Opinion

The Great Debate

The Android opportunity

August 20, 2009

gruber.jpg– John Gruber writes and publishes Daring Fireball, a web site for Mac, web and design enthusiasts. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife and five-year-old son. This article first appeared on Daring Fireball. The views expressed are his own. –

In just the past few weeks Steven Frank, Alex Payne, and Andre Torrez all tried switching from the iPhone to Android. All three are smart, open-minded, and eloquent regarding their reasons for trying Android. All three are developers who care about the quality and design of software and hardware.

All three found Android significantly lacking.

android.jpg

The new G1 phone running Google's Android software. REUTERS/Jacob Silberberg

No doubt some iPhone owners look upon this with glee, much like sports fans watching a rival team flail. I look upon it with glum disappointment. I’ve said it before and will say it again, the best thing that could happen for Apple and iPhone owners would be for at least one strong rival to appear. Two would be even better. A monoculture benefits no one in the long run, because it’s competition that drives innovation.

I know there are new Android phones on the horizon. I know there have been some nice Android OS updates. But from my vantage point, the Android state-of-the-art is today further behind the iPhone state-of-the-art than it was when the G1 debuted last October.

Here are a few paragraphs of a piece I wrote 14 months ago regarding why I’m rooting for Android:

Google’s dependence on hardware and carrier partners puts the final product out of their control — and into the control of companies whose histories have shown them to be incompetent at design and hostile to users.

I’d be happy to be proven wrong, but my hunch is that the only way we’ll see an iPhone-caliber Android phone is if Google does what they’ve said they’re not going to do, which is to design and ship their own reference model “gPhone”. That doesn’t mean Android won’t still be successful in some sense if it remains on its current course, but that I don’t expect it to be successful in the “holy s–t is this awesome!” sense that the iPhone is.

So far, alas, that seems prescient.

But so if Google isn’t going to stand up and produce the ideal Android phone, someone else needs to.

There’s a theme currently brewing in the tech press that iPhone owners are up in arms regarding Apple’s handling of the App Store. The truth is, it is a summer of discontent for the iPhone, but not for all iPhone users, not most, not even many. Most, in fact, are oblivious to the App Store controversy and complaints. Those who are upset are developers and genuine technology wonks. Those are the people who either want to switch or whose minds have at least been opened to the idea that they might want to switch. But what they want to switch to is not a middle of the road phone. They want a high end phone.

They don’t want to downgrade from the iPhone. They want to upgrade from the iPhone.

There’s a huge opportunity here for Android phone makers. No one is going to just suddenly catch up to Apple in terms of total sales. The iPhone has grown fast, but even so, it has taken two years of growth to get where it is today. Catching up to the iPhone in an instant — or even within a year or two — is not a feasible goal. So forget that. But there are ambitious goals that are feasible. Here’s my advice.

Start by copying what Apple has done right. Release one new phone per year, every year. Split that one phone into separate models by storage size, keeping all other specs the same. Apple has shown you can make a lot of money by charging an extra $100 for less than $100 worth of flash memory.

One single phone gives developers a single device to target, and makes it easier on consumers. It also gives the press a single device to focus its attention on. (I’m looking at you, Motorola.)

You’re not going to start by taking away existing iPhone users. Not the normal ones. Normal iPhone owners have the good common sense to hang on to an expensive new phone for a few years (which I say with the self-awareness that I personally have no common sense regarding the consumption of gadgetry).

The goal should be to make a phone that is better than the iPhone. Better. Even if that means more expensive (although you should do what you can, including eat into your profit margins, to match or come close to the iPhone’s price). Remember, the original iPhone launched with a sale price of $599 and people lined up hundreds deep to get one.

As the iPhone goes mass market, it’s creating a vacuum at the high end of the market for a high-quality exclusive phone. Remember when the iPhone was new and novel? Now it’s common.

