their foes. But they stand alone and cannot rely on the support of their comrades. There is no clear central leadership. This army generally lacks discipline and order. Their strategy, if any, remains unclear.

    On the other end of the field stands a rising empire. Even though this is no small army, it lacks the numbers to match the collective opposition.
    Yet their strength lies elsewhere. These soldiers are the very definition of discipline. They work as one, and follow their orders to the letter. They all speak the same language and every soldier shares the same views and ideals. Ordered ranks define archers, infantry, cavalry, etc. Every soldier has been specially trained for his specific role. Each has appropriate armour designed to perfectly suit his needs for the best protection and flexibility required during a fight. They bring with them advanced weaponry, crafted by the most skilled of engineers. They have seemingly infinite resources. Add to this master strategists already tested and proven against incredible odds. The soldiers of this army fight not only as they are commanded to, they fight because they believe in something more. They believe their new empire will unite and benefit mankind and they will die for this belief.

    I still don’t know why I am so interested in this. I mean they’re just phones and we’re crazy, right? Perhaps its because at our core we are consumers and so these are the great empires and wars of our time.

    As I see it, on one side sits the fragmented tribes of Samsung, HP, Dell, LG, Motorola, RIM, HTC, etc all wearing variants of the Android uniform and ready to do anything to get ahead of the others. I say tribes and not empires because though they’re all big, my sense is that they’re going into this as department wars. Phone department, Tablet department, PC department, no unity even within the same companies. Occasionally we find well made products like the Galaxy Nexus, but the ecosystem and support just isn’t quite there. So the phone preparing to go toe to toe with the iPhone, but not preparing enough to go up against the iPad or Macs standing with it.

    On the other side stands Apple,focused. With its clearly defined products, each crafted and tailored to a specific role, working to fight together. They’re backed by the ecosystems of the successful stores around them. Everything is designed to work with everything else. They’re backed by ± B$ 100! They may be tight lipped but they clearly have a plan and can move swiftly to reorder their strategy if need be.

    Microsoft, Amazon… sure there are other great armies and empires, but they’re still raising banners or marching to the field.

  11. Dele Agagu (@deleagagu) says:

    April 4th, 2012 at 1:46 am Reply

    “The non iOS devices for me are purely for academic purposes and to keep up with the devices, trends and apps” – I strongly disagree with you on that. Gestures are not the de facto standard in suggesting iphones are better of than other smart phones. I think you are simply locked down on the user experience you get from using your iPhone – that is all :)

  12. spidouz says:

    April 4th, 2012 at 1:13 am Reply

    I completely agree with this post and I’d like to add “one more thing” to it…

    Using the iPhone doesn’t mean it’s superior to anything else; I’m convinced there’s “better”, “more powerful” with “more features” phones out there. However, someone that is happy using his/her iPhone will find hard time to switch to anything else, regardless how good, or even better, it is.

    And it’s not a matter of gestures, icons, menus, etc… It’s also matter of living in the “Apple eco-system”. Most of the time, if you use an iPhone, there’s a lot of chance you use (will use or even would like to use) also other Apple products such: iCloud, iTunes, App Store… but also OS X with iMacs, MacBooks, MacMinis and Mac Pros, or even iPads, iPods, Apple TVs, Time Capsules, Airport Express, etc… Well, the whole “iWorld”.

    Once you’re living in the “iWorld”, everything works perfectly fine together, they have similar user friend interface with similar workflow, similar logical thoughts put in every single design and features of each devices and services. If you’re happy in this environment, why would you like to broke it by using a different phone device that doesn’t fit in this environment? That’s the exact Apple strategy with iPod, iPhone, iPad and now iCloud… to bring more people to OS X (which will looks more and more like iOS they already know how to use it).

    Only Google do have a similar environment with Gmail, GoogleDoc, Chrome, Android, etc… And that’s why people who are living in the “Google World” are just fine with Android phones, even thought the integration isn’t as tight as Apple, because Android OS is made to be installed on several devices from different manufacture, which is different from having an OS for only one device you’re building yourself.

