Smartphones

Google Android vs. Apple iOS: Handicapping the 2011 death match

If you thought Google Android and Apple iOS butted heads in 2010, wait until you see what they do in 2011. And, see where both have weaknesses that could be exploited.

Throughout 2010 there were escalating tensions between Google Android and Apple iOS, as the two platforms emerged as the rising superpowers in the mobile world. But, if you thought things were heated between them last year, then as the saying goes, you ain't seen nothing yet. These two ecosystems are on course for a massive collision in 2011 and the stakes are about to get a lot higher.

The arrival of the iPhone on Verizon is a major incursion into what had previously become Android territory. Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" (the tablet OS) is about to unleash an army of Android tablets in a full frontal assault on the iPad. There is going to be blood, but as my colleague Larry Dignan notes, the carnage is likely going to have a greater impact on the other competitors in the mobile market more than on Apple and Google themselves.

To help evaluate the race between Android and iOS in 2011, I'd like to approach it from the perspective of where the two platforms are vulnerable. That will help give us an idea of where they might go after each other and where upstarts may try to challenge them.

Weak spots for iOS

For the iPhone and iPad the number one draw is ease of use. Your toddler and your grandmother (the one who is intimidated by computers) can both pick up one of these devices and figure out how to use it. As Jerry Pournelle says, with Apple products "everything is either very simple or it's utterly impossible." The utterly impossible side is where we find Apple's first weak spot.

1. Software inflexibility: There is very little tweaking and customization allowed by iOS. You have to do it Apple's way or else it's probably not an option. These limits allow iOS products to function very well within the protected space carved out by Apple. However, if you have the need or desire to do something that is not within the boundaries Apple has set for iOS (and can't create an app to handle it), then you're out of luck. 2. Productivity limitations: Both the iPhone and iPad are far better devices for consuming information than creating it. Part of the problem is with the on-screen keyboard, which works magnificently for short bursts of data entry but is not something you want to use for writing an email or document of greater length. 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. 3. Fewer hardware choices: Some people prefer really big screens while other people like ultra-small and portable devices. Some want a high-resolution camera lens and all the multimedia bells and whistles in their mobile device, while others don't need any of that stuff (and don't want to pay for it) but want a really nice hardware keyboard so that they can do longer data entry more comfortably. With Apple products, you have very few choices. In fact, with both iPhone and iPad there are really only two choices to make when buying the product: storage and connectivity. You get to pick how much storage you want and you get to pick the wireless carrier on the iPhone or the Wi-Fi only model vs. the mobile broadband model on the iPad. That's it.

Weak spots for Android

The best thing about Android is that its Open Handset Alliance includes some of the biggest and best vendors in the mobile world, including Samsung, Motorola, HTC, LG, Dell, Sony-Ericsson, and many more. The Android partners make devices in all shapes and sizes and in virtually every iteration you can imagine. That's also part of the problem.

1. Ecosystem chaos: The Android operating system is open source and so hardware makers can take it and do almost anything they want with it. The only real carrot-and-stick that Google has is whether to allow the hardware makers the ability to include the Android Market for applications on their devices. And, frankly, Google has not used this as effectively as it could to keep vendors from doing bad things like launching with long-outdated versions of Android like the Dell Streak did and loading up the device with a bunch of uninstallable crapware like AT&T did with the HTC Aria and Verizon did with the Samsung Fascinate. 2. Wildly inconsistent experiences: One of the main consequences of the ecosystem melee is that there is not enough of a consistent experience across different Android devices. For example, nearly all of the hardware vendors put the Android menu buttons in a different order at the bottom of the screen, and many of them even use different types of button icons, further confusing users. Then there's the issue of Android software updates. Google releases major updates to the Android OS at least twice a year. However, in 2010, the only device that got those updates right away was Google's Nexus One, which runs the stock Android OS. All of the other Android devices have a vendor-supplied skin (which typically makes the devices worse instead of better) that runs on top of Android. The hardware vendors have to update their custom Android skins to make them compatible with the newest Android software and then submit it to the wireless carriers, who have to make sure it doesn't conflict with any of their Android apps, and then it finally gets pushed to the consumer. The timing of these updates is very inconsistent across the Android ecosystem. 3. Leadership vacuum: A lot of these Android problems boil down to the fact that Google needs to show stronger leadership of its ecosystem. Even if it can't ultimately force the hands of hardware vendors since Android is open source, it can use the Android Market as a bigger stick against gross violators and it can publicly suggest best practices that it would like to see Android vendors adopt in order to pressure (and occasionally inspire) the hardware makers and wireless carriers into better behavior.

How will it turn out?

In the smartphone market, you have to wonder how well these two will be able to market against each other to exploit their weaknesses. The two are fairly well solidified in people's minds. Unless more people get sick of being locked into the iTunes ecosystem on iPhone (no sign of that yet) or get fed up with the crapware and delayed updates with Android (only a few instances where the masses have noticed), then the 2010 growth trajectory of both platforms will likely hold.

The game is a little more wide open in tablets. Companies like ASUS are targeting Apple's weak spots in productivity and hardware choices. Hewlett-Packard could combine its long experience in tablet hardware with Palm's webOS to create a tablet with much better multi-tasking and business features than Android and iOS. But, again, Apple has a big lead here and Google's tablet OS that it showed off at CES looked very impressive and there are already a lot of big hardware vendors that have lined up to use it.

The bottom line is that both Android and iOS are going to be wildly successful in 2011 and continue to gobble up mobile marketshare. In most cases, it won't come at the expense of each other, although we should expect Apple to initially steal some Android sales on Verizon and Android will eat away at some iPad sales when its first wave of tablets hit the ground in the spring.

Nevertheless, there will be a ton of new customers coming into the market in both smartphones and tablets in 2011. Look for Google and Apple to dominate most of the new sales in both of those markets. That will keep both Android and iOS on major growth trajectories. Android will have a lot more devices and a lot more companies pushing its devices, so it will ultimately grab greater market share in smartphones, although Apple is very competitive on price (unlike in the Mac vs. PC battles of 1980s and 1990s) so it won't just be relegated to the high end of the market. It will take a much larger chunk of market share than it did in the PC wars.

And, in tablets, Apple is out to a huge lead with the surprising success of the iPad. Android and others will start to eat into that cushion in 2011, but Apple will still command a majority of that market by the end of the year.

What about Microsoft, HP, BlackBerry, and Nokia?

Unfortunately, it looks like all four of these behemoths are on the wrong side of history. These guys are all going to be reduced to challenger status in 2011. They'll be on the outside looking in. Both Microsoft (with Windows Phone 7) and HP (with Palm webOS) could have snatched some of the momentum away from Apple and Google a year ago in the smartphone market, but they're a little late now. Even though both have solid products, their timing is off and they have a lot of ground to make up in winning over software developers to their platforms.

As for BlackBerry and Nokia, they both have a large installed base of customers to draw on and build from, but it's not going to be enough to stem their losses in 2011. They are both too far behind when it comes to product innovation. Oh sure, they will continue to hold on to nice chunks of old market share in some places, but both will likely continue their decline at accelerating rates in 2011.

