Last week several surveys were released analyzing smartphone shipments in the United States for the first quarter of 2012. It’s quite revealing to learn that 85% of the smartphone market is controlled by android and iOS. It almost makes us feel bad for RIM and Microsoft. Almost.
As Apple Evangelists, however, it is hard to swallow the reality that iOS controls around 30% of the market while android controls a staggering 50 some percent. Now to be accurate, these are shipments of smartphones not necessarily sales. It’s a well-known fact that Apple sells almost every iPhone they make. On the other hand, Android devices are shipped to retailers where often times specific models sit for long periods of time before being purchased. But honestly, that’s a glass half full interpretation of the numbers from an Apple perspective. Android is a force. Call it informed decision-making, brand loyalty, or wearing apple shaped blinders, we have a hard time understanding why anyone buys an android device.
That was a bit strong. We can think of a few reasons to own android phones. It’s hard for us to accept, however, that anyone owns an android device for any other reason than one of the following:
1) You’re a techie. You like to root your device and customize it however you please. You’re most likely very technologically capable.
We’ll refrain from comments about your social life and admit that it is very difficult to do any such thing on an iPhone. Yes there is a well-developed jailbreaking community for iOS, but not as robust as the custom ROM scene for android.
2) You don’t appreciate the hard work of content creation. App developers, musicians, and Hollywood studios put a lot of time and effort (and money) into their products. But for some reason, you don’t feel it necessary to pay them for their work. You would rather surf to a website and download a stolen copy of the newest game instead of paying $.99 for it. Your music is all pirated and any movies you watch come from shady fly-by-night websites.
You can’t do this on an iPhone unless you jailbreak your device and we here at AppleEvangelist.com have absolutely zero respect for those who pirate music, apps, and movies in any form. You’re the reason for the thousands of crappy knockoff apps and fart soundboards in the app market and shows like Jersey Shore on TV. No one with legitimate talent wants to create if it’s just going to be stolen.
3) You are someone who likes a plethora of $.99 phones to choose from when it’s time to renew your contract. If there is one thing android has going for it, it’s choice. There are literally hundreds of cheap devices to choose from.
But there are trade-offs for this, as well. A vast majority of android devices don’t run the most recent operating system, even straight out of the box. And there is a dishearteningly high chance that they will never get any sort of update from the carrier or Google. This means you’ll miss out on any new features that are released, security patches needed, or tech support.
Compare this with Apple where there are currently 3 phones for sale. Not much choice. However, all of them (including the $.99 iPhone 3GS) run the most recent operating system, enjoy all security fixes, and are supported by Apple’s unmatched customer service. And, in case you haven’t been to a mall lately, there are literally thousands of different cases you can buy for an iPhone if you really need something that looks different.
It’s important to remember, as well, that many android devices are different. Switching from one to another can often result in incompatible apps, etc.
Yes. We might seem a little biased. Bull-headed. Close-minded. Rude. That’s why we have a comment section. If you have an android phone for another reason we didn’t mention, leave us a comment below. And share on twitter and Facebook so we can get even better discussion going.