Don’t aim for the middle of the market. That seems to be what all the other Android manufacturers are doing and it’s the road to NobodyCaresAboutYourPhoneVille. So instead of trying to sell half a million phones to anyone, try to sell half a million phones to a specific target: people in the market for the latest and greatest phone in the world.

This is a story line the press will love. The press is itching to write “iPhone No Longer King of the Hill” headlines.

The phone needs to be as good as the iPhone in every possible way, including hardware build quality. Web browsing needs to be iPhone quality, not “almost iPhone quality”.

Carefully select a handful of areas where you can beat the iPhone, and then promote the hell out of these features. Over-the-air calendar, contact, and email syncing through Google services should beat MobileMe hands down, if only because MobileMe costs $100 a year and Google’s services are free.

Emphasize that Android apps are background-capable, and that there is no centralized App Store under one company’s ironclad control. There are no tales of rejected Android apps because there are no rejected Android apps.

Consider trade-offs that Apple is unlikely to make, like, say, device thickness. Beef your phone up with a bigger (and, yes, slightly thicker) battery than the iPhone’s and then make battery life a major selling point. Something along the lines of, “The iPhone’s battery life is fine for casual users, but serious users need more than just a few hours.” (You should copy Apple and seal the battery into the case, however — replaceable batteries lead to creaky, squeaky cases.)

The branding must be excellent. No logos on the front of the phone. No carrier logos anywhere on the device. If Apple can do it, so can you.

If your goal is to sell more smartphones than Apple, you’re going to fail. If your hope is to gain a strong foothold in the market with a sub-par device, you are mistaken. So aim high, and set your goals such that you can smugly claim victory with just a fraction of Apple’s unit sales. If Apple is BMW, you can be Porsche.

Comments
27 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Should have taken into account the new HTC Hero, HTC have polished Android into a near unrecognisable state … for the better. While the hardware might be a tad underpowered the software is something truly that can compete on the iPhone level. I for one really look forward to a HTC hardware update with the latest version of their software. Things will really hot up then.

 

If a company really wants to beat the IPhone they must accomplish the following. These are my main gripes about the iPhone, and improvement in another phone could help a competitor.

1. The touch screen, while good, is imprecise. Yes, it is better than any other touchscreen I have ever used, but it could be improved.

2. Running apps simultaneously, or at least not having to exit an app every time I need to check mail, text, phone calls etc. The Palm Pre does this, but the phone itself looks/feels cheap

3. Better reception. While AT&T is mainly behind the signal availability, I think a seemless retractable antenna, that fits flush in case, could do wonders in low signal strength areas, especially when data is being used.

4. Battery life. As you mentioned extended battery life is a major issue. Browsing sucks up significant power, dont even bother with 3G since it also eats the battery. This is one area that Apple has always performed poorly. I have had several of their laptops and they all have battery issues eventually. This makes me concerned regarding what I will do if the iPhone battery quits.

If a competitor could accomplish the above, while still offering a similar interface and exterior design, it would be a significant threat to Apple. Unfortunately, all the competitors still seem to be stuck int he last decade, with clunky ugly phones with a multitude of buttons. Lets keep it simple, clean, and stylish.

Posted by Greg | Report as abusive
 

how is it that another article about android v. iphone can focus so totally on the short-comings of android hardware/software without a single mention of the failings of the iphone. why did these developers want to leave iphone in the first place? the notion that this is driven by good-hearted gadget-heads acting ‘for the sake of the market’ (i.e. that iphone needs a competitor) is not being honest. many people don’t like the iphone and the imagined loyalty of its user-base is far more precarious than people would like to imagine. the real weakness in this article, however, is that it fails to grasp that it is precisely the increasingly-obsolete-looking model (at least to tech-heads) that apple has adopted (one super-proprietary device, locked up tight to a carrier and a micro-managed OS) that forms the weakness that android will exploit. the new HTC Hero/”Sense UI” interface has in the past couple of days been updated (august 19) and is now said to be snappier than iphone 3gs (it was already sexier). with this only significant lingering technical problem with the Hero fixed, less than a year after the first android phone hit the market, we can say that the android idea has already produced a device that can “beat the iphone”. this demonstrates a rate of development that far outstrips the pace of the development of the iphone (released 2007). while i may be speaking about a world ‘just around the corner’, this article seems to be addressing the iphone-android debate of about 4 months ago. catch up, man!

