Will Android kill Australia’s iPhone obsession?


opinion A funny thing has started happening to me over the past few months.

The story goes like this: I walk into a cafe and sit down for a coffee. It could be with a friend, or something related to my work — a meeting with a source or a client.

We exchange greetings and order. My standard is either a decaf latte — yes, essentially a warm milk — or a long black, depending on how hardcore I am trying to look. I’m quite partial to a blueberry muffin but I see it as excessive and so normally abstain.

We’re enjoying the cafe atmosphere — the background music, the morning light, the rustling of newspapers and the intense look on the faces of our fellow customers as they peer deep into their laptop screens as if they can divine the secrets of the universe there. And maybe they can — after all, Stephen Hawking is on Twitter.

And then, amidst all of this morning pleasantness and civilisation, my coffee mate turns to me like a bolt out of the blue and pulls a small, gleaming object that I only barely recognise out of their pocket. They hold it up like it was their precious newborn child, cradling it with a look of naked satisfaction, and say:

“Have you seen my new Android phone?”

They then proceed to show me — in great detail — the ways in which their Android phone is better than my iPhone. It has a better camera. It integrates better with Google services like GMail. It has Adobe Flash (hi, Steve!), the window shade feature for multiple alerts, background processes, you can more easily connect it to your PC without the iTunes nightmare, it’s open source, Google isn’t censoring its applications market and so on.

After about ten minutes of this, I say something like “that’s enough!” and change the topic of conversation.

Outside I am calm and controlled. But internally I am in full, lock-down panic mode. The reason is that this Android exhibitionism is the same behaviour I used to witness from people when pulling out their iPhone. It signifies that although I own an iPhone, a Wii, an Xbox 360, two high-specced PCs with multiple monitors and about a bajillion other tech gadgets, I could again be at risk of falling behind on the technology curve. And that is something I simply cannot tolerate.

The question that I and a number of other people are asking at the moment is: Is the tide starting to turn on Apple’s flagship iPhone in Australia? Is it time to dump the iPhone and join the other camp?

Over the past few months, all of Australia’s major carriers have put a strong focus on launching Android-based handsets that provide much of the same functionality as the iPhone — but with more choice.

Telstra has the HTC Desire (and the Australian buzz around it has been intense), Optus is focusing on Motorola and is rumoured to be bringing the HTC Legend Down Under, and it looks like virtually everyone has the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10. And this is just the start — apparently at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Android was all anyone was talking about.

There’s even been a blog set up — Android Australia — just to cover Android launches locally.

Of course, Apple has a stranglehold on the Australian mobile market and has had for some time. The expected launch over the next few months of the company’s next iPhone (hello, Gizmodo!) will only give it a stronger sales story. It has the hardware, the applications, the brand and the growing eco-system to keep the iPhone platform as the dominant smartphone player for some time.

But Apple’s problem with the iPhone at the moment is that there is not much it can really add to the device to make it more attractive to those who don’t have one. And this is exactly the opportunity which Android is slowly starting to capitalise on.

Google’s fledgling mobile platform is increasingly offering Australian telcos and customers most of the shiny things that the iPhone does — as well as everything Apple refuses to put into its tightly controlled handset.

Custom phone designs to suit every customer and manufacturer. Handset distribution through the traditional vendor/telco partnerships. A much more open platform that telcos can customise with their own branded services and users can customise to their heart’s content.

And yes, even “adult applications” for that time you want to get your sexy on in the back of the Cadillac.

These are all things that Australia’s mobile ecosystem wants from its smartphone manufacturers. And increasingly, it’s Apple’s rivals that are meeting this customer demand. Apple doesn’t meet customer demand that is already in existence. It meets customer demand that it creates itself.

If I was to sum up the growing feeling amongst Australian early technology adopters at the moment, I would say it’s probably the same feeling they had back in 1985 when it became apparent that Apple was going to launch its long-term technique of tying its hardware, software (and now, internet platforms) together into one unbreakable package that creates a great overall solution … but has a bunch of niggling problems due to Steve Jobs’ personal foibles.

In short: Sure, Windows is not as good a solution as an Apple operating system. But you can run anything you like on it, and it runs on anything you like. Just like Android.

The question is — will Australia’s early Android enthusiasm translate into the mainstream? And what shine will it take off the iPhone if it does?

Image credit: ToastyKen, Creative Commons


  1. I can’t resist! Good on Android, they are just offering the telcos and OEMs the same locked in “experiences” and contracts that made everyone switch to iPhone in the first place. There is power in that Union ;)
    fact is, most people DONT use Googles services (aside from search), this might be a boon for google. But we need to revisit this space in 6 months to see if Android really has the legs. It’s been around for a long time in the US relatively with only recent Market share growth

    • But not all Android manufacturers — for example, you can buy a Google Nexus One unlocked, whereas you can’t buy an iPhone in Australia unlocked without paying an exorbitant amount. This is the beauty of the Android platform. It will gradually get better, and better, and better, over time, due to it being open source and so many manufacturers hooked into it.

      Sure, Apple has scale, but does it have the scale of HTC, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and others combined? I don’t think so. And I don’t believe it can innovate as fast.

      I could be wrong. But to my mind Android is like a snowball gradually gaining power, size and speed as it moves downhill past Steve Jobs’ snowmobile.

      • Renai,
        No doubt if the OEMs and Android gets it right they will absolutely outsell iPhones.

        Do Apple care? probably not. Their Business Model is winning hands down at the moment and the Vendor-OEM-Telco model which was traditional isn’t going to deliver the profit margins (no doubt reinvested in the technology) which the Android model will.