Also read

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

108 comments
Selvarajsingam
Selvarajsingam

As i can see, Android is highly customizable, since we can have shortcuts, for example, a gallery, to Gmail, google maps, etc. and also certain widgets, most of whom are of the weather, or comments on their facebook accounts. For more information visit : http://www.futurehardware.com/apple-ios/209.htm

thirdvalve
thirdvalve

I love Apple products. But... a big weakness in Apple is there that their developer support absolutely STINKS. It is quite simply... a joke. Without going into details here, suffice it to say this will have a big impact on the availability of solutions that are out there in the market place - and the evolution and innovation that developers can (or cannot) bring to the table for their products. I have had so much frustration with Apple's "Developer Connection" programs that I am telling my clients to stay away from them. And I know I am not alone. My latest "bout" with Apple's dictatorial regime has been their demands for me to get a notarized letter proving my identity... (!) AFTER they successfully charged my credit card.... and then FAX it to them (FAX???). I say this only to illustrate the kind of run around Apple typically gives it's developers. We put up with it, only because we have had little choice - until Android that is. Add to this the restrictiveness of their developer API's, their rules, their complete technical inflexibility - I believe that over the long haul, iOS will wither on the vine due to their "in-breeding" at Apple. It reminds one of the old Soviet Union in many ways. There is HUGE chasm between Apples "public facing image" and how they treat 3rd party developers. Image vs. Reality. I think Android will thrive - due to it's open nature, and receptiveness to innovation... albeit amidst the chaos of a free market. But give me an open, free platform any day, over one that is restrictive and limited - like iOS.

AhmedAba
AhmedAba

Android vs iOS war will be the last Device OS Wars which started with PC OS wars (Windows, Mac, ...) then Mobile OS which will last for a couple of years then a new war will start which is totally different, it is the Cloud War (Google App Engine vs Amazone EC2 vs Microsoft Azure) and this will be the last Platforms Wars, because then everyone will be connected to the Cloud 24/365 and it doesn't matter what is the platfrom.

miguel.villela
miguel.villela

He is a little inconsistent. what he complains about android (2. Wildly inconsistent experiences) he criticizes in iOS (3. Fewer hardware choices). It's the same for "1. Ecosystem chaos" and "1. Software inflexibility" What he criticizes in iOS is a weakness of Android

Stajilov
Stajilov

I think Android will win, it's already a trend, a brand... lifestyle... And Apple seems to count only on rich people, Android devices are much more affordable and there is a great variety of them. And yes, I wish I received Android updates more often... I have Xperia X10 running Android 2.1 and I guess it's not going to be updated soon. However I wish it was.

DGermantr@Real-World-Systems.com
DGermantr@Real-World-Systems.com

Why do so many phones claim to have a full QWERTY keyboard but have only 3 rows of letters and no numbers. Even the "soft keyboards"

paul.watson
paul.watson

Maybe Google has no control over what vendors do with the open source Android system. That might be true legally, but it is unlikely to hold water in the open market. Consumers have a choice. We should buy from a vendor that will, either by default or optionally, provide a standard, stock build of Android for the device. Yes, there may be a market for a whacked-up, proprietary, custom make-over Android device. They may have something worthwhile. That's fine. Sell whatever you can. Just be honest with the customer about the compatibility and lock-in issues this creates. Google could keep an updated list on the web of vendors who offer a standard build of Android for their products. The market can use this list to make a more informed buying decision. Perhaps it could work in the manner intended by LSB (Linux Standard Base). This would seem to be an obvious win for enterprise markets. It would enable more business to, at their discretion, allow more BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology). A standard build would allow the enterprise to incorporate (buy) devices from a variety of vendors with a reasonable expectation of compatibility. This is what the enterprise does now with Microsoft Windows. What do you think would happen to a Dell or HP machine containing an OEM build of Microsoft Windows that would not run some Windows apps? That's right; dead meat. Don't expect such information to come from the media. Do you remember who pays for the advertising? Something like Consumer Reports is needed. Could Google provide such information? Probably, but also remember Google's primary business; advertising.

BillGates_z
BillGates_z

Apple just TOO greedy and too locked in. Give me a device with a battery I can swap out or replace as I need it. Replace an Apple battery? Even if you can get it done locally it's time and big $$$. My non-Apple device, I buy a new battery in advance (like after a year of heavy recharging) from anyone and anywhere i like and I'm good to go.

mkottman
mkottman

As Apple expands their reach in the enterprise market, they are bringing something that IT departments are not accustomed to expecting from software vendors; stable and consistent updates! The history of IT is that when vendors supply an update, it takes months, if not years in some cases, for the IT department to test, debug, and implement the update. In some cases the update is never implemented (Windows Vista, 2000ME, etc.) and they simply wait for the next update. With Apple delivering a consistent annual update to iOS that is stable out of the box, IT departments are learning that they can save a LOT of money if they can reduce the test, debug, implement cycle. Because of the open nature of Android, and the resultant customization and skins, it will be subject to the same old update cycle that we're all used to. That is the big advantage that iOS brings to the enterprise; it just works.

jfg1742
jfg1742

Is it not amazing that Microsoft is mentioned as an afterthought? Who would have thunk the most powerful force in computing would have allowed themselves to get blindsided by Apple and Google? Do I really need Windows 7 or an updated version of Office that's more of a PIA to use? I'm a recent convert to Android on a Droid X and find myself using my laptop less and less each day. I definitely agree that these devices are not so good on the "create" side of the equation - but on the user side - WOW! I really wanted an IPAD and was 1 keystroke away from buying one - but Apple's closed "only Apple" mindset is keeping me on the sideline until the next wave of Android tablets hit the streets.

joeltang
joeltang

Just like in the past Apple likely had a superior product than Microsoft but Apple's business model was flawed. There are the same fatal flaws in apple's business model today and Android, for better or worse will prevail. Apple will always be a healthy & wealthy company regardless.

m-martin
m-martin

Everything cited as a 'shortcoming' for the Android platform was also an alledged liability on the part of Windows-equipped desktop PCs in competition w/the Apple Macintosh...and I think we all know how that one turned out. If Google had not been willing to open Android as much as they had, it is very doubtful the platform would have its current level of market penetration--but it is equally doubtful that current market levels will be maintained if handheld manufacturers do not willingly adopt consistent standards for Android-powered devices. As for Apple, their entire business model is based on closed platform devices that consumers either love or hate. They have always preferred higher margins and the loyalty of true believers to wider market share or open standards...there is no reason to believe that's likely to change. The interesting question is whether or not that business model makes as much sense in 2011 as it did in 1984.

rhall
rhall

IMHO the major difference between the two is that iOS is designed to spoon-feed the end user. Apple devices are "you-get-what-we-want-you-to-get". The Android platform is a completely different angle. While Mr. Hiner is spot on about the chaos with Android (I have a ATT device and the GPS has been a problem since day one), it (Droid OS) fills two gaps: those that want a new experience other than Apple, and those that want to push the enveolope (i.e. XDA Developers). I think that Apple's partnership with Verizon is simply another way to add a couple million more users that will further boost revenue through iTunes, etc. How long before we see Apple partner with Sprint?

Daniel Breslauer
Daniel Breslauer

Otherwise we'd have ICBMs flying from Mountain View to Cupertino and back. Oh, right, they're on the same continent. Well, maybe they could stick to cruise missiles then.

PDFITZG1974
PDFITZG1974

Kudos to Jason for using a quote from Jerry Pournelle. I have Palm Pre and have played with the other phone OS's including Android 2.2 and find that the Palm still tops the others when it comes to multitasking, and it has a slide out keyboard. I HATE virtual keyboards and as a PM, am always multitasking. That said, the hardware has issues and the apps are really limited. Also not a fan of HP, as much as I'd like to be. If HP doesn't do something solid with WebOS soon, I'll be moving on to a 4G Android or Windows phone.

tom.burke
tom.burke

I think there's another weakness in the Android strategy as well. The article argues that Android will be strengthened if all Android devices are the same and do things in the same way (subject to differences in form factor). i.e. a Samsung Android phone shouldn't really be different from an HTC Android phone or an LG Android phone. However, this must surely be anathema to Samsung, HTC, LG, etc? They don't want customers wanting to buy some commodity device Android device, made by whoever; they want customers to buy a Samsung phone, and the fact that it's running Android ought to be (in their view) secondary. So I think the manufacturers will resist the commodification of the products, and will prevent the Android experience ever being consistent across devices.

