The Android Achilles Heel

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The Android Operating system is quickly becoming a very popular platform of choice for smartphones… with literally millions flocking to devices built upon it. In fact, research firm Gartner has predicted that 75 million Android phones will be sold in 2012, making it the second most popular mobile OS in the world.

Add to that, Android is an open source solution, free for manufacturers to use on a slew of constantly refreshing lineup of handsets, and it would seem that the Android movement is unstoppable. And, in many ways, that is true. But underneath it all there is a problem.

The Problem Of Excessive Choice

What is this problem, you ask? Well, the problem is what would at first seem a good thing – choice. The end consumer is free to choose which Android phone they want and what software source they want. The smartphone manufacturer is free to choose what flavor of Android they want to implement, and even what hardware specs they use. The choices are practically endless. And we have been taught that choice is good. But therein lies the problem. Let’s explore this.

Android Flood

If all the phone manufacturers have equal access to the Android OS, then how are they going to make their wares stand out in a crowded marketplace? Simple – they are going to tweak it, with either hardware refinements, operating system supplements, or both. The highly competitive market almost guarantees this to happen. In fact, more than one smartphone developer is seemingly competing against itself with the latest and greatest Android model.

Let’s just stop for a moment and consider the offerings from HTC. Fresh from their website I found five Android smartphone choices: Droid Incredible, Droid Eris, HTC Hero, MyTouch 3G, and the G1. If I were to choose, I would go with the Incredible. But until very recently I would have jumped on the Hero. What if i had done so? Then I, my friends, would have envy. Hardware envy. I would want the bigger screen with more pixels, and the nicer camera is definitely on my envy list. But as soon as I buy the Incredible, I just know that the Ultimate is around the corner. And this leads to an interesting conclusion.

Hardware Envy

That conclusion? Android is fostering Hardware Envy as a way of life. The G1 buyers wanted the Hero, the Hero users want the Incredible, and so on. And that’s just from a single source – add in the other manufacturers and it gets wacky. It’s extremely easy for the average consumer to get lost when trying to make the best purchasing decision. And the contracts in place from the carriers don’t help, so hardware envy may be yours for a while.

Maybe we can look at it like this – imagine a hundred buffet restaurants on the strip, but you don’t know what they have on the bar. Sure any one may have something good to eat, but later when you meet friends and they talk about how wonderful the Lobster Bisque was at their choice, well, the meatloaf just won’t cut it. Too bad you agreed to eat at your restaurant for the next couple of years. In fact, the next time around you may just go to the burger joint and avoid it all.

Paradox of Choice

We’ve touched upon how consumers may be lost when it comes to making the right Android choice. In fact, a lot of research has shown that, on average, consumers don’t always do so well with a lot of choices. Barry Schwartz, in his 2004 book, The Paradox of Choice – Why More Is Less, argues that reducing consumer choices can ease consumer buying anxieties. As Barry writes:

Autonomy and Freedom of choice are critical to our well being, and choice is critical to freedom and autonomy. Nonetheless, though modern Americans have more choice than any group of people ever has before, and thus, presumably, more freedom and autonomy, we don’t seem to be benefiting from it psychologically.
—Ch.5, “The Paradox of Choice”, 2004

It would therefore suggest that by reducing the choices and easing the consumer anxiety would lead to more sales. As an example, consider the iPhone user that has been carrying the single flagship product the entire time that the Android model shuffle has been taking place. It is easy to see how customer satisfaction can remain high when you remove the hardware envy, and this satisfaction can drive other sales in the long term. You end up with customer loyalty instead of the drive-bys, if you will.

Wireless Carrier Impact

Even if you step back and say that the Android self-competition is fueling innovation in the mobile market, with which I would tend to agree, the agreements with wireless carriers are at best incompatible with the concept. Once the consumer buys a particular Android phone, they are locked into a contract with that carrier (and perhaps rightfully so, since the carrier subsidizes the phone). That means when the next Android model hits, the consumer may or may not even have access to an upgrade unless they pay to break their contract.

The smartphone maker, if they do want to update their device lineup, has to work with the carriers to determine who gets which device. The drive for each manufacturer to shine in the market creates a short device turnover period, and this is in contrast to wireless carrier contracts. The end result is that each new Android phone “style”, if you will, needs to be tweaked for each carrier. This creates even more choices that confuse the consumer. The different carrier policies can even make the same phone have different capabilities, making it difficult for developers to count on a given feature.

