I've been using and reviewing cell phones, gadgets and devices professionally for more than a decade now. I've played with and written about Hewlett-Packard's iPaq (not quite the success of Apple's iPad, eh?), VoiceStream services (remember that brand?), Microsoft's Zune, and about a thousand other tech products. More recently, I've used every version of the iPhone (including the latest 4g), several versions of the iPod (including the latest Touch), several versions of Android, an iPad, several global Nokia's, most of the latest Blackberry's, and just about every device out there right now (somehow I missed Microsoft's several hundred million dollar flash-in-the-pan Kin, but who didn't?).
Now I've founded AppConsumer.com, an app reviews and news company, and I'm once again going to be regularly reviewing tech products once again for our AppConsumer Originals page, where I'll be joined by the funny tech expert, Nathania Johnson, and several other contributors. As I keep telling anybody who will listen, you have to be investing in the app revolution and if you're investing in anything related to tech at all, you have to be on top of all the app trends.
Only about 10-20% of all cell phone users have a smartphone (much less an app-centric smart phone that is all about enabling you to connect to the information, other people, and entertainment services using apps) Take a look at how many people are googling "iPhone vs Android" these days.
So let's talk Apple's iPhone platform vs. Google's Android platform and see what trends (and therefore investment implications) come from the analysis.
The good in both: Both platforms use an effective touch screen interface and both are far and away the leaders of the app-centric smartphone industry (though both are still marketshare takers in the smartphone industry, which is taking huge share from the non-smartphone device industries). And both are rather remarkably easy to use, as my father, a 65-year old veterinarian in rural New Mexico loves his Motorola Droid, while my girlfriend's mother, a 65-year old landscape architect in Venezuela loves her iPhone. The app store for each platform is easy to access and both offer more apps for free and for pay than you could ever download.
The bad in both: Having more apps than you can look at has its downsides - I think most people who use apps are desperate for better app filters and app guidance (did I mention I started an app reviews website?).
Both need more RAM. Some of these apps, some of these services, some of these features on our phones are serious processor-hogs, and I'm sick to death of waiting for emails and big files to process. My girlfriend and I might have a problem, but we have indeed sent so many texts to each other in the few months that I've been sticking with the HTC Incredible that it literally takes 30 seconds or more to open the text string everytime she sends me a new text. That means looking at Micron and Sandisk.
Both need more processing power. Sure, the functionalities in these things already blow the mind and put Gene Roddenberry's most futuristic gadgets from even the 1990s' Star Trek: Next Generation's generation of gadgets to shame. But what about when we want to broadcast the 2018 World Cup in HD using our 109" built-in projector to the Motorola Droid XXX (that'd be the third generation of the Droid X, no? Er, wait a minute...perhaps not) -- that is, what about when we want to broadcast the 2018 World Cup in HD using our 109" built-in projector to the Motorola Droid 3X? Anyway, they need more processing power and graphics power and that means sticking with Intel with its steady exposure to the growth in this market. And it also means digging into the Nvidia once again to see if it can catch this next cycle because that would mean a 5-fold hit for investors if so.
Both need more memory. People are running into memory problems as they shoot HD video on their smart phones, and as they shoot high-pixel pictures, and as they add more information and entertainment to their phones. Think Sandisk and Micron once again here.
The biggest differences: You can only get the iPhone on AT&T. And we all know that AT&T's network sucks. Verizon's network, which runs most of my Motorola's and HTC's, rocks. The Android, while remarkably easy to use, isn't as easy to use as the iPhone. For example, you have to push one too many buttons to dial from other applications than you do on the iPhone. The iPhone ain't perfect in its interface, but it's the best. Just like it was on day one. Still.
The Android's not quite as reliable as the iPhone. I think it's got something to do with the extra software that Verizon adds on to these Android phones that I use, but the very fact that my Android phone requires reboot about 25% of the time I get in my car and try to use it with the built-in bluetooth car phone technology sorta defeats the purpose of the supposed increased safety of handsfree dialing.
The upshot is that although there's going to be differences between each Android-power device, I'd give the Android OS an overall rating of 4 AppConsumer Stars out of 5. And I'd give the iPhone OS an overall rating of 4.5 Stars out of 5. Both set very high standards for the mobile OS field and therefore both do get very high ratings for this reviewer.