MacNewton
MacNewton

Lets not forget that Apple could pull off the " One last thing" and get involved in the so called War. Apple's massive data center in North Carolina will come online this year, Apple?s CFO Peter Oppenheimer said that it would be finished this year.? The $1 billion center is as big as the world?s biggest data facilities, and has been the subject of much speculation since construction started in August 2009. Occupying 500,000 square feet, the data center is about five times the size of Apple?s data center in Newark, California. Let the war begin!

JJFitz
JJFitz

This too shall pass. The cloud scares me though. Everything stored somewhere else. Right now, I have no one to blame but myself if I forget to back data up or protect my data. If my data is in the cloud, who knows what will happen to it?

mbm29414
mbm29414

Have you actually looked at phone prices? I saw a few Android phones around $100 (Verizon website), but most were up around $180-$200. (Upgrade pricing) Carrier aside, a $0-$20 difference (or even $100) for a phone you'll keep for 1-2+ years isn't a big deal. Plus, the vast (VAAASSSST) majority of the cost of any of these phones isn't the device itself, but the wireless plan to go with it. ($70/month * 24 months = $1680.)

TNT
TNT

Nokia is the #1 brand world-wide, and their updates are sporadic at best. Nokia needs an app store tho, to contnue in this market. There are thousands of apps for Symbian, but finding them is difficult, A central repository is crucial to consumers. Are you listening Nokia? Microsoft? I know Ubuntu heard the cry.

darksidegeek
darksidegeek

Despite my seemingly extreme position of supporting all smartphones in the enterprise, I am a staunch opponent of BYOT in general. Smartphones are a personal preference embraced by the end user. They essentially have no user-serviceable or user-replaceable parts, so the hardware burden is limited and best pushed to the carriers (or Apple store). Nobody has ever run into my office looking desperately for a replacement Torch battery or memory card for their Palm. But PCs are diverse and accessorized. An urgent need for a docking station, forgotten power brick, or replacement for their dying battery is all too common with laptops. It is hard enough to manage a spares supply with a standard product set. The problem will be out of control if the number of manufacturers & models was under user choice. "Sorry, BYOT, its your responsibility" doesn't cut it when the VP is frantically prepping for a presentation.

T3CHN0M4NC3R
T3CHN0M4NC3R

Oh really? Tried syncing Lotus Notes to your iPhone yet? Ever experienced your PC hung due to iTunes hogging up too much resources? Ever got fed up getting blocked from this and getting banned from that? The truth is, the mass end users prefer the Jailbreaked iPhone. The original stock iOS is pain in many people's @ss. And what does skinning have to do with updates? iOS having advantage in the enterprise? Sure, if you switch to a full Apple only system using Mac servers. And there are still a lot of java codes that just doesn't work on the iPhone.

blarman
blarman

...with the sheer size of the Windows OS. Everyone has known (and complained about) the size of Windows. The standard joke was that each subsequent release took 2x hard drive space and 2x memory of the last one. The problem is that when you look at shifting to a smaller form factor, that much memory/drive space just isn't available. Mobile devices have to lean, and trying to use Microsoft's OS offerings are like trying to cram an elephant into a lunchbox. Apple's iOS and Android are both based on Linux, so they could start with the basic kernel, add in a few modules of their own choosing and a great UI, and BOOM! - product! Microsoft was still relying on their own OS, which is bloated and disastrously large for mobile uses. It took them several years to develop an OS that they could _fit_ on a small device (and one that worked - unlike CE) and by that time, the market is already owned by Apple and Google. Can Microsoft and Windows Phone 7 be a major player in the market? Microsoft has the advertising engine, but there is so much inertia that it is really going to be tough to see MS really take off - especially since MS's other problem is that their first version of an OS is always buggy and we have to wait for a Service Pack before it's usable...

darksidegeek
darksidegeek

IMHO, the best of all possible worlds would be an OS with... 1) The usability designed by Apple. Face it: they do it well. 2) The customizability - even just a bit - of Android. As well as Apple does UI, it would be nice to offer some flexibility. 3) The deployment responsibility of Apple, wresting control of OS updates from the carriers. The different carrier addons/skins and independent upgrade schedules are ruining Android. 4) The deployment mechanism of anyone other than Apple. iTunes is bloated and does not present a good solution in the enterprise.

mbm29414
mbm29414

Again, though, what do you want but not get with iOS? I'm really not being snarky; I'm genuinely curious: What's they big, built-in feature of Android that iOS lacks? I know people complain about the "walled garden" approach, but what feature/program does it prevent you from having? I'm not familiar with XDA development. What can they do on a Droid and not an iPhone? Thanks!

cristiano
cristiano

...and that's probably why Google isn't forcing their hands with Android Market.

wistful
wistful

I think the required adjective is "ununinstallable" (if that can be digested)

mbm29414
mbm29414

I hear the charge all the time when speaking of iOS vs. Android, but my experience doesn't substantiate it, so I'll go ahead and ask: What, exactly, do so many people want to do on their iPhone that is blocked by iOS? (I also take exception with the statement, "everything is either very simple or it?s utterly impossible." I've yet to find something the OS SHOULD do that it DOESN'T, and anything I've tried to do when programming an app has been possible.) I owned an iPhone 3G, 3Gs and 4. My new job gave me a free Droid X, so I sold my iPhone 4 and hated the Droid for 4 months. I'm recently returning to the iPhone (last week) and feel like I can get so much more accomplished. Granted, that's one user experience out of many, but what's the big bugaboo that Apple's locking down? 1. It's not tethering (AT&T limitation). 2. Or Wi-Fi HotSpot (also AT&T, apparently). 3. Multi-tasking is now done (and done well, IMHO). I can kill threads. I can turn radios on and off selectively. I can enable Parental Controls. I could go on... So, what part of the OS limits you? (And I'm really asking... this isn't a vitriolic, rhetorical question; I'm genuinely interested.) Also, I'm not sure what version of iOS Jason is running, but my iPhone and iPad both multi-task easily and well. I've created quite a few documents on my iPad that required visits to the web and email. Coming back was no problem. So, I think #1 is a bit of a red herring. #2 is not accurate any longer. #3 is purely preferential, but I happen to think Apple does well with their hardware. I guess I'll happily stick with Apple's offerings this year! (Let the flaming begin... :) )

autotraveler
autotraveler

...I'm in California, got up early to check E-mail, passed along the link to all members of my team. First off, I look at this battle from a different perspective, not a fan boy of either platform (but lean towards Android) or a tech blogger, I'm an editor and a publisher. I spent last Friday and Saturday at CES checking out all the new tablets among the chaos and see a battle royal ahead, like you do. Obviously the Motorola and RIM products were most impressive, (I liked what I saw at View Sonic) but I think that price will drive acceptance of the concept of tablets and at $500 and up, the category will struggle to reach mass acceptance, especially if this it tied to carrier commitments. Does everyone need wireless connectivity? Or will a WiFi-only device do? While it was good to see the efforts of the major players, as a publisher, I was most interested in what Vizio is up to. With their history of driving down prices in the HDTV sector, and the channels of distribution they traditionally have sold through -- big box chains like Costco -- I expect that when the enter the market they will enter on price. I see them coming into the market this spring at a price of $299 or less for an 8-inch tablet. From the perspective of a content creator, I want devices in the hands of as many people as possible, and I want my content to be available across all platforms. We're a relatively small publisher, and have pursued a browser-based rather than an app-based strategy. If your device has a browser, you can read our magazine, Automotive Traveler (http://bit.ly/fmXByN). At this stage we've eschewed most of the bells and whistles that weigh down some apps in favor of a browser-based viewer that values speed above all else and provides a very magazine-like reading experience, no matter what device. I guess that's what happens when you've spent most of your professional life in the editorial rather than the tech arena. As a publisher, this is why I am excited about Vizio and others entering the market. Ultimately I think the sweet spot for mass acceptance of tablet computing will be the the magic price point of $199. At that price the category will go ballistic. Will we see an 8-inch or 10-inch tablet this Christmas from a recognizable manufacturer without a carrier subsidy with the feature set of the current iPad for $199? Time will tell but I'm thinking we will as the market will be pressured from below by Chinese manufacturers using Android. They will work hard to gain a foothold in the market. This is one of my takeaways from walking the South Halls of CES last weekend. I will be very curious to see if the readers here agree with me, with most of the readers coming more from the tech sector rather that the publishing side. Thanks for reading through my lengthy post. Richard Truesdell Editorial Director, Automotive Traveler Magazine, automotivetraveler.com Co-founder, BCT Publishing

olujab
olujab

Well I dont agree with the 4 alternative you claim are on the decline. As an IT architect, I can not recommened Ipad nor Andriod as a business tool for mobile computing. With cloud computing set to explode this year and more companies moving to the cloud for a service or the other, the market is ready for cooporate mobile workers to go totally mobile with the right tablet. I have expiremented with view pad for a company combined with cloud services, the company is now expirencing IT in its jet age. IPAD (restrictive) and Andriod ( Lack of Multitasking) could not have archived what we have done with windows 7 on a tablet system.