Developer Quandary

Having Android across millions of phones would seem like a great thing for a given developer. That is a lot of potential customers, and to a large degree that is true. However, for each “tweak” by a given handset manufacturer you have a potential incompatibility that will prevent your app from working as intended. The developer needs to test, test, test – losing valuable time and complicating delivery.

Beyond just potential incompatibilities, new features must be taken advantage of if you want your app to be popular. For example, consider the HTC Hero and the HTC Incredible. If you had written a really cool game for the 320 x 480 Hero, and looked forward to it be being popular on Android devices for a while, then the Incredible’s 400 x 800 screen is going to present a problem. At best, it is not going to look as good as new apps. At worse, it will not run at all.

In the meanwhile, the iPhone version works with all iPhones to date without a hitch, including the iPod touch. In the time you have tested with all of the major flavors of Android, crated specific media to take advantage of the different screens, and verified that the feature set from each carrier encompasses what you are using, the iPhone developer has created multiple titles. The Android aspect of choice has made the developer’s job more complicated.

History Repeats Itself

The Android Mobile OS is not the first OS to have this problem. Consider the Windows Mobile platform. While not free, WinMo was sold to the manufacturer, which then was free to tweak as desired (see the similarities?). The end result was a plethora of devices that sported 12+ different screen configurations and varying hardware. Developers were forced to pick and choose what they would support, and quality software lagged.

Despite having an immense lead in the mobile market and brand recognition with the world’s most popular desktop operating system, Windows Mobile has fallen far from where it logically should be. You would probably not be surprised to find that a lot of iPhone developers cut their mobile teeth on Windows Mobile, but have no interest in going back after the simplified mechanics of the iPhone and its AppStore – Apple frustrations included.

Even the fact that Android is open source could lead to its open choices being a downfall. Anyone remember J2ME? The open source mobile platform splintered among development efforts, and its promise is now all but forgotten. While Windows Mobile avoided that due to Microsoft’s control, Android, being open source, is in actual danger of this as time progresses.

As we know, Android is a flexible open source mobile operating system that is spreading like wildfire across the smartphone market. However, without some kind of standards and control, we may find that a few years down the road we will be looking back at the dominating mobile OS that almost was. And that would be a tragedy.

  32 comments for “The Android Achilles Heel

  1. May 29, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    This isn’t unique to either Android or smartphones….

    It’s exactly the same with Windows and PCs, MACs and OSX, Linux and, well, anything.

    PCs has uniprocessors, multi-processors, multi-core processors, various RAM choices, different peripherals, etc. And guess what? For the vast majority of users (either “plain jane” or “power” users), everything works pretty well out of the box.

    But a Gamer wants the Big Bad Machine, a graphics person what’s pretty much the same as a gamer, but with stylus pads, etc. Regular home users just want to surf and e-mail. And some hardware envy occurs.

    Which drives hardware sales. Upgrades. And new peripheral sales.

    Which is the same for Android on Smartphones. It’s no different than Windows on a PC or Linux on a Sparc. Standarized APIs let nearly any software work with the main differences being the hardware drivers specific to the handset.

    In other words… If your happy with your phone, keep it. If not, buy another one.

  2. Alvin
    May 31, 2010 at 10:19 am

    “Fresh from their website I found five Android smartphone choices: Droid Incredible, Droid Eris, HTC Hero, MyTouch 3G, and the G1. If I were to choose, I would go with the Incredible. But until very recently I would have jumped on the Hero. What if i had done so?”

    Your choice would have been dictated by which carrier and what technology they support. The Incredible and Eris are locked to Verizon’s CDMA network. The Hero, MyTouch 3G, G1 are GSM, but they support different bands of HSDPA, so you would get 3G in Europe with any of those 3, but MyTouch3G and G1 have T-Mobile’s AWS flavor of 3G. If you wanted to run Android on AT&T, you could use any of those phones, but you probably would be using EDGE unless you imported the Canadian versions of those devices which had 3G in the 850/1900 spectrum. If you wanted to stick with GSM, you could also get the NexusOne straight from Google and decide which model, AT&T 3G or T-Mobile 3G. It’s 900/2100 GSM standard for the both fragmented continents of European and Asian nations. So technically you have many choices, but they become extremely limited by the spectrum setup in the US and the control of the greedy carriers.

  3. Paul
    May 31, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Agree with Scott above, this is no different to software development in past history across multiple platforms but I don’t see linux for example halting in progress. Quite the opposite.