        Look at the numbers which came out today. Apple makes SIX TIMES the profit as HP while selling a substantially lower number of devices. Do you still wonder why HP bought Palm? Do you still wonder why Microsoft have changed the model for Windows Phone 7?

        Can Apple “innovate as fast”? Did you seriously write that? Until Google produced Android, who else was innovating in the Mobile Device space?

        Microsoft, Nokia etc. are playing catchup with the company you claim can’t ‘innovate as fast’. Motorola are banking on Android to keep them alive.

        If Apple keep delivering the Revenues and Profit Margins they are currently seeing (no reason to doubt they won’t) you better believe they’ll keep innovating as fast.

        They have proven them to be SUBSTANTIALLY more adept than any of the entrenched yawnfest producers in the mobile device space.

        I seriously hope not just Android, but also WinMo and HPalm can start to innovate as fast as Apple have – not because I expect to be interested in their products, but because it’ll put pressure on Apple to KEEP innovating.

        • OK, a couple of points here. Firstly, yes Apple does innovate fast :)

          But I have yet to see a large organisation create new and interesting solutions as fast as the open source community. The reason for this is that ideas float very quickly to the top in the open source community, whereas at large corporations they are stifled by the incumbent hierarchies.

          Think, for example, about the speed of the idea flow and iteration on open networks like Twitter compared to the same idea flow in the corporations that you have worked for. Do you start to see what I am talking about?

          Look at Firefox, any of the Linux variants and the kernel process, the speed at which Android has improved over the past few years, the rapid development of WordPress, MySQL, and so on and so on. There are a thousand examples.

          Yes, Apple innovates fast. But the juggernaut of the open source community, especially with Google and a bunch of hardware manufacturers behind it, innovates faster over long period of half decades or more.

          As for Apple caring … I don’t care about their business model, how much money they are making, all that kind of junk. Who cares? What I care about, what I have always cared about, is USER OUTCOMES. I care about open standards because they stop people blocking off people being able to do funky things with technology.

          More money does not equal more innovation. More openness equals more innovation. This has been proven 50,000 times over. Apple started it. Android and the open source community will finish it.

          One simple example to prove this. Let’s see you run the iPhone OS in a virtual machine.

          • Renai
            Just like in your iPad article of last week, you’ve missed the point about what is successful.
            Successful in a business sense is meeting or exceeding your business case. I would say UNLESS you give the customer something they want and they continue to want, you cannot hope to meet those business targets.
            You guys in the media will use the terms ‘winners’ and ‘loser’ like we are in some Randian hell, but the reality is, as I’ve previously mentioned the market will decide. And right now the numbers are VERY VERY clear. And they aren’t about total sales, they are about successful sales.
            Reminder: Apple sold* the most PC’s of any manufacturer in the US in the last quarter of calendar 1996 and that was the worst thing which ever happened to the company.
            *where ‘sold’ = shipped to stores.

          • Money does not equal success. There are many different kinds of success. And yes, the media likes to call ultimate “winners” and “losers” because that’s sexy.

            But what I am talking about is platform wars. The war is not for the money. It is to become the dominant platform — and this is primarily a mindshare thing. After that, the money will flow.

            For example, Betamax versus VHS, Apple versus Windows versus Linux and so on.

            Apple’s business case for Mac OS X has been very successful, for example. But you still can’t get half a bajillion specialised applications on the Mac platform. So Windows continues to win there.

            Money and the success or non-success of a business case is just the marker on paper for the real war going on in hearts and minds.

  2. Have to say that I’m more than likely going to give up the iPhone at the end of my contract. Android phones are offering the same – if not better in some cases – functionality as the Apple device without the massively annoying ‘we know better than you so this is all you’re allowed to do’ attitude that comes out of Cupertino.

    What initially attracted me to the iPhone 3G when it first launched in Australia was the substantially cheaper data plans compared to most other phones – clearly the carriers were looking to pick up the consumer market rather than just keep the business-oriented one they already had. But that pricing is how available acorss other phones as well.

    There’s two problems I can forsee though. The first is Apple’s marketing. There’s no argument that they completely own how to best market a phone. Secondly is the million and one versions of Android that are currently circulating around different phones and carriers overseas. Google needs to get a hold of that and give the OS a bit more direction so that *all* Android phones are compatible with all Android applications.

    • Steve Jobs’ arrogance is the natual flipside to his brilliance :) I am shortly to come out of my iPhone contract, and am not sure whether I will move to an Android — I am waiting to see when Apple release the next iPhone. However, I am damn sure I am going to switch from Optus to Telstra — the Optus network is just not cutting it at the moment.

      I’m not so stressed about Apple’s marketing, but you’re right — Google does need to keep everything compatible. It’s the same problem Microsoft has faced for a long time.

      • Steve Jobs’ arrogrance is going come back to haunt him, or at least I hope it does. Microsoft were anti-competitive for sure, but Apple have taken it and turned it into a freaking art form.

        Apple’s marketing is so much the problem. It’s more than consumers are – generally – pretty moronic. They’ll buy an iPhone not because it does what they want but because it’s perceived as hip and cool. Apple have merely cottoned onto that idea and exploited it brilliantly. Like any good business should.

        As for Optus, yes, them and their network and go and..well…you know…

        • I do like how Apple has created a certain degree of ‘hype’ around its products — as in, I admire it from a business perspective. But creating hype around technology is always dangerous as technology rarely really delivers on that hype. Plus, there is always someone smarter than you about technology, so you get a lot of nitpicking.

          • Then there’s always how they seem to think that their customers are too stupid to make up their minds about how they want to use their products so Apple have to cripple and restrict what you do so that it works the way *they* want it to, not how *I* want it to.

            Having less operational restrictions (from the phone side, carrier modifications are