In some ways, this is a simple question but in many ways it is very complex. I’m going to specifically talk about IOS and the iPhone while I’ll discuss Android and the handset.
In some ways, they are very similar yet they are very different. It is commonly accepted that the iPhone is:
- an easier to use device, with a clean, simple and intuitive interface
- It’s a well built phone that is fast and is high quality
- Better software but this is changing due to porting of apps to make the systems cross platform
The Android handset, on the other hand, is considered:
- Provides a wide range of costs making it easier to get in
- More complex
- Very customizable
- Broad range of applications, from the ill conceived through to the very high quality apps you’re more likely to see on IOS.
The Groups Served
Although some people are as well served using an iPhone and an Android phone, the iPhone serves those who really just want a plug and play experience. They are the more lucrative of these two groups but there are reasons this could change over time.
The Android group is a more diverse group and includes those that want a plug and play experience to the more technical adroit user. They tend to want to express themselves and differentiate who they are by the various skins or themes they apply to the phone. The Android group would also be inclined to be more adventurous in attempting to learn the ins and outs of the Operating System while the iPhone group just wants it to work. If you were to give an Android to an average iPhone user, they likely would stop functioning due to the jump in learning you have to make with Android. Once done, everything would likely be alright but for many an iPhone user it’s why would I want to make that jump.
Android can be more fun but at a Cost called Learning
In some ways, if you’re technically very inclined and like to play around. the Android phone can be a lot more fun than an iPhone. You can change your everything known as themes or just your wallpaper till your hearts content.
In the process, you can learn a lot about technology if you’re so inclined to do so but at a cost. The cost is working less on what you should be working on. Now if your work involves learning this stuff, you can likely garner much more if you have an Android.
iPhone Serves a Different Audience
If you have an iPhone, because of its general overall cost, you likely have a higher average income. You can love your phone just as much as the Android passionate but for things you like to do with it without a lot of fuss or mess.
I have seen those who would consider themselves true technophobes become technically adroit using the iPhone. However, they take to applications to do things with the phone to accomplish something. They learn the phone in a matter of course to use the apps and really have to know little about the technology that powers the device.
If the iPhone were cheaper and it has become cheaper with the intro of the iPhone SE, it’s reach in the market would widen as the phone would become accessible to a wider audience. I believe this is starting to happen while good Android’s are creeping up in price. There are many who are technically skilled who really just need their phone to work easily, intuitively and provide a high level of reliability. The iPhone does this and that is why it gets a large margin in favor of itself around reliability.
Android appeals to a Segmented Market
Android, unlike the iPhone, appeals to a broader market for different reasons. This market can be segmented clearly on price, capability and other such variables as personalization, quantity and quality of apps and even full cross platform capabilities. As an example, if you use a Mac and are very dependent on an application on that Mac that also runs on IOS, you’re likely stuck with the iPhone. However, as apps port to Android, which they are, you can easily include Android. Now, in this scenario there is nothing to keep you away from Android except you might prefer the iPhone.
However, in a cross platform world, you’ve now got options. If possibly the iPhone is too expensive for your budget, you’ll likely be able to buy an Android priced just right for you. Not only are there a variety of price points in the Android market, there are differing styles some possibly more reflective of your personal likes and how you like to express yourself.
Two Differing Smartphones
Simply because these two differing devices are Smartphones, that’s where the similarity ends. The iPhone is a phone that is more suited to those that are not technically inclined. It is a high quality, power packed phone yet the complexity is left under the hood. Those who have little success entering the Smartphone market with devices other than an iPhone often only succeed when they pick up an iPhone. It is hard to do anything dangerously wrong with the OS and it is relatively easy to get onto the device. It’s intuitive nature allows you to get up and running in short order with a slew of application options at your fingertips.
Android, on the other hand has its own benefits and advantages. For one, right from the get go, you will likely save yourself anywhere from a few dollars to a fair amount depending on the device you buy. Except for the iPhone SE, which is about $619 CDN, a price which is relatively reasonable, the other iPhones like the 4.7” 32 gig iPhone 7 starts at $899. Although 32 gigs is likely sufficient, in most cases, 64 gigs is a more reasonable amount of memory. Since memory in the iPhone line is not upgradeable, it is always better to error on the side of a bit more because if you have not purchased enough you would have to repurchase.
There is no 64 gig model, except in the SE, so you have to upgrade to 128 gig for $1029 CDN. For this small difference of $130 you might as well get yourself the 128 and put memory worries aside. However, add in the taxes and now you have over an $1100 smartphone and if you were to add in AppleCare you’re now seriously above $1300 CDN. This, for most people, is a very expensive phone.
HTC’s One a9
For a point of comparison, I’ll choose HTC’s One a9 phone which is sort of an iPhone look alike. The 32 gig model is $649 CDN a $250 difference from the iPhone 7. However, the a9 is custom configurable with memory chips and it is very cost effective to bring the phone up to the 128 level.
This phone has two things the iPhone 7 doesn’t one of which is a nice to have and the other is either essential or again a nice to have item. It comes with an AMOLED display, one of the best displays on the market. It also comes with a headphone jack and there are a lot of people that haven’t quite wrapped their mind around the Smartphone not having such a device.
…and Finally to add to the Comparison
HTC’s 10 Smartphone is considered one of the best phones on the market from a build quality point of view and the capabilities of the phone itself. This phone is a stunner with a superb build quality matching and possibly even surpassing that of the iPhone. The screen is not an Amoled but it’s pixel resolution is much higher than that of the iPhone making it incredibly crisp to look at.
The phone supports up to 2 Terabytes of memory but can easily and cheaply be upgraded to 232 gigs today. What we are seeing here with just these two Androids is one that is more cost effective and considered an excellent performer and the other about the same price as an iPhone but comes with a great deal of horsepower. It has an Octacore chipset that runs incredibly fast and is efficient and is ready to take on software yet to be developed.
The User and Choice
In this article, what we have looked at is customer needs and abilities and how they match up to different market segments in a way that allows people an entry point, a growth point and the ability to choose without running into a brick wall preventing entry. Choice is a good thing as long as it doesn’t lead to chaos. That is averted by standards and the standards are moving in a direction which supports cross platform or the ability, regardless of device, to work with each other and not loose out due to data restrictions.
This is part of the evolution of open systems and how the iPhone and its style of operation better suits some segments of the market while the Android can provide that also along with another set of options allowing broader market entry. The ability to work together is supported by systems that work together regardless of platform. We are at one stage now however, this is evolving to a point that will take us to a full open systems environment. People will be happier using what they like and with that will be more efficient and productive. For all intents and purpose this is a true win-win scenario.