  4. Erich
    May 31, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Windows Mobile’s failure is not a result of too much choice. It’s the result of being expensive, sluggish and hard to use, while lacking features.

  5. Juan
    May 31, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Technology is not just open, it’s personal. Choice is the key to compatibility. The only problem I see is people becoming app junkies. Nice post though!

  6. May 31, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Choice is not the problem here you moron! The only reason you would by an iphone over an android based phone is the app store. This is the single biggest problem holding back android.

  7. RobinC
    May 31, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    I partially agree with you, while it is frustrating to have the latest greatest for a month before there is something better, once this becomes the status-quo, people will be bored of their iPhones with their annual release date. A close friend just bought a HTC Legend because he is bored of his iPhone, and the OS4 updates didn’t leave him quite as moist as Apple would have liked, plus the price of the next iPhone is prohibitive – the year old 3GS is £550 and he got the brand new Legend for £350. Right in the middle we have BlackBerry with a range of handsets and pricing, released every few months.

    As for contracts the carrier subsidises the handset cost, more competition = lower prices, the reduced cost of not having to licence the OS (ala winmo) also brings down development costs. (Apple and BlackBerry don’t have anyone to share the dev costs with)

    The proof that things are changing for the better is easy to see in accessories, a little over year ago, every manufacturer had their own proprietary dock connectors and chargers, now it is all getting standardised (3.5mm and MicroUSB), and I think the same thing will happen with screen resolutions, having a non-standard screen resolution on your new handset will very soon put buyers off.

    As for WinMo (and J2ME), it crumbled because they fell behind the times, I currently have a WinMo 6.5 device (till my new phone arrives next week), and it is still a stylus based OS, even though the handset doesn’t have a built in stylus. Java, while highly cross platform (and ugly and slow) still has incredible use due to mxit, and other apps for (teen and economy) non-smartphone users, and is far from dead.

    I think that the two different paradigms of extremely open Android and extremely closed iPhone OS are going to appeal to different consumers. in the same way that BlackBerry has a stronghold on the business niche…

  8. George
    May 31, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    iPhone OS is facing the same types of problems…


  9. Fr33d0m
    May 31, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Yeah, people are stupid and choice confuses us. Thats why the web failed back in the 90s. What a farce.

  10. Erik Mathis
    May 31, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    I’d have to agree with Scott. The OS and its API abstraction layers mostly masks the hardware. If it lacks a feature, we either live with it or upgrade.
    Your point about closed OS’s from Apple and MS phones, is spot on. All though they don’t suffer from OS/App segmentation (yet), you give up so much more. Take the current Apple/Flash drama. We all know flash is an heavy app, and HTML5 will mostly replace it in time. The end user gets caught in a political pissing match, while 90% of the Intertnet doesn’t work for them. With OSS OS’s this can NEVER happen. I’d happily take segmentation over imposed political fights ANY day.

    Also carrier lock-ins are like gated communities they seem like a good idea, but are easily avoidable if one chooses to get on the other side.

  11. May 31, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    I for one agree with what you have been saying in the post, too much choice is bad and I myself, even though not in the trade, am being asked as a user of the HTC desire, about many of the features that it offers by a national high street mobile phone shop opposite becuase even they are confused as to what Android and the phone offers.
    Despite this, I do recommend the HTC Desire as a business phone becuase it is awsome, no hardware envy either (at present).

  12. May 31, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    But that envy exists because of innovation in the marketplace Google has provided a common set of open standards (the OS) that companies can build on top of… Allowing HTC, Motorola, and others to focus on building killer hardware and unique apps which add value to the device AND to the entire ecosystem.

    I know choice can be hard for people… But I think more innovation is ultimately better for the consumer.

    Speaking as a G1 owner who covets the new EVO.

  13. Olly Culverhouse
    May 31, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    The whole ‘locked in for two years’ is a bit off. Living in Europe buying the device on its on without a contract is popular. I can see it being the best way in the future.

    Google tried to give Americans the same opportunity but people complained that the phone was too expensive. However the same people are complaining that they don’t want to be locked into a 2 year contract!

    Do what I do, buy the phone, get a 30 day rolling contract from the best network at the time then if a new phone comes out, sell your old and buy the new. Simple!