    That’s the strategy Apple did for decades now, that wasn’t so much a success for the “Personal Computers” market, but apparently works very well for the “Post-PC” market… so well that everyone is trying to apply the same strategy now. Because there’s no doubt that’s what Google wants to accomplish with Motorola, the same way Microsoft wants it with Nokia…

    But it might also mean, products that use Google Android or Microsoft Windows that are on hardware not produced and built by Google and Microsoft (think about Samsung, LG, HTC, etc…) won’t have the great integration and same user experience that the products made and built by Google/Motorola and Microsoft/Nokia. Does it mean Google and Microsoft are slowly killing their own business model by following Apple business model for the “Post-PC” market?

    If you’d be, let’s say Samsung, would you accept to have a product less good than your software provider products? I don’t think so… So you’d develop your own software environment, mainly since you’re already doing the top layer software anyway. But what about the overall full experience with computers, with cloud, with services such mail, calendars, documents, etc… Either way, you’re sitting on a broken business model that can’t compete against your concurrents. Only Google/Motorola and Microsoft/Nokia can get a real benefit from those alliances.

    But Apple is already a step ahead because that’s what they do for decades and every consumer, every user that will like their environment, will not switch away from them because of the environment. Personally I know I won’t use anything else than an iPhone, regardless how good or bad it could be in comparison of anything else. I’m happy and satisfy with, it works fine for what I do in this environment. So I don’t care and don’t even watch or follow what Motorola, Samsung, LG, Nokia, RIM (well, you name it) could possibly do.

  13. Vinay Deshpande (@in_somniac) says:

    April 4th, 2012 at 12:16 am Reply

    It’s the dumb-phone story repeating again – this time on smart phones. Not very long ago (although it appears like that), people hated moving to a new phone – the address book was in the wrong place, the texting support was horrible, the ring tones were from hell, the amoeba-shaped buttons and layouts failed reason, the prints on them faded in no time, and the worst was getting used to a new way to unlock the new damn device.

    History repeats :-)

    There is probably no objective truth in claiming a phone UI is better than others. It soon becomes a religion discussion – “mine is always better than yours”. Unless a new God comes over with “a one last thing” to talk about.

  14. Super Tino (@supertino) says:

    April 3rd, 2012 at 11:23 pm Reply

    Your experience is typical. Whenever something is working out great and you are invested in the ecosystem, competitors don’t matter unless someone comes out with a quantum leap in innovation:

    I have been using a Mac for a few years now and even if Windows 8 or Ubuntu 14 turns out to be Pretty Good™, the chances of me switching to it are close to zero.

    I have a three year old Nikon DSLR with several lenses, flash systems, etc. Saw a lot of Canons getting rave reviews over these years but never bothered to check it out.

    I have been using iPhone since 2007 and have bought a lot of apps, get instant OS updates with a consistent track record of support from Apple, good resale and most importantly, used top notch apps all these years that met 99% of my needs. Why switch?

    Android or Windows would have to be close to 100% better than iOS for the 300+ million iOS users to switch (or even care). And unfortunately for them, the iOS momentum/inertia is too strong to overcome.

  15. Alex Smith says:

    April 3rd, 2012 at 10:31 pm Reply

    After reading Andy’s post, I think you should consider getting rid of comments on your site. They aren’t adding anything that hasn’t already been said (over and over and over)…

    1. Om Malik says:

      April 3rd, 2012 at 10:40 pm Reply

      Lol Alex.

  16. Andy Mepham says:

    April 3rd, 2012 at 9:21 pm Reply

    It’s kind of a shame that Android and Windows Mobile are consistently seen as “inferior alternatives”; I’ve had the HTC Sensation (which runs on Android) since its release and haven’t had a single issue with it; whereas a large majority of my friends complain about their iPhones for various reasons but still defend it like it’s a drunken family member at a party.

    Apple will never allow competing OSes to provide similar gestures or near-identical features to the iPhone which is a shame for diversity between platforms; ultimately the corner in which you fight is going to be similar to a Windows / OSX / Linux scenario – you like what you like and for whatever reason, but in my personal opinion hardware for Android and Windows Mobile phones are becoming more and more competitive with iOS with every iPhone release.

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