daboochmeister
daboochmeister

You know, I honestly wonder if the whole "Android is fragmented, different icons, different skins, oh my" thing isn't just a product of groupthink in blogspace. I mean, how many times does a normal person (as opposed to a tech blogger - or those who read tech blogs ;-) ) pick up and use someone else's phone, so that they could even see any difference? You buy an Android phone, you take 2 minutes to get used to the order of the icons, etc. - and it's not an issue till the next time you invest in a phone - and since it's probably been 2 years for most of us, things will have changed anyway, so we have to plan on investing that 2 minutes again to relearn the icons. Before the whole Android fragmentation hue and cry, I don't think I ever saw two phones that worked exactly the same ... certainly feature phones all varied. Disclaimer - I use a BB Storm, the original model - work provided. When I look at other people's phones, they ALL look good ...

QnA
QnA

Whether the recent move of Apple to demand 30% of the profits on subscriptions on newspapers and magazines will have an adverse effect. Media has always supported iOS as they saw it as an ideal platform to get more income in their struggling industry. Many big newspapers have launched iPhone and Pad apps. Some even provided a free iPad if you took a subscription (in Europe). They have all reacted with frustration and disappointment. Would a less enthusiastic media have an effect on the iPad sales? Less free commercials and Apple is lately more negatively reported on. Also, I do not agree that different Android shells are negative. It's more of a selling point. I do not like the stock Android, but do like Sense of HTC. Others might like Droid or iOS for example, a flavour for everyone. It only takes a bit of playing to get accustomed with the shell. BUT I do see a major problem with updates for Android. The masses might not notice it in the beginning, but a brand who never or rarely updates their devices, especially the premium smartphones, do risk to get a bad name in the long run. Or do I overestimate the masses?

TNT
TNT

The only differences I have are with Microsoft and HP. WebOS is a great platform, but that ship has sailed. HP will have to go toe-to-toe with Blackberry by making WebOS secure enough for corporations to buy into it if it wants any market share. Microsoft is different. WP7 is so different from the alternatives I think we'll see it's market share grow in 2011. Not to iOS and Android levels, but it will be number 3 in the North American market by the end of the first quarter in 2012. And unless Google does take control of the platform, I see WP7 nipping at its heels by the end of 2013. Of course that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

The Management consultant
The Management consultant

Not sure why you would not trust your information to be stored in a cheap outsourcing country like India with possibly secondary users in china contacting you directly???

Slayer_
Slayer_

in MB it seems the average for talk and data equates to about 150 a month for 2 or 3 years. 150 * 24 = 3600

Xennex1170
Xennex1170

If I wanted to upload/download a non-AV or document file (word,text,etc) from the iPhone to a computer w/o iTunes installed I have to email it to myself rather than just connecting via USB and seeing the phone as another external drive (AV files only can be seen on iPhones). Even within the iOS platforms you can't view the same PDF or EPUB file unless it is 'installed' into each app you wish to view it in. If you enjoy ebooks it is probably something you would want fixed.

Hazydave
Hazydave

Site licensed or developed and distributed software. It is a requirement in many Enterprise and educational organizations to be able to site license software.. one fee, not a per unit charge. And/or develop local software, and distribute it internally, not through some external site. Until Apple allows this - software ditribution independent of the iTunes store, they will be locked out of some organizations. Anothe (sometimes related) limitations.. you cannot write a daemon on iOS... only Apple can. So they define the complete set permissible multitaking / background jobs. No new ones can be added by internal programmers.

mbm29414
mbm29414

Wistful, What system are you digging? Android? iOS? Both? I don't know what to make of your comment.

daboochmeister
daboochmeister

Easy - as a matter of principle, a "walled garden" control of the software means I don't OWN the device, and I insist on owning it, not just being bequeathed the right to use it just because some company says I can. And I use devices till they wear out ... and no matter how good the batteries are, there's a good chance they'll wear out ahead of other critical issues. Having to PAY someone to replace a battery? Puh-leeze. Which is just one example of the economic vampirism that's endemic to the whole Apple techonomy ... their profit margins and policies are good for their stockholders, but when I make a purchase, I don't want THAT much of my hard-earned money going to anonymous stockholders. Some, sure, I'm not anti-capitalism ... just not that much.

jim
jim

I submitted to the darkside about 6 months ago and bought an iPhone 4. ;) I love it and it integrates fine with my Microsoft business platform. However, it is missing ONE thing in my N2BH Opinion. A central file structure that the apps work off of... just like the Photo directory. Though I would like to see it more eloquent. Steve... hook us up! :)

darksidegeek
darksidegeek

Michael- I'm also an iOS fan, but I'm not so satisfied to claim that it is without needs. The competition has introduced a couple things that I would love to be able to customize, but cannot because Apple has it locked down. 1) You say that you can turn off all radios. But how many taps to do it? Why isn't there a quick Bluetooth or WiFi disable? Why do I have to dive down into Settings instead of via a toggling app or widget? 2) Notifications suck. When multiple occur, they overwrite each other. The Android notification bar is a far better method. 3) App notifications such as #messages in mail or #updates in Facebook are OK in iOS. But unwieldy when you have many icons and start foldering. Contrast to the WinPhone tile screen. It is these kinds of Apple deal-with-it design situations that have helped fuel the rise of a more customizable Android. (But by the same token, I know Android users that struggle with getting things done on their phones, and then revel in the usability of their kids' iTouch music players. There's no question in my mind that the integration and usability of iOS is the best of the smartphones.) PS: Yes, you are correct about tethering - it is an ATT limitation. If you jailbreak the phone and install MyWi, you are golden. Now the Verizon iPhone just announced "unlimited" with the capability to be a hotspot, so we'll see how ATT responds. In the next iOS, it will be a standard feature - whether the carriers support (or how much they'll charge) remains to be seen.

brian
brian

I was very frustrated this weekend when I was in need of wireless access and someone with Droid smugly set up a Hot Spot for my iPad, which I could not do on my iPhone. It's not a hardware limitation, which I could accept, it's software/AT&T. As far as I know, there is nothing in the App Store that will allow you to set up a Hot Spot. I'm not willing to jailbreak my work phone so I can use a third-part app. It does look like iOS 4.3 will have Hot Spot capability.

Hazydave
Hazydave

You're on target here on price. An ARM based tablet costs less to make than a Netbook... less RAM, cheaper processor, less storage, essentially the same LCD panel, less I/O, etc. The main reason they have been expensive is the fact Apple lead the charge. Apple's always overpriced.. their cheapest laptop starts at $1000... the average laptop in the USA last year wnet for just over $500. So sure, early models are going for higher profit margins riding om Apple's coattails. But the rise of Android is already ensuring PC-like competition in ths market.. both on price and features. I want a tablet. What I want in a tablet isn't on the market yet, and probably will never come from Apple. But there's a good chance someone will meet my requirements this year, and at a lower price. As for needing cellular... I don't think so. With all major smartphones supporting wireless tethering, it won't be neede.