  14. GATech
    May 31, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    I fail to see how a standardized OS on mobile devices is a bad thing at all. It is pretty much identical to the Windows 95 explosion. If you standardize the OS, then people can move on to caring about how much hardware they have and by whom it was manufactured. It also bring the focal point to the actual importance of smart phones- app development. Until now, the only remotely decent apps were to be had on the iPhone.

  15. tmodroid
    May 31, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Nice try. Some may be fooled into thinking freedom is a bad idea but I know better and I’m not the only one excited about the MUCH NEEDED open source movement. Everyone is tired of Microsoft and especially Apple trying to own everything….Buy our product and become invested in our product that way each additional product you buy has to be ours and you are stuck. No thanks. My crappy 2nd gen android (CLIQ) with its substandard 1.7 Android OS is 10X any other type of OS phone out there. I wouldn’t trade it for an HD2 except only to sell it. Why would I spend a week putting together a nasty gaming machine than keeps the cpu under 45 cent. under full load to only be allowed to do certain things on my machine, and low and behold if I take my AMD chip out and swap for INTEL and am forced to re purchase all my software?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Oh my, how are you being paid to produce this vomit for us to read.

  16. Nikitis
    May 31, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    So how is any of this worse? I read your whole article and I do not agree with this at all.

    Let’s look at what we had before. Wireless companies with no choice at all with all crappy phones. I can’t count how many times I heard my friends wishing there were better hardware. Openness while sucks for the hardware manufacturer is amazing for the consumers. Spin it anyway you like, This is true.

    If your a manufacturer, what this does is give you an opportunity to stop releasing junk, and truly innovate your next design of a mobile phone rather than just trying to release the next piece of hardware with one small upgrade. Take your time in designing add things that are way better than it should be, and people will flock to you. You will make a killing while the others catch up. And once they do, you will have had time in the mean time to develop something better than what you did. This is Apples strategy for example. They took a look at the whole phone market, with small screens, cheap phones, and decided to make something huge. iPhone was born.

    Open source is nothing but a good thing for everyone including manufacturers. They just have to change how they do the design process.

  17. Hamranhansenhansen
    May 31, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Even worse problems:

    * native C API closed to 3rd party developers, only Google can make C apps
    * system updates come from carriers, and often don’t come at all
    * Android v1 devices still outselling v2 even 6 plus months after v2 shipped
    * copycat design and engineering by Google leads to handset makers paying patent license fees to Microsoft and getting sued for patent infringement by Apple
    * devices are hastily put together and lack refinement
    * lacks consumer usability
    * bulk of sales on closed networks (Verizon, Sprint) where open standard iPhone can’t run
    * low battery life
    * no enterprise features, still can’t play in corporate with iPhone, Blackberry
    * malware

    • Guestgsu
      November 28, 2010 at 4:42 am

      wow this is so inaccuate that I won’t even bother responding to each bullet point.

  18. angelo
    May 31, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    It’s all about knowing what you as a user want for your purposes. There will always be new phones, new hardware, new everything, but I think it’s more the question of what you see yourself using your phone for at the time you buy it. Having the latest and the greatest, unless it’s your goal to do so, doesn’t always mean satisfaction.

  19. Keith
    May 31, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    This article is a joke right? Do you also right for The Onion?

  20. May 31, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    While I agree with Scott, this choice is definitely a dual edged sword. The same thing that drives competition, interest, and innovation (choice, openness) is the same thing that hinders its growth in some ways.

    Not only are there multiple names for the same device. Again taking HTC as an example the HTC Magic is better known in the US as the MyTouch 3G. There are a number of examples like this and while this is not uncommon it does splinter mindshare for the average consumer.

    Apple has iPhone, and can build mindshare by just having one brand. When you have multiple names for the same device, and on top of that multiple devices, its hard to generate much brand loyalty.

    I think despite these shortcomings, the sheer awesomenesss of the Android platform combined with sweet hardware is overcoming this strategic error.

  21. Jim
    May 31, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Are you serious? There is a problem with ANDROID… as if Apple is flawless. Let me say a few things you may not have ever heard before: I know people who had IPOD issues and Apple computer problems.. And then you add telephone issues with ATT overuse of the data….making it slower than android! Furthermore.. so what if all phones cannot run every app every made. My TMOBILE click can run 200 apps before it slows down…Unlike the “OFFICIAL TESTERS”… I know I use it daily! So what if i cannot run 301 and would need a new phone. 200 is alot of apps! As far as apple goes they are being accused of handset maker HTC of stealing it’s secrets to make that Iphone… If it’s true mixed with the bizarre comments out of Apple lately.. wouldn’t you prefer your system without that? Apple tried to be cool then went to it’s kill the competition. Is ANDROID KARMA.. you bet it is.