Posted by Jay S. | Report as abusive
 

Hi,

for 4 years I had a windows mobile phone which improved dramatically over the years and was a good substitute for a notebook when I was travelling and wanted to process some emails, arrange meetings and do some browsing or read rss feeds. For a change with new employer I decided to go with an iphone and I will be honest say I was quite shocked where functionality that I had taken for granted was not there. In the core capability of a smartphone I feel like I have gone backwards. Apple’s success with the iphone was to sell to people who would never bought a smartphone. They are still adding basic smartphone functionality to the phone even the v3 OS !! What you need is a lock in and for many people it is the itunes that gets people locked into the Apple ecosystem. Google is trying to sell as smartphone without any lockin that I think is a big problem for them. Microsoft’s trump card with Windows mobile was Exchange connectivity but now everyone has that licensed. I hope that no one else goes down that road of built in batteries as that is still one of the big negatives of the iphone and many other Apple products.

Posted by Martin | Report as abusive
 

I vehemently disagree on the sealed battery recommendation. That is why I will never buy an Apple gadget.

Posted by Ffred | Report as abusive
 

BRAVO!!!!! AND YOU DIDN’T EVEN MENTION THE DEVIL: AT&T !!

Posted by AJM | Report as abusive
 

There are three interrelated elements in making a good phone: the tactile, physical object itself, the software that runs it and the connectivity.

Granted, Apple made a shrewd move or two with the iPhone. It was and still almost could be a breakthrough device, aligned with an established (if not very good) service provider. Unfortunately for its most loyal customers, Apple is making its new fortune at the expense of several other key computing areas, notably its own once-great ProApps division, manifestly less well supported now than in the pre-iPhone era.

Despite having been a device of its time back whenever, Apple’s iPhone still falls short on several fronts.

iPhone has physical limitations and an aging now-retro physical appearance, size and shape being among them, also: physical connectivity via custom, non-standard (rather than general-purpose) hardware interfacing, hobbling dependency on costly incremental software features (Apps), its inability to be used as an external, user-configurable data or media storage device and of course the mortal incumbency of operating exclusively with the world’s most exploitative and underperforming telcom network, AT&T.

No MMS, no camera flash, no real buttons, no service in too many places… not super-good. If you complain to Apple, it’s AT&T’s fault; should you have issues with AT&T as you undoubtedly will, vice versa. Nobody’s really happy but nobody’s to blame either, are they?

There ought to be plenty of room on the market for a better device than the iPhone, at least one that doesn’t inveigle its users into myriad ancillary costs and relegation of total user satisfaction to somewhere behind “this is just the way it works” lifestyle status. By the same token, there ought to be a better choice of network than AT&T, as in any free market there undoubtedly would be…

The problem with hardware manufacturers embracing Android – at least here in the U.S. – seems to be their prior commitment to not rocking the boat with so-so carriers to whom they are inexorably wedded. The ensuing inertia of long-term contracts, habitually restrictive and costly app arrays are key manifestations of a torpidly parasitic business model. This marriage is implicitly opposed to Open Architecture and Open Connectivity.

Hardware makers get away with saying, what’s the point of having a great phone if the network doesn’t want you to use it your own way? Carriers meanwhile can and do blame the phones themselves for less than stellar active feature sets, while discouraging innovation in favor of milking the hell out of second-rate aggregate performance conditions. Everybody wins – except the customer.

In sum, the cartel nature of American cellular business is an impediment not only to competition but also to progress in itself. Until further notice, innovative competition is to be expected from overseas only.

