Monday, July 12, 2010

Android vs Apple.

I don't think anyone who reads this blog will doubt the fact that I love Apple products. I write this blog entry on a Macbook Pro, I have an iPhone 3GS and before that I had the 3G which my wife is now very happy with.

I also like Android.

For me Android is best poised to become the commodity mobile platform for Phones and possibly for Tablets. It's going to become the DOS/Windows of the Mobile world.

I also like Android because of it's Open Source underpinnings and the Java roots of it's SDK.

On top of that, I'm also a Google fan, I use Chrome and I'm watching the whole Google Wave thing with a lot of interest.

Furthermore besides the iPhone, I've looked at developing some Android apps (An activity that is unfortunately limited because Google doesn't offer paid for apps in my country)

I even attempted to try buy an Android phone earlier this year. And I honestly couldn't find one that I liked (although that is mostly due to the rather poor selection we have in our Country)

The thing about Apple is that they build a device for which the software and hardware is in unison from the ground up, coupled with arguably the worlds best user experience.

For example, take OSX. OSX is a great product on it's own, and technically you could run it on a standard beige Intel box. The question is would I want to.

OSX is the best part of my Macbook, but the sheer niceness of my Macbook hardware is enough to not make me want to run OSX on anything else. I would miss things like the integrated light sensors, the useable track pad, the lighted keyboard, the magnetic charger. Not to mention the eye soothing looks of the Unibody design.

There is however a problem with Apple's approach.

Apple provides the only way to use it's own products. In other words it's a pure product as opposed to being a platform like Android or Windows.

You can't build an "ecosystem" with Apple with new devices being used in new contexts, like embedding iOS into a robot or an industrial device like you could with Android.

More importantly you will never be able to use Apple in a corporate for anything more than a niche group of users. The reason is quite simply that you can't run OSX on anything but Apple, and corporates don't like having thousands of desktops so tightly coupled to a single supplier.

As a result Apple is never going to be a monopoly in anything. A fact that is unfortunately baked into the way it does things.

I fully expect Android to product a market vastly larger and much more diverse than anything Apple could ever hope for.

I will even go so far as too say that Apple knows this and accepts it.

So why am I writing this. Maybe because I don't like the fact that there is this belief in IT that for one platform to win the other has too lose.

It's the type of belief that allows monopolies to form and prosper.

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