KBabcock75
KBabcock75

Windows being a keyboard & mouse centric system has never and will never work well on a tablet. History has proved this. The fact that you have created something on W7/Tablet does not mean that it is good or users will embrace it. iPad and Android are very well suited to partner with the cloud and as base station start to become available these choices become even stronger. Those who fail to learn from the failures of the past are destine to repeat them in the future. W7 is not the answer.

tgMisc
tgMisc

I wonder if Microsoft is taking its time and letting Apple/Google battle it out the way Lotus/Borland did over a decade ago. Microsoft let them destroy each other in the spreadsheet market, then it swooped in scooped up the entire office suite business and became ubiquitous.

pete
pete

I would NEVER count MS out of any race. I believe the business implications noted could indeed give MS a chance to turn the tide and they certainly know how to compete hard. A couple other observations, looking at Android Vs Apple IOS is reminiscent of the Apple OS Vs Windows OS competition, where Apple chose to control the hardware to ensure a solid customer experience at the expense of limited innovation and market share and Windows went for market share realizing that inadequate hardware matching would be painful for users. The result is that Apple has a cult like following among its client base but MS still rules the business market. It also appears that Google has been paying attention in that it appears it will put a much tighter leach on hardware manufacturers for it Chrome OS. Last observation - honest! - RIM has continually shown that rumors of its death are exaggerated, but as an owner of a Palm Pre, I think HP has lost it's chance to do anything with Web-OS, it's a solid OS but it has not received any support for growth by HP

wdewey@cityofsalem.net
wdewey@cityofsalem.net

We were looking at replacing blackberries with the i1 from Motorola and did not because we couldn't get them to connect reliably to the GroupWise Data Synchronizer. They are running android 1.5 and have not been updated to a newer version because of carrier customization. Bill

sschiffgens
sschiffgens

Similarly, I wonder if the knock on iPhone that it's not open is a product of groupthink in blogspace. While those posting on forums such as this may tinker, tweak and mod, how many of the average smartphone users really leverage the openness of Android? I'd suspect it's a pretty low % of smart phone users. The average user just wants to their phone to work. Customization, to the average person, means what apps they install, and not anything close to how the open source code junkies define it.

Hazydave
Hazydave

And it's not just the Nexus One that ships with the generic Android shell.. any "Google Experience" device, like the Droid, does as well. As long as new shells remain a user adjustable option, I don't see a hughe problem here. These don't affect apps or the Android API. It would be smart for Google to offer the generic shell in the Marketplace, as an alternative to manufacturer imposed shells... but there are already good alternatives. The delay for updates is a real problem. Though we've seen Apple is not immune to cutting off od devices, either. Hopefully Android move in the direction of increased modularity. It would be great to let the manufacturr only worry about the drivers, and lst Google post full updates to the OS in the Market.

The Management consultant
The Management consultant

ios integrates into the Mac selling system....android integrates into google services in cloud and next generation devices a very powerful proposition...windows does not at this moment in time have enough service development or development time to see any significant market penetration this year,black berry would have the potential to see further market acquisition in 2011/2012 if it speeds up its development program..Nokia is not yet able to show the market clear direction with its OS offerings

Hazydave
Hazydave

I don't believe MS can approach #3 in any market in 2011. Eventually, maybe, if they "pull an Xbox" here and keep throwing money away to keep it alive. Yes, RIM is losing market share. And yet, they sold more smartphones in 2010 than Apple's top model (3GS) , AND they sold more of a single model (Curve) than Apple. They are behind, but they have some momentum, still... they fell in market share, but actually grew in unit sales. Just nowhere as huge as Apple or Android. Does anyone really think MS will do 10-12 million units in any 2011 quarter? Even if they give them away, i don't see it. That's what you need to unseat RIM's 2010 performance. RIM could actually be in even better shape on the tablet, we'll have to see. They wisely tossed out the Blackberry OS for one based on QNX. This is a very well tested, secure, and reliable OS.. you find it used in places like nuclear reactors. Its no guarantee of success, but all of the usual claims about RIM's smartphone weakness do not apply to the tablet.

johnmckay
johnmckay

Depends what you want to do, and most folk I know soon do the basics and forget the 'what you can do'. I'm on the enterprise and love RIM for it's battery longevity but hated the web mainly. That's changed now that I'm on a Torch and it's superb. I still have an iphone with an app for enterprise but it fails in two major places and is sidelined as far as I'm concerned. Battery life of 1 day max (3G/GPRS) and incescant need of a password every time you access the app. BIG issues... Battery life IS a big enough issue if you travel OR run the risk of it dying on you. RIM still has a place in the pad market too, depending on what is delivered. Nokia too with a strong history of delivering good products. Its way to early to say how thismarket will develop. I still reckon many folk only need a device in the mid sector; less costly, less diverse, less powerful but does enough for them and lasts days between a charge. ps I have an Android for personal use too... but it fails on the battery stakes as well, and has 3G turned off to eek out two days. That's not an option for my business phone though, and is equally a fail.

mbm29414
mbm29414

Well, that's where I though the "Nation Plus Canada" piece would come in. I was figuring that those plans gave a "no roaming" status to all (well, at least most of the southern portion) of Canada. No?

Slayer_
Slayer_

With so many towers here, all belonging to different companies.

mbm29414
mbm29414

But is it possible to buy a phone and service plan in the US? I know AT&T is running plans right now that are Nation + Canada with FamilyTalk. 700 minutes is $80 (first line) + $10 (additional lines). I know it'd be a couple hour drive, but maybe they'd let you do it?

Slayer_
Slayer_

It's pretty much like that through all of Canada and many other countries. the US is the only ones getting cheap phones. My long distance is 30 cents a minute, I use virgin mobile, I went with them because they give you the ability for free to add and remove packages from your base plan each month. Overall they all charge the same prices. I laugh cause, when there was service fees still, the price was actually cheaper. We used to pay 60-80 a month with Telus, having no features, now still having no features I pay on average 20 dollars more a month :(.

mbm29414
mbm29414

Wow! Sorry to hear that! Where do you live and who is your carrier? That sounds outrageously high!

Slayer_
Slayer_

I have no data, only voicemail and call display, 250 minutes for my phone, 150 for the other. And that is a CHEAP plan here.

mbm29414
mbm29414

I started a new job about 6 months ago. They gave me a free Droid X and paid the contract. I recently got so disgusted with the phone that I passed it off to someone else and "re-upped" with AT&T (they've got solid service here in Charleston, SC, at least where I go). iPhone 4 16GB cost $199. My wife and I, with 1400 minutes, plus text messaging plus two 2GB data plans pay less than $150/month together. I'm not sure where you are, but around here, a user who needed to save could get by with an iPhone/Android for $70-$80/month. They wouldn't get a whole ton of minutes or data usage, but it's possible.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Though its definitely a rich mans game, last I saw those smart phones, even 2 year old ones, were 300+ dollars and usually required you to take a 2 or 3 year $150+ a month contract.

mbm29414
mbm29414

a conservative figure. Your response serves to only highlight my point, which is that the actual cost of the phone is peanuts compared to the overall cost of ownership. Therefore, a $100 difference up front isn't really worth complaining about. If you can't afford to buy the phone, you REALLY can't afford to own it!