  22. May 31, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    I don’t feel that it’s an achilles heel, but the reverse?

    A) problem with different standards in screen size? this just mean we need better coders! E.g. if you develop a website, you still have to cater for IE, Firefox, Safari, Chrome + all the different resolutions. So in the same way, people can do that for android?

    B) if there is a need for more testing to make sure apps are compatible on all android phones then it just means more jobs for testers/developers?

    C) every 3 months in real life = 1 year of internet time, or so I’ve heard….. which means technology will always keep improving. If you live in Asia and have known some phone fanatic freaks, you’ll also know that they change phones like cloths! If you like a phone and have the cash for it, then buy it! If you’ve just recently bought a phone and want a newer version of it, then just sell your current one and top up a little bit for the better version. At the end of the day people who want what they want will find a way, envying other people who have better phones and not doing something about it is just a way of being whiny.

    I feel that the comparison of iphone development and android development is something like programming vs php. Developers can charge up to £700 a day for programming and it’s so much easier to program than php (think going rate is around £100/day)? But people still choose php because of the clean code and its free? I feel that when a lot more people are on android phones, the demand for android developers will increase and they will cost a lot more than iphone developers coz its so easy to program for iphone.

    The list goes on and on……

  23. Brad
    May 31, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Choice and options by themselves not a bad thing. Suppose you go to the grocery store to buy some cereal. You walk into your local mega grocery store. You walk to the cereal isle, but you know what you do not see? DEAD PEOPLE. Choice will never stop a consumer. It is not like a customer will stand and spend weeks attempting to make a choice of which brand of cereal they would like to buy until they waste away and die. So to say that a multitude of choice and options will befuddle consumers is in my opinion untenable. That way of thinking reminds me of Soviet Russia or Communist China after the Cultural Revolution.

  24. Kyle
    May 31, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    While you have a point about supporting multiple devices the PC industry has worked in this model for years and it has far from failed. How hard is it to code a app that supports multiple resolutions… Every other phone OS has been doing this for years.

    While the original iphone was innovative, what has apple done since. IPAD? are you kidding me? just a bigger iphone, and in my opinion nothing special, and way over priced.

    Apple is the master of gaining a following and holding them with new slightly better devices. While I have the up most respect for apple and their products, and there is something to say for simple products that and just work. They limit their potential by their controlling practices on the devices and software.

    All in all this article brings a weak point from what I would guess is someone stuck in a iphone contract, while all the new android devices come out that clearly trump the current iphone. Good luck with AT&T where the service is getting worse not better…

  25. bone
    June 1, 2010 at 1:57 am

    This was a really funny post, which when I started to read bad things about the android I knew right away it was from an iphone user. Then I saw the iphone posted a few times, which it’s obvious. Something about iphone hatters that see or know android took over the market. Android is already out selling and they hate it that average android phones can do things their iphones can’t?

    First as other have mentioned already, what would dell, gateway, hp, acer..etc have to do is there was only one operating system? They tweak what’s loaded on top of the operating system, so this has already been proven that it’s worked and is going to work.

    The bottom line I see is that with andorid you can do things you cant’ do with the iphone. You have to jailbreak (hack) the iphone to make it even remotely a decent phone. Here are just simply things iphone just can’t do

    1) Multi-tasking is something iphone users are not aware of. Can’t listen to pandora in the car while GPS is running. Let alone I won’t bring up how horrible iphone’s navigation system is comparing to andorid using google maps for their gps navigation.

    2) Tell an Iphone user you want to save a 600MB iso file on their iphone, since you don’t walk around with a thumb drive (can’t do it)

    3) Tethering, hum…….. can’t do that either out of the box, while android just downloads a free program and in 5 minutes your tethering. You can even turn your new android 2.2 into a wifi hotspot. So you can use your laptop, ipod and anything else that needs internet while your on the beach. Iphone users probably don’t even know what I’m talking about.

    4) Did you forget flash? You might think Flash sucks, but it’s already our android.

    5) Being able to install any app you want like a big boy, like you do on your computer. Iphone users were excited when they finally were able to use another browser like Opera LOL I wish I was kidding, while there’s half a dozen in the market for android.

