Albert at continuations.com blogged about higher importance of apps than the mobile OS which in my opinion is just a vehicle to the apps themselves and if it functions reasonably well, it disappears from the list of decisive factors in the network carriers competing game.
I see a correlation between smartphone OS and the current Windows desktop OS situation – as I mentioned in my earlier post, incompatibilities aside, I don’t understand why some companies are wasting resources on upgrading all of their machines to Windows 7 before 2014 instead of gradually replacing their outdated hardware with both new hardware and new OS in accordance with their hardware refresh plans. Just like on mobile devices, in this case the OS is only a vehicle to the app(lication)s that do what you really need. If your vehicle takes you to your destination safely, quickly and conveniently, why bother replacing it?
Regarding the apps on both major mobile platforms, I was reasonably happy with iPhone and I’m very happy with Android. What makes Android grow so uncontrollably is the fact that it is the lowest common denominator that assures basic compatibility and already established OS and apps market for so many various hardware manufacturers, network carriers, and thus the exploding apps market will grow much bigger than the Apple’s. Yes there are mediocre Android Apps, but I’ve also encountered some gems that work better than the ones I had on iPhone (my earlier blog post has a list of all my old iPhone apps and their Android counterparts as well as a link to an AppBrain list of all apps currently installed on my EVO).
Having experienced both worlds (and still having two working iPhones and two Android phones in my house), in my book iPhone stands for beauty and simplicity, while Android is all about getting things done your own way. However, another advantage of Android is the fact that it snatches the smartphone away from the computer/iTunes grip, and makes it an independent computer, able to synchronize information, back it up and upgrade the OS over the network. Albert also had a very good post about how startups should compete on the already established market – come from a different angle and change the rules of the game. Amazon just did this with their Cloud Music Service and got ahead of Google, Apple and Rhapsody and made a paradigm shift in the music downloads by adding uploads and streaming from “the cloud” (AKA Internet), taking and combining the best of all worlds, the iTunes CD ripping, storage and downloads and Rhapsody’s streaming, while Apple, narrowly focused on guarding their iTunes trees hasn’t been watching the forest and still hasn’t achieved seamless synchronization of everything from and to the internet instead of having to connect the phone to a computer.
But I digress – the only major factor, that really moved my Android craving from ‘want’ to ‘need’ and made me spend money on a new phone, was the deteriorating network quality. My experience with AT&T in Chicago on iPhone has been bad and getting worse during the last year or two, and my wife has no good words for it either, so we had to act. Since we switched to Sprint Android phones in December, we had literally zero dropped calls and close to zero data problems (writing this while tethered to my EVO). Of course, a similar situation with different carrier network names can exist at any other place and time, but that just proves the point that if the OS, apps and network work the way they should, “good enough”, they don’t differ much even if you’re talking about Verizon vs. AT&T vs. Sprint vs. T-Mobile, or about GSM vs CDMA or about iOS vs Android vs. Blackberry vs. Windows OS. When they do, we must let our money and actions do the talk.