To Steve Jobs: please watch “The President’s Analyst” while you get better. To AT&T, for serial disservice to phone users everywhere, Big Trouble Soon Come. To Google, on breaking the cartels up in style one of these days, Good Luck.

Posted by The Bell | Report as abusive
 

The iPhone 3GS is the first Apple product I have bought since I bought my first computer: an Apple //c

When I first got it, I was delighted with the cute animations and all the great stuff built into it.

But as time goes on, I like it less and less.

Very basic functionality is missing. For example, one cannot put folders into the app launcher, with the result that arranging apps into easily-accessed groups is impossible. To get to my eBook apps, I need to scroll serially through several pages. To get to the games, even more scrolling is required.

This is forgivable. Sure, not every single Apple app could be great.

BUT! They won’t let you load a decent app launcher onto the device! It is locked down, with no alternatives!

This is not forgivable. It is an inexcusable “screw you” to the users.

This is but one example. Other important capabilities, most of which were available 15 years ago on the PalmOS, are either missing or poorly implemented. And when you call Apple for advice, you are told “Sorry, tat is impossible to do”.

I’m sick of this mediocre device, but what makes me angry is that Apple has engineered it so that the user can’t fix things to their satisfaction.

Posted by David Westebbe | Report as abusive
 

I’d really like my iphone to utilize java too.

Posted by Lara | Report as abusive
 

I wonder:

Is this article trying to discuss the Android platform, or the hardware that is powering AndroidOS? They are 2 separate entities, and need to be discussed individually to tackle the iPhone, because the iPhone is both a great phone, but a powerful OS with a massive app store and feature library.

The iPhone has a major Achilles heel: The fact that it’s an iPhone. That is, that there is only 1 of them, and they have been very slow to leverage it’s popularity by expanding to new carriers. You deride Motorola concerning it’s proliferation of new phone styles, but forget the pertinent fact behind Motorola, and almost every other company: They sell phones to multiple carriers. For Apple’s iPhone, it has a maximum availability. RIM has done a great job in the business smartphone market by leveraging multiple device types to ensure compatibility with multiple carriers, and their requirements. If you are a blackberry fan, you can purchase the device as a T-Mobile customer, AT&T, Verizon or Sprint.

That is where, I believe Android has a distinct advantage you failed to discuss. Apple still has another two years left in it’s AT&T partnership (from my understanding), and is tied to that carrier. Because of this, it’s unlikely they can reach out to the bigger Verizon, the more affordable T-Mobile, or 3G-promoting Sprint. Android can capitalize on this over the next two years, as it is handset agnostic, which is a major selling point of Android’s future.

The hardware that powers Android is another sticking point. Not once in the article did you even advise who builds Android handsets, currently. HTC is the primary manufacturer of handsets. They far from a dominant handset manufacturer. Because of this, it’s unlikely that HTC handsets are going to properly take advantage of Android, or provide a solid platform for what Android can be in the future. Once Android becomes more widely accepted by larger handset manufacturers (and more sets from different manufacturers are slated for this year), we will see the Android OS become better, as the marketplace can support further development.

I believe that because of those things – the flexibility of carriers, the agnosticism of relying on a singular manufacturer, as being major drivers for Android.

In reality, I see this storm brewing as another Apple vs. Windows battle. Apple has one OS and one handset. Google has one OS, and potentially thousands of handsets. Guess who is going to win this battle for OS penetration? I’ll take the 100, not the 1.

Posted by Ben S. | Report as abusive
 

This is a nice business plan.

But you forgot to mention the core of everything: excellent programmers are rare and not even Goggle can gather enough of them to even come close to ergonomic wisdom collected by Apple.

Or otherwise speaking: What makes you believe that building a BMW is easy. Most companies try in vain …

Posted by falconeye | Report as abusive
 

great article. i for one am a person seriously considering moving from apple to android, or palm pre. having ‘washed’ my iphone ive found:

* bad and inconsistent service from att on the upgrade. 3 upgade dates, 3 prices. they feel like they own me.