TNT
TNT

I have only just recently received an email about the new Ovi Store which I don't think was available (or at least not promoted) before my post. The Ovi Store is exactly what Nokia needed to stay relevant. Thanks for the mention!

mbm29414
mbm29414

@Brian, iOS DOES support some background tasks. The three mentioned by Apple in the SDK documentation are Audio, Location and VOIP. Pandora would register its app as needing background processing time for Audio, which would "wake up" the app at certain time intervals to do the processing to fill the Audio buffers. I'm not sure if you could take advantage of this to have a pseudo-daemon or not. I'm sure Apple would not approve such an app, but an in-house developer might just do something like this. Anyway, the Pandora app isn't a daemon; hope that clears up why.

mbm29414
mbm29414

I see and agree with your point about site licensing. I know you can offer educational discounts, and that might be Apple's first attempt to remedy this issue. It would be nice for my apps if we could do a site-license agreement. For this to be an iOS (vs. Android) issue, Android has to have this base covered. Does it? (Again, I don't know; the original point in the article was respective weak points, ostensibly over against strengths in the competition, which is why I ask.) Interesting point about the daemons. I can see why a company might have reason to create daemons for company-owned phones. The apps I have written/am writing don't do background work; I just suspend them to resume when the user switches to the app. I say that to indicate that I'm not fully up to speed on what happens with background processing and app killing. Other than preventing a malicious user from mis-using their phone (per some corporate policy), what daemon do you envision that couldn't be fulfilled with local and push notifications? I've got a hunch you're thinking about something the user CAN'T turn off/disable. I'm not sure how you'd do that. (I did google "running a daemon in iOS" and the responses I saw dealt more with AppStore approval than "you literally can't do it at all" answers. Maybe it's possible for Enterprise accounts?) Anyway, you've given good food for thought. The issues you mentioned don't really affect me much, so they don't make me uncomfortable, but I can see why some might shy away because of what you mentioned. Thanks!

brian
brian

Sorry if I'm ignorant, but I don't develop for iOS. If this is true, then how do companies like Pandora get their apps to run in the background?

daboochmeister
daboochmeister

I was told that you lose App Store rights from a jailbroken phone. Not true? Battery, watching the videos of homebrew switching, what in there makes you think the difficult parts were essential to engineering the battery life? As to the economics, I'm not saying they're bad or wrong, I'm saying they overcharge relative to the actual, substantive value of their product. Adam Smith isn't punishing them, people are still buying ... but people still buy designer clothes at outrageous markups, and though the Apple markups now aren't in that range, they are clearly charging for "fashion statement" -- and I'm saying that that doesn't align with my values, hence I won't buy one. And I don't think I'm alone.

mbm29414
mbm29414

First of all, what privileges do you lose when you exit the walled garden? Official warranty support? You can't expect to break Apple's rules and have them not care. Other than that, to what do you no longer have access? I don't jailbreak, but my nephew does, and he told me he can still access iTunes just the same. Of course, he has to wait on a jailbroken version of iOS, but that's a choice. Also, I believe you can reload the official OS on your device at any time and get back into the walled garden. (By the way, this is the same thing that other phone companies do. I read story after story about the Droid X bricking when users tried to root it. Apparently, Motorola didn't like users wanting "full control" over their devices and "maliciously" prevented it.) Secondly, maybe the jeweler/watch battery wasn't a perfect analogy, but no one complains that they can't swap out their watch battery on the fly. ("What? What if I need a spare on a trans-Pacific flight?!?!") The point remains, though, that you're ridiculous to think that Apple's battery design is solely for making it hard to change. It's battery life advantage over the other phones out there should be point enough, but for you it probably isn't. "Yes, the iPhone no longer is so marked up." The pricing came to current levels with the 3G. That was long before Android had gained a significant foothold. So, the only iPhone with non-subsidized pricing was the 1st one. The difference now seems to be AT&T's willingness to subsidize the equipment; Apple's retail pricing remains about the same. Explain to me why basic economics makes Apple a bad company. If you remember Econ 101, a company sets the price point for an item based on a mixture of costs, profit margin, units sold at price A vs. B, and so on. Why should Apple lower their prices if they have enough buyers to satisfy their desires? (For that matter, why should ANY company charge less when people are willing to pay a higher price?) So, Apple should violate the basic laws of Economics to make you feel good? I don't think they care that much about your respect.

daboochmeister
daboochmeister

After jailbreaking, you lose privileges ... you can escape the walled garden, but then you can't have what's in the garden anymore. You PAY to have a watch battery replaced? I don't. I walk up to a jeweler, and they replace a watch battery, free. Never had any of them charge me labor for doing it. And from the youtube vids I've seen of people doing it themselves, it's not easy, cracking the case, etc. They MADE it deliberately more difficult than it would have to be, for monetary reasons ONLY. Plus you would be voiding your warranty (though that's minor in practical terms, since it'd typically happen long after the warranty ran out). And yes, the iPhone no longer is so marked up - because it has competition. iPad will likewise be going down in price - because of competition. Doesn't change their willingness to levy an extremely high profit margin on people when they CAN. Again, I'm not saying it's wrong - I'm saying I don't respect it.

mbm29414
mbm29414

1. "Walled garden" - jailbreaking is easy and legal. FAIL. 2. Do you complain about paying someone else to change your watch battery? Plus, you CAN do it yourself. FAIL. 3. Verizon has 16 non-iPhone Smartphones that retail for $480 or higher. Either the phone's worth the price or not; profit margin is a red herring. FAIL.

JALUK
JALUK

I'm also using SMEStorage to handle my files on the iPad (specifically iOS). Are you using the latest version 2.06 as I do not seem to have the issues you do. If I download a file locally I can click on the file and click on either "Open in iSMEStorage" or "Open in". If I click on "Open in" I see a list of other Apps I can open the document in ie. I'm not limited at all to opening the App in iSMEStorage. Also, did you enable CloudDav ? If you purchased the App you can submit a screenshot of your username at the login stage and the company enables something they call CloudDav which as I understand it basically a WebDav layer over any cloud you have mapped to your SMEStorage account even if the cloud you have mapped does not support WebDav. I use this frequently to edit and save files to my Google Docs and Amazon S3 accounts on iWork. I also have it setup in Office2 HD. You don't need the iSMEStorage App launched to do this. I actually quite like this App. It is the only solution I've found that lets me manage my variety of files in one view (I have Google Docs, DropBox, and Amazon S3 mapped) and it's the only App i found that features note creation and sync, and cut and paste, so you can manage files more like a desktop. I also find the developers quite open to adding features.They added zip and unzip of local files at my request, and also multi photo upload (so maybe i"m biased because they did this for me...), so I'd advise if you want something specifically considered, ask them. They seem reasonably open to requests.

dwdino
dwdino

This causes me to miss my Windows Mobile 6.5 phone. When working with clients and notified of an issue that requires a patch. I can download the patch to my phone and place it in a directory while traveling. Upon arrival, I connect via USB and install the patch. I haven't seen a new phone recently that allowed the file management capabilities of the old Windows phones.

jim
jim

Being New to the iOS it may just be an issue of me getting used to doing things different. And, I have figured out how to manage most of my files with SMEstorage. It is buggy though and NOT perfect. I get a file I want to keep on the phone for reference. Now, I save it to SMEstorage in One folder. I can then cut and move it. Later, I can open it Only from SMEstorage and IF the SMEstorage lists the App I want. It works(80%)and I have to work through SMEstorage. The thing I love about Apple is the features intuitively-work. The above falls short. I feel they have worked out a good solution for media files and decided other files (business) will be osterized. :) Minor deal.. but you asked. :)

mbm29414
mbm29414

When I read your comment, I was like, "Yeah! That makes sense!" Then I got to thinking on it some more. I get the central location for photos. Plenty of apps make use of them and there's a common file type/format (or at least just a couple used). But, if I've got a pdf, doc, xls, keynote or whatever file in an email, I can just open it directly in that app. For most apps, if I've got a file/document I want to email, I can do that, too. I don't have two apps on my iPad to open Pages documents. Or PDFs. What situation do you see where the addition of a file structure makes a practical difference? I'm with you in theory, but I can't think of a concrete example where this is required. (On a side note: From the Apple SDK documentation, it's pretty clear to me that this "feature" isn't coming anytime soon. Apple made it plain that the iPad isn't a "traditional" computer.)

