I’ve owned Nokia 6000 series, Palms and a Blackberry. But right now, I have the two best. A droid. And an iPhone. In this World Cup year which is set to see the battle hot up between the two, these are the finalists. Interesting speaking to iPhone users this week. I asked; ‘what apps should I add to my new iPhone?’- the majority come out with the usual suspects. Tube map. A newspaper. Rail and road info. Twitter. Facebook. In fact research seems to support the view that the more entertaining apps are the least likely to be used or retained over time. And of course the majority of these kind of must have apps are all on the droid. So is it all about the apps?
As there are an estimated more than 150,000 apps available on the iPhone it would appear that for most the long-long tail is not often played with. But it is a massive advantage of the iPhone. The Android has a mere 30,000 or so apps but is growing at an alarming rate – and it is estimated 70% iPhone developers will be on Droid by end of 2010. So iPhone. Droid. Together they are set to dominate the handset markets in 2010 and beyond with Nokia and Windows struggling to meet the style of Apple or the grunt of Google backed Android. Blackberry is still the single biggest smartphone in North America with 43% market share – but it is Android that is expected to double its share this year.
Interestingly though we are now seeing iPhones becoming a pick for a business phone too, so potentially another huge market for Apple to exploit. However unlike Apple, which produces one handset advance every 12 or so months, Google has Motorola, HTC and Sony et al all releasing newer and better droid phones every month.Do we really think these companies are just going to sit back and let Apple steal huge amounts of their business? True – Apple have changed the rules and without the brilliant iPhone the old order would not have been stirred to up its game.
How do the two compare? First thing of course, is that like good football teams they are really more similar than they are different. Easy interfaces. Apps/Market to buy stuff from. Oh, and both have very poor battery life. Ah. Yes. The battery life. That old chestnut. Funny isn’t it. Not something that is advertised much by Apple, HTC or the networks is it? But be honest. I end up having chargers at home, the office, in my car & an emergency pack thing in my case. I end up like some dodgy roadie of a 70’s prog rock band, trailing spaghetti like tangles of cables, plugs and coils wherever I go. All I need is Rick Wakeman or Jean-Michel Jarre following me about with a stack of synthesizers and lasers.
OK – so without churning out another ‘why my phone is better than yours here is my straight as I can, comparison of both phones.
Five Things iPhone Does Brilliantly – To Take An Early Lead:
- The iPhone app store is truly a massive. It is indeed the Tesco megastore to Droids little corner shop. One-nil to iPhone
- Moving around the positioning and tailoring apps is easy. Two-nil to iPhone.
- The touch screen is lovely & the graphics are very sharp. Scrolling is incredibly smooth and a wonder. Three-nil to iPhone.
- Some apps on iPhone are more advanced (in design and releases etc.) than their droid counterparts. e.g.Telegraph. Four-nil to iPhone.
- The iPhone is a consumer brand. It is a beautiful piece of tactile, innovative and aspirational design. Five-nil to iPhone.
So, at half-time, the style and coolness of the iPhone races to a 5-0 lead. But, it’s a game of two halves init?
Five Things The Droid Does Brilliantly – To Draw Level On 90 Minutes:
- You can do more than one thing at once. Email, download an app, news feeds, get a travel route. All concurrently. Droid 1 V iPhone 5
- Some of the most important droid apps work better than their Apple equivalent. I have yet to find an Apple Twitter app that beats Twidroid or TweetCaster. The COL reminder on droid (countdowns and email reminders etc.) does not have an equivalent on iPhone and the ones it does have seem to want payment for very poor functionality. Droid 2 V iPhone 5
- The droid has home and menu buttons, making it easy to go from one screen to another and an instant Google search on the handset. And it has the mini nipple’esque (never thought I’d create word like that) trackball, which makes emailing so much easier. Droid 3 V iPhone 5
- Droid has much bigger range of quality free apps. It seems many of the basics on iPhone have to be bought. And to be fair, a lot of the App store is full of utter crap and sometimes less choice is more. Droid 4 V iPhone 5
- Droid is less fussy tool overall rather than a gizmo. It has clearer, simple, more connected and everything links to Google tools.
So – to penalties. What is the smarter smart phone? Which slots the scuffed penalty kick off the post and rebounding off the hapless goalkeepers backside into the net? Well,its worth bearing in mind that when I had a Palm I thought it was the king of the domain. Nothing could beat it. I thought the same about my James Bond Nokia phone. And the Blackberry is a superb piece of kit too. But, the sad thing is they get taken over by Darwinist product development; newer, better designs, more functionality. And this is where droid has an advantage. Apple will no doubt bring out an iPhone 4S and a maybe a range in bright fleuro colours and great design. But unless it changes the functional game again, it will be up against a vast range of manufacturers and their marketing clout through 2010/2011. Most of the apps will start appearing on droid and logic tells you that some of the competition will be just as smart as Apple to bring out innovative and stylish handsets. With the rise of streaming services like Spotify and LastFM – having downloads on iTunes will become less relevant. Once newspapers, magazines and other publishers have both droid and iPhone apps, the battle for uniqueness becomes harder. I would bet on the droid like I’d bet on the Germans in a penalty shoot out. It has that feeling of slow to get going and yet unstoppable. But the iPhone has that certain something, that specialness, that brand and style. It is Brazil, Spain or Nigeria. A touch of glamour but liable to look like pretty boys and choke in the penalty shoot out against the relentless Germans.If I was to choose? Well I’d choose to have both a droid and an iPhone.