* dissapoinrment from iphone 3gs. no update in industrial design, still no background apps, simply not enough innovation to justify the cost.

you are right, after the apple salad days and euphoria, this is the summer of discontent. i’m just fed up enough to change carriers, phones. take a look at the palm pre for example — gorgious screen apps etc.

 

The Samsung Omnia 2 is an iphone killer. It runs winMo 6.5 and could easily run android. It has an 800×480 sreen and an 800mhz arm with accelerated graphics, a cam with led flash and longer battery life than any other phone like it (due to amoled). Its basically a tiny little computer and I will be buying one when they arrive at Verizon later this month. You can choose whatever browser you want, IE, skyfox, opera etc.. Totally hackable.

Posted by Cale | Report as abusive
 

Everything I’ve read here is about gadgets and buttons and techno-something-or-other.

There is one reason the Iphone is so popular…It’s SIMPLE and EASY to use. The phone is just slightly more complicated than the rotary dial phones of my youth. No buttons…no phone looking knobs…simple and sleek.

Posted by David | Report as abusive
 

For me the Android OS beats iPhone hands down. I have a G1. I like the built in keyboard and SD Card slot. I also like real buttons. The trackball is also an extra bonus. Pick you input method, keyboard, buttons, trackball, touch screen or even voice. Most apps are free. There are thousands. I can flash custom ROMS and unlock it for any GSM carrier. It can have a custom GUI or run multiples at once. Multitasking is easy with a Task Manager, run 10 apps at once and switch between them no problem. You can have 10 screens or just one. It’s LINUX. I have a terminal I can run on the phone or remotely from another PC to issue commands.

Android has no limit. As soon as you find something it can’t do, you should double check. It just might. This is a hackers phone. So perhaps the average user doesn’t know what can really be done with it.

It will get better and more flexible very fast.

 

Please don’t yell @ me because I have a Blackberry w/o internet. lol I miss my Amiga (even though you can get it emulated). But it was lean and mean (for it’s time especially). Multitasking operating system written in super type code. What made it so amazing was the hardware and the way it worked with the software!

Now maybe you think I’m crazy but I think that the camera needs to be a big part of the package, as well as audio. 8 megapixel with high quality video would be a start. Audio that is captured with quality not just some dinky mike. Oh and don’t forget the lens (it can be fixed focal length) but it needs to have some substantial rare earth element glass and fairly fast f 2.0 to f 1.2 (I had a Canon 50mm f 0.95 now that was some glass). What would be awesome is a interchangeable or add on (superwide/wide/telephoto/zoom adapter) support would be way cool. Filter support would be a nice touch to protect the lens as well (that goes with the add on lens as well.

Make it USB compatible not just user interface but charging as well. None of that custom connector support for charging. Fast USB and I mean the latest backward compatible to USB 1, or maybe better Firewire as well support (both). Make it’s interfacing as standard as possible. Oh I must me MAD you think. No I’m a dreamer of epic per portions!

And to top it off make a new networking interface where the phones when in close proximity would be able to talk and interface and multitask together. Like at a Rock Concert or Sporting Event users could share their video and pictures and applications effortlessly (if they choose to do so) with others that have the same operating system phone. WOW that would just ROCK! And make it FAST none of this java crude make it written in machine code (You problem don’t even know what that is or have a clue how that would improve things CORPORATE AMERICA/WORLD) I know things have gotten faster but you cannot improve on native language of machine code. Tight and FAST people would eat it up once they got used to it. Please SUN don’t hate me for this!!!!!!!!!!!