T3CHN0M4NC3R
T3CHN0M4NC3R

Actually IMHO, I think that AT&T is like Apple. They know their broadband limitation and so did not allow tethering to reduce their complaint calls on extra data charges or connection throttling whichever apply to their data terms. Having a uniform device, of course integration can be done seemlessly. I'm neutral to whatever Apple has to offer but I don't like Steve Jobs' attitude at all. It's like he's trying harder and harder to be the enemy of the real geeks. He's been firing on Adobe and labeling a few other contents not fit for the iPhone. What faggotary is this? It is known that Apple do not manufacture the entire iPhone. They just built the iOS that works well with the hardware manufactured by various OEM'ers. And not to mention the way he fired at Blackberry, Windows and Android. Bill Gates shouldn't have saved his ass when he did. And mind you, there's nothing to struggle on Android phones unless you are trying to compete with the real geeks/enthusiasts in customizing your phone. Else, all it takes is the installation of the right app from the Android market.

MacNewton
MacNewton

I bet a few iOS programmers are looking at your post right now. So hopefully you will get what you wish.. As an Apple product user, I Feel the same way, but it really don't take long before Apple makes good and you're a happy camper again. No so with other manufactures. I'm on my 2nd iSO update and my friend is still on hold. locked into a nightmare of bugs... Thanks Android for helping...

mbm29414
mbm29414

#1: Yeah, you're right that it takes more work to turn off the iPhone's radios. The thing is, I never do this on my iPhone. I did it all the time on my Droid X because the battery ran out so quickly. On the iPhone, except for rarely at the end of a golf round (when I've been using GolfShot GPS the whole time and the battery is waning), I never even come close to exhausting the battery. #2: The only way this bites me is for text messages, which I don't do a lot. I always disable all notifications when asked. I can go get any info I want; I don't want my phone bugging me. I can see how this could/should be improved, though, but I'll say this: I like to keep my phone clear of notifications, and it bothered me how cluttered the Droid's notification bar could be. I know some people want that functionality, but I actually DISliked it :). What I'm saying is that I wish I could have found how to DISABLE notifications on the Droid! :) #3: Again, not something I use a lot (foldering wasn't a big win to me). How does it work with foldering? Do you see multiple, smaller numbers or an aggregate for the folder? How would you solve this? How does WinPhone do it? I'll say it again, though: I see (and acknowledge) your complaints about how Apple handles some issues, but #'s 1 thru 3 above are a preference for HOW Android does something, NOT something iOS CAN'T do. My point here isn't to argue for iOS's implementation of certain feature's vs. Android's. That battle would never end and you'll never get everyone to agree. My point is this: It's SOOOO common to hear, "iOS is so limiting. Thank God Android lets me customize my phone any way I want!!!" Yet, I still haven't heard a list of features that DON'T EXIST AT ALL on iOS. I'll start the list: Widgets. I'm not sure how Apple would integrate them into the current OS (maybe a widget page or two, a la OS X's dashboard?), but it would be nice to have say, a 2x2 Weather widget with temp and current conditions.

samjenko
samjenko

I was very frustrated this weekend when I was in need of wireless access and someone with Droid smugly set up a Hot Spot for my iPad, which I could not do on my iPhone. It's not a hardware limitation, which I could accept, it's software/AT&T. San francisco movers San francisco plumber

brian
brian

Yup, we're on the same page there. For my money, what is going to be the MOST interesting development is how Verizon and AT&T will position themselves regarding features available on the SAME devices. Will AT&T lock out Hot Spot so they can keep selling tethering plans? AT&T had a very steep learning curve with the iPhone. Their network was hammered and I know I went through a period where it seemed every other call was dropped. Now it is better, not perfect, and data transfer rates are excellent. Think Verizon will go through the same issues? I like my iPhone 4 quite a lot. It's very well designed, pretty rugged, and a pleasure to use. I don't develop for it, so can't comment on that, and I don't feel obligated to tweak every little thing or know what's going on under the hood. I'm a computational biologist and have plenty of code at work to satisfy that craving :)

mbm29414
mbm29414

But as I stated in my original post, that very clearly appears to be a Verizon vs. AT&T issue, not an iOS issue. I like AT&T, but the HotSpot thing is cool on Verizon. Again, though, that ISN'T an iOS vs. Android issue (and I suspect AT&T will be forced to offer it, too, to remain competitive). Thanks!

mbm29414
mbm29414

In March 2009, the price of a 10" netbook LCD screen was $34 (source: http://liliputing.com/2009/03/10-inch-netbook-lcd-panel-prices-falling.html). Apple's screen costs ~$100 (source: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9150045/Apple_makes_208_on_each_499_iPad). Tablets use less storage, but netbooks generally use HDD, which is much cheaper than flash-based storage. The 16 GB memory module for the iPad costs Apple $25 (source: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9150045/Apple_makes_208_on_each_499_iPad). I bet some of those cheap-o netbook hard drives cost about the same. My point is this: I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for incredibly steep price drops in the new tablet sector. Also, if you go to BestBuy and look at the Android tablets for sale, their unsubsidized prices are HIGHER OR EQUIVALENT to Apple's. So much for Apple being over-priced. Look, tablets are amazing and advanced. And they're not cheap to make. Apple's 16 GB Wi-Fi Only iPad: At $499, the margin is about 50%. At $399, the margin is about 38%. At $299, the margin is about 17%. At $199, they're losing money. I'm sure it's about the same for everyone else, too. The best I think we can hope for is price stability with feature additions plus (MAYBE) a $100 price drop for the last-gen iPad. That would be about in line with the rest of Apple's iOS device pricing. Who knows what the other tablet-makers will do.

JJFitz
JJFitz

I know I have said this a number of times in different discussion threads but my Fujitsu Lifebook is a convertible tablet running on Windows 7 and it works extremely well. The OS is fast, has true multi-tasking, has never crashed and it offers much more useful functionality (for me) over any flavor of the new slate type tablets. The huge advantage for me is the input options. It has a full keyboard for typing documents, a capacitive input for casual "finger navigation" but most importantly, it also has a resistive screen input for a better pen-like experience. I use it to take handwritten notes in meetings. Writing lots of notes with your finger (which I can do on the Fujitsu too) is awkward and frankly, it looks stupid in a meeting. (like you are finger painting) I have tried using a capacitive stylus for the iPad but it is like writing from the wrong end of a cheap bic pen. I suspect the experience would be the same on an Android tablet. You can not see a fine line under the stylus while you are writing. Yes, the fujitsu is heavier and costs 2.5 times more than the new tablets but the new tablets do not meet my needs. -not until they can improve the writing experience.

Insuranceman2
Insuranceman2

I was surprised the post even listed open-source as a potential chip in the armor, considering this website is full of users who rave about open source platforms. Gutsy move, Mr. Hiner.

braunfelt
braunfelt

MS is only the operating system. In todays world you can eithr build one yourself , have one built or by a prebuilt system. The issues most people run into with PC vs Apple is that many companies who make prebuilt systems use cheap parts to bring more options. And many Custom systems out there cost more for better quality. I myself build systems for OC Races and I can tell you it makes a huge diffrence between crap and soildstate componets. MS has nothing to do with the system other than supporting vendors of hardware and the drivers these 3rd parties come up with. just another track for your record thats skipping ;)

T3CHN0M4NC3R
T3CHN0M4NC3R

Whether a computer works out of the box or not depends on the guy/company who pre-install your OS. I know of a few local shops in my country who do that wonderfully. I can't say the same for Apple as they focus on selling and marketting. iPhone? Should I mention jailbreaking? An Android phone is great just like that out of the box without the need of jail breaking. And not to mention the easiness to build an app to link up with some corporate online system.