    If those aren’t enough reasons, now you are able to go to any carrier, so you can save a lot more monthly buy going to another carrier.

    Nobody has google TV to my suprise. Sony, Lotiech and a few other companies are going to start using android on their television. Just go to youtube and type in google TV to learn more about it. Now you have a operating system that’s on the phone that some of the cool apps, you’d like on your TV, like weather, clock widget, stocks, the browser you want. Now game developers can develop games that can possibly be played on your cell phone and your television without heavy changes in development.

    I know your an iphone user, but come on!!! This reminds me of when Steve Jobs was defending his iphone and how you can’t install any app unless it’s approved.
    This is one of Iphone’s biggest downfalls is their signed approved apps. Steve Jobs stated it’s because he doesn’t think a kid should be able to get porn on a phone like they can’t with the android. Open up the iphone and go into their market and type in adult, stripers…etc, so for one thing steve is just making excuses and second, why would anybody install an app when there’s a browser and a kid with any platform can go to any adult site?

    These silly things are what is killing iphone. This is why iphone is going to end up like OSX with 5% of the market at the end.

    • seriously
      October 8, 2012 at 9:21 pm

      1) Multi-tasking is something iphone users are not aware of.
      True, they don’t care. It matters not a diddly squat to them.
      2) Tell an Iphone user you want to save a 600MB iso file on their iphone…

      …and they will look at you as if you were speaking an alien language. You might want to do that, why would they?
      3) Tethering, hum…….. can’t do that either out of the box.

      To be honest, I don’t know what tethering is or why I’d want to do it. I’d look it up, but as far as I know it doesn’t stop me from getting on the internet or using a phone.
      4) Did you forget flash?

      Flash for mobile has been quietly abandoned by Adobe. Along with Silverlight and MS.
      5) Being able to install any app you want

      This is exactly what the article was talking about, people want apps that work well. They’d happily install whatever that does the job reliably. They don’t really care how many apps they could install, they only want one. Giving them five options means they have less chance of choosing the best one.

  26. FalKirk
    June 6, 2010 at 1:44 am

    A very nice post. I have been thinking much the same thing for quite some time, but I’ve been struggling to put it into words.

    I read the Paradox of Choice and it profoundly changed my thinking. I have always been a proponent of choice, choice and more choice. That book shook my convictions to the core. It’s not that we’re stupid or need to be educated. It’s about the way our brains work.

    Open is the dogma of the web right now. And, as Mark Twain once said: “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” Well, that’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m pausing in my belief that more choice is always the better choice and reflecting on the very many examples of closed corporations that are doing as well as, and in many cases, much better than, their open competitors.

    I suspect the debate on “open” v. “closed” is far from being decided. Or even understood.

    • Julian
      July 21, 2013 at 8:45 pm

      3 years later… the point is not that an open environment is always better, but that a closed system where the road to the new is permanently closed is worse, all things equal.

      While iPhones have been excellent consumer devices, that is compensating for the fact that the development system is not the optimal.

      Open is better. Open is related to choice, but is not the same thing.

  27. June 10, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    It is so interesting how the Iphone and droid have made everyone take cell phones so ….personally ( myself included) but you can read through these comments and see it is very much a personal issue for them.
    I for one though the article was brilliant, because I am user, not developer. I agree that before the droid/iphone invention, I was quite the cell phone whore, constantly changing handsets and even companies to have the latest and greatest.
    All of that changed for me with the iphone because I no longer have hardware envy. I also enjoy the predictability of when a new iphone will launch. I basically expect one every summer and am financially prepared when that comes around. I have zero doubt in my choice since I have such a good history with the iphone. So all of that makes sense to me. I have seen too many droids and dont feel like doing the research to see which one does what and at what price.

  28. demonzrulaz
    November 28, 2010 at 4:36 am

    While I may be a Android fanboy, your article was, surprisingly un-biased truth. I just would like to add one comment. Since you’re comparing the Android OS to the Windows Mobile OS, you’re implying that Android would meet the same, if not similar, fate as Windows Mobile. Lets say that this is true, Android does meet the same fate as Windows Mobile. When WMo started to decline, guess what happened? Apple create the iPhone, which needless to say, revolutionized the phone industry. Well, if Android meets the same fate as WMo, then I can’t wait to see what new mobile OS/technology there will be :). Until then, I’ll stick with Android. I love my N1 😀

  29. August 17, 2011 at 10:39 am

    “it would seem that the Android movement is unstoppable.”

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