Go ahead and blame it on the economy but if you spent a couple of million on some crazy whacked out hardware/software GURUS and gave them a decent budget for R&D you would see some amazing stuff come out. YES a small staff of less than 10 people. Ever hear of the VIDEO Toaster that was conceived by just 2 guys. The Amiga was just a few more than that most notably Jay Miner (got to meet the man at a FAUG (First Amiga Users Group) back in the day) still give me tingles thinking about it. The problem with too many people designing a project is too many loose ends, keep everything centralized where they can network together on the design and concepts together without all the useless BS that happens in millions of lines of codes / too many developers ruining the soup.

I could go on and on (OH Please have a keyboard kinda like the Amiga 1000 (it fit under the computer))ala sidekick. It needs to be somewhat substantial (screen size / battery life). Kinda like the HP C-41 type calculator every nerd/techno nerd/techie/ect…. has to have one no matter that it might be a bit more expensive.

Guess I’ll go dream with my uncle of a better day by the fireplace.

Posted by 8BitMe | Report as abusive
 

A very well thought out article. You clearly are addressing the BUSINESS of marketing a product, which, no offense intended, to most neck-deep-technophiles is not within their grasp. the i-phone has been a huge commercial success, even though it is to some extent a technological failure. Having lived in Japan for 2 years during the birth of the i-phone, then moving back to north America, I was appalled at the state of cell-phone-technology! APPALLED! Sure, the i-phone jumped over several phones’ capabilities, but, it barely scratched the surfice of what is available in most other places in the world. But to your point, it is a question of David and Goliath. Find your strength, and bean the other guy in the head with it. You will almost certainly fail at killing the giant apple, but, you must use your marketing abilitiy to promote your strength, that ability of your phone which is head and shoulders better than the i-phone, and you MUST have that strength, as you point out. Its BUSINESS, marketing, and consumer perception, not technology, that sells to the masses. For goodness sake, we all buy bottled WATER! and don’t get me started on THAT…

great article,
Matt

 

A technology website owner/writer writing like an elementary school kid with his Christmas wish list; just a bunch of nonsense.
You cannot beat Apple with a better looking phone. It is the software STUPID! It has more to do with the software than the hardware. No one can do it better, not now, not in a long time. The iPhone OS has no comparison. The days of push button phones are over. The King-of-the Hill is Apple. Microsoft cannot do it, neither can Google.

Google is not a hardware manufacturer and has no hardware design experience. Apple on the other hand has engineering department that rivals NASA. Stop your dream advice. Motorola phone unit will dwindle like Polaroid and vanish someday. HTC will someday design a good looking phone, but who will write their software?

And the worst mistake all these competitors are making is that every one is designing phones to look like iPhone and work like iPhone. It has been a disaster. They were making ugly useless phones before Apple rescued us from their nightmare.

Ironclad control is good. It has shown to be successful. A good product sells itself. It took Toyota’s Lexus to rescue the world from expensive noisy European cars. Today it is Apple that has rescued the world from Motorola and the useless phones of Asia.

Keep it up, Apple. We are cheering and waiting for YOU to take over the world, not just with the iPhone but Macbooks too. And hopefully, one day we can get a TV that will look and work like an Apple.

Posted by Theo | Report as abusive
 

I see bias here. The truth is the specs on the G 1 are great. The O.S. is great. The big difference is the cost and the fact that apple likes to close their O.S. and have control over it. This is good if you just want to be guided into what others want you to do. The G 1 is a better phone if you are willing to spend more time getting it the way you want it! I think of it this way. It is like the G 1 comes pre-hacked. Everything you can do with the iPhone 3g can be done with it. Open source is the way of the future. Apple did a great job with the iPhone now they have to keep iPhone users thinking they are special they are not (is that part of Apples marketing strategy (customer feeling special= loyal customers even if our product is not better)? The only thing the iPhone 3GS can do that the G 1 can’t do is have a compass (move just a little with the GPS on the G 1 it will do the same). I really don’t care about that to be honest. The GPS is better on the G 1 although the T-Mobile 3G speed is not up to par with AT&T yet they will be! How much longer can hype pay the bills? Not long! I feel cheated by Apple and AT&T thanx Google for making the playing field better once again! Apple needs to get real and come up with a better O.S. and better specs if they want to stay in the game! L.E.D. video projector and infrared projector keyboard anyone? That is the phone that will replace my G 1 that replaced my iphone 3g!