MacNewton
MacNewton

Every Mac Product for over the last 20 years has worked out of the box. I have purchased & sold many different computers over the last 30 years. Having started off with Apple 2 and commodore in the early 80's , then over to IBM in the last 80's My first Mac was a 128 K unit. All of them did well. As a certified Mac tech (retired) I have see almost everything. So I'm a bit of an expert when it comes to Mac. My point is this, Apple takes all the right steps to make Users happy (most of the time). I can't say this for MS products. All my Mac's (Apple produces) for the last 10 years are working someplace with Family or friends. All but 1 MS Powered PC is working, and thats because I keep it running with monthly repairs. Long live Apple. Get well Steve

MacNewton
MacNewton

Apple provides the best tools of the two, But Android bring in a lot of new programers, they stay for a short time then move over to Apple. Not a developer myself, but I know a few. The drop out must be high. I sure would like to here from more developers. Get well Steve...

daboochmeister
daboochmeister

... it's at most an inconvenience, and a slight tax on the development process. The Wisdom of the Blogs trumpeted that it was a nightmare, but as actual developers chimed in, it tamped down toward inconvenience. Though without Java experience, yes, it'd be like learning any other totally new language and app framework.

mbm29414
mbm29414

I've dabbled in Android a TINY bit. I've got a few apps out in the App Store personally and one app with a company. We'd love to have our program as widely-available as possible, but we're finding the cost too high to port over to Android (we're a small shop with no Java programmers and little money to spend). Probably the most difficult thing (beyond learning Java and the SDK) would be working with different screen resolutions. On the iPhone, it's easy. You're either at 1x or 2x resolution. If you're dealing with built-in SDK controls, scaling is done for you automatically. If graphics, there are easy ways to sub in 1x or 2x graphics, or (in some cases) you can just load higher res graphics and it will either have a retina display or not. Fooling with different resolutions and (I think) even different aspect ratios is something I would not relish tackling. Also, I know that almost all iOS users are at least at version 3.0 on their device. Many, many users are at 4.0. It's easy for users to get the latest version of iOS, providing their device is supported. They don't have to wait for an intermediary to do something before releasing an inferior version of the latest operating system. (Everyone I've read says that Google's versions are better than the "enhanced" versions provided by Motorola, Samsung, etc...) These are just some of the reasons I'm so glad to be an iOS developer. (Notice: I'm not bashing Android, just highlighting what I believe to the Apple's positive aspects.)

sschiffgens
sschiffgens

I would think at it's worst, fragmentation could result in a developer's nightmare, not to mention frustration from the enduser in trying to figure out what apps/versions work with my particular flavor/version of Android.

daboochmeister
daboochmeister

Agreed, Android's openness relates much more to the "business ecology" that's under the waterline, compared to the iceberg tip users see. Though I will say, I've seen several "average users" play with customizing their Android phone- but frankly, it was just for fun, and they wouldn't have really cared if they couldn't. But I haven't seen a lot of blogging saying that the ability for a user to customize their interface is a big draw for users. Where blogging on "Android fragmentation" affecting users is rampant.

tbostwick
tbostwick

I hear all too often, the rantings of far too many "pro" Windows or "open" somethings - and their comparisons to Apple iPhone or laptops/Desktops. What is still a fact today is that these machines work out of the box for the vast majority of folks who use them - hands down. AppleSupport is top-notch - and heads above anyone else in the PC or Wireless marketplace. I'll take one APPLE product - proprietary or not, over the recycle sack of crap I've bought over the past 5 years (not Apple mind you) ANY DAY. In a world on indulgent consumerism and consumption - I want a device that's not "throw away" and works when I turn it on. Apple provides that on the one iPhone and 3 computers I currently use - no one else can say that.

TNT
TNT

Didn't realize QNX was in the mix for RIM, and that may change my opinion of the Blackberry pad device. RIM will always be a player in the security-critical environments, its personal use is where it falls short. I know some people live by it, but the trend for personal phones is toward creativity not security. If MS can get developers, I do think they can hit that #3 slot.

braunfelt
braunfelt

Actually the new 2.3.3 or Gingerbread update sovles the issue with the batteries. The small ones now do 18hour on full charge with gps enabled. The larger 3200mAh will now do 2 days.

MacNewton
MacNewton

Battery life on the iphone 4 is very good - and if you need more power for a 18 hour day, theres lots of options to go with. By the time that you require required a new battery, the phone would be more then 3 yeas old. Who keeps cell phones more then 3 years. By then the new model would be light years ahead. Thats when you upgrade.

gavin142
gavin142

And that's why I have a homemade usb charger... google it, their stupidly easy to make.

mjp33
mjp33

The vast majority of smartphones (other than RIM) last only a day with normal use, yet manufacturers keep making phones that way without addressing the 'issue'. Why? Because people don't mind charging their phones every night. We'd rather have superior functionality and features than superior battery life. For me, it's as simple as dropping my Android in it's dock on my nightstand when I go to bed and it's ready to go in the morning (while also acting as my alarm clock). I don't know about you, but I can't use my phone while I'm sleeping, and I sleep at least a few hours every night...battery life is a non-issue. If you can't remember to throw your travel charger in your bag when you go away for the weekend, that's your problem--not the phone's.

mckinnej
mckinnej

From the amount and content of the comments, it's obvious battery life is an issue for many people. The fact that "creative" solutions are sought and are being made tell the story. I know I would be severely irritated if my phone only lasted a day. While it may seem trivial, having to recharge anything every day falls into the "one more thing" category which overloads all our lives these days. It would certainly be a deal breaker for me.

suncatTR
suncatTR

I use a Suunto wrist compass, not GPS, mostly. My [unlocked] Nokia smart phone has built-in GPS with world wide maps, free forever, but I like the compass--doesn't need batteries. I travel a lot. Can't recharge anything on most planes, trains, buses, don't often have the time or opportunity to charge anything at an airport or station. Unless you're expecting a call or have to leave your phone on all the time, either turn it off or put it offline [duh, 'airplane mode' for Appul iFon] and your battery time increases a lot, maybe all week. But the choice to have an extra battery [tiny] instead of a clunky add-on is one of the many reasons to avoid an iPhone, in addition to the cumbersome OS. I need an app to make a phone call??? Can't unlock iPhone in US--ever???

mbm29414
mbm29414

You can't REPLACE the battery in an iPhone, but you can SUPPLEMENT it. As a hiker/camper, it's not a problem at all (if I wanted to) to have "battery extender" case (Griffin and Energizer make them) or have some device that is powered by AAAs and can recharge your iPhone. So, no, you're not SOL if you want to extend the battery life of an iPhone, and a lot of options are actually much less expensive than a Blackberry or Android backup battery. Examples: ($9 iPhone solution + cost of batteries) http://www.thepocketsolution.com/PSI-69393/iPhone+4+AAA+Battery+Extender.html ($47 Blackberry backup battery) http://www.amazon.com/Blackberry-Battery-Torch-DBRoth-Reader/dp/B003Z9WMS6 Plus, if you are a hiker/camper, you know that AAA batteries are common in other camping devices (think: headlamps, etc...) Finally, if you want to super extend the battery, you can bring as many AAA's as you want. Why spread the FUD?

btapp
btapp

A what if than a regular occurrence for most people then. In that case I am happy to tote a 2nd battery for a vastly superior smartphone experience.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Battery life is important. I was away from home all weekend, no access to a charger, thankfully my BB holds a charge for about 4 days of idle usage, 3 days of heavy usage. More than enough. I only took about 15 calls all weekend, but they were vital.

btapp
btapp

This is something I hear quite often - why would you need to have more than one day of battery? I can (if needed) plug my phone in at my desk, in my car (if needed), and I plug it in when I go home at night. I just never understand why someone needs 2 days (or more) of battery life from a smartphone? What am I missing?