Ok so to be fair, I am writing this post more in disgust of the current “Android vs iPhone” craze filled debate than anything. As an avid reader of several news aggregators including reddit and Hacker News I feel that almost daily now I am subjected to some sort of variation of which system is better and why, or some blogger who thinks he is writing breaking news with things like “Android overtakes iPhone”.
NEWSFLASH: Android is an open source operating system made to work on several different brands of phones over a wide range of carriers. Apple is ONE company, with ONE phone. This is an apples (no pun intended) to oranges comparison and one that frankly, I am tired of reading about daily. So let’s just settle this ordeal once and for all.
If Android at some point did NOT surpass iPhone as the number one operating system it would have been considered a FAILURE. By the very nature of these two systems, it NEEDED to be the most used operating system for mobile on the planet. While that is a noble concept for Apple, the reality is they make ONE phone, their one phone has made the most significant impact on the market of any product in probably the last 10-15 years, however to believe that it could keep its spot at the top of the market would be insane. with the number of manufacturers and carriers looking to get a leg up it was always only a matter of time before someone or some thing came along to take this title away from Apple, and that should be OK in their eyes too!
Now on to settle a bit more of this argument:
Mr. jobs, it can easily be said that neither of these systems, Android or iPhone is “open” though your argument was probably compelling to some, it was scientifically unfounded and amounted to little more than marketing speak. BUT that is OK … Apple is known for its secrecy and withholding of products. In fact, exclusivity is probably one of the things that has helped apple grow into the behemoth it has. Going after the core business of Microsoft in the mid 90’s would have meant certain death for Apple, instead you wisely chose to go a different direction, point to a target market and aggressively pursue them. You accomplished this and both companies were allowed to thrive.
The Android vs iPhone debacle should be seen no different, I think it compares easily to the Windows vs Mac of the 90’s. Android is going to be widely used because of its whorish tendencies (meaning they will basically give it to anyone who has ever had the intention of building a mobile phone). and the iPhone will always remain a factor in the market because of its fan base, exclusive nature and features which people have grown to know and love.
Does this mean that Apple will fail because their phone loses market share? Absolutely not! does it mean that Android will be the ultimate winner in the battle? Absolutely not! (though they will certainly champion themselves as such). The truth is both of these systems will come out a winner in the end for the same reasons that Apple and Microsoft have been able to co-exist in the desktop market all of these years. Competition is healthy, but sometimes in the heat of battle people tend to lose sight of things. Just because these two are in competition does not mean they are in DIRECT competition. Are they competing for some of the same users? Absolutely … Are they doing it on the same scale? Absolutely not!
So in short, Steve, if you’re reading this just stick to what you do best. Keep getting people excited about the products you guys are shipping out of Cupertino and the people will keep buying them. There is no need to give an argument for “Open vs Closed” or even consider yourself in direct competition with Android unless you plan to start selling licenses of iOS to other phone manufacturers.
And to Mr. Schmidt and the gang of googlers out there just keep up the good work and keep in mind, there is always room for competition in every market. Without competitors your products would not be even minutely as good as they have become and you would probably have some “suits” from the SEC knocking on your door and talking about “Monopoly” … and not the kind that comes to us from our friends at Parker Bros.
What do you think? Do you consider Apple and Android in Direct competition or do you agree with me?
Are you tired of listening to the iPhone vs Android battle of are you just getting warmed up to it? looking forward to the comments surely to come.