Posted by Patrick | Report as abusive
 

What about OS reliability? Apple says the reason the iPhone is locked down under such tight control is because your phone needs to work, not be crashing left and right like a Windows machine full of malware. I believe them. The iPhone has some occasional total-failure problems that require software resets or upgrades to overcome. But how much more often would non-tech-oriented people end up with a brick in their pocket, if they could download and install completely unregulated software full of who knows what? This seems like a legitimate issue to me. Am I unaware of safeguards built into Android or Google’s plan for distribution of software for their phone? Would love to hear from someone wise about this…

Posted by sp | Report as abusive
 

I’ve been living with the G1 Android phone for the past year and it does what the IPhone does. Some things better some others for worst.
My simple opinion is to beef up the Android phone with all those “normal users” subtleties that make the difference in choosing one phone over the other.
A. Get a FANTASTIC Optical zoom lens 3x like in the Canon IXY which is slimmer than the Android phone so it fits…then add the 12.1 Megapixel capability and a goddamn flash to take great pictures…..
B. Also make it take videos in HD Format 1280*860 again like in the IXY
C. Add a second but much smaller lens in the FRONT of the phone so users can make video conference calls with skype or other technology.
D. Use carbon light cases….stronger lighter slimmer material
E. Make the screen reach the edges of the phone so it’s slightly larger than the IPhone
F. Keep the current software which is good.
G. In the meantime work on building strong relationships
with optical processing industries to integrate smarter faster
optical processing chips which are 5000 times faster than
current processors and use up only milliwatts of power thus
the need for better battery power dissipates and so devices
can be made even slimmer and lighter.

Posted by Tony B | Report as abusive
 

Two thumbs up!!
What a great article about gadgets phones.

Regards,
Jian

 

Uh yeah, you can definitely get a compass app on the G1. For free of course.

The author is dead on in his assessment that you need to target the hardcore tech geeks. They are what account for most of the iphones market dominance. People gay for all things Apple camping out to get the same phone they already have but with some more memory (that they don’t really need) and the media covering them. Thus leading the rest of the world to believe that the iPhone must be the Holy Grail of phones.

Fortunately I prefer getting an actual signal on my phone and have ended up with the G1. I love it.

Posted by Colin | Report as abusive
 

Sealed battery? You can’t cure “stupid”.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive
 

there is a better “iphone” out there, its called a windows mobile phone (by just about any developer).

the iphone and android phones are toys to play games and music on, oh yeah and to ocasionaly make a phone call. but if you need to actually get things done and manage a busy life (career and family. not highschool and parties) you need a device built for a smarter person: windows mobile.

Posted by CIRROB | Report as abusive
 

What you don’t understand is that Android is getting out there precisely because it is NOT tied to a specific handset or carrier. Android is here, it is becoming widely adopted. That was the goal.

The downside of this is that yes, we must squirm while we watch all these mistakes being made, for example the abysmal G1 battery life and lack of headphone jack issue.

But what you are asking Google to do is to play the game the Apple way to take down Apple?? That makes no sense. Or maybe you want them to play Microsofts game? Those plays have already been made. They are playing it the Google way and it’s working out very well.. Android is here, it’ll be on a dozen handsets by the end of the year. Hopefully one of them will be what we want.

I agree that the batteries are way too small, it is not worth having a tiny phone if you have to ration your use of it…

Posted by Little Birdie | Report as abusive
 

Nice comparison post! Its great to know about latest things going on in iphone world.

I think people still hadn’t get enough of their iphones so there aren’t any competitors who can really get them out of market for time being and even if there are few if they will survive or not that time will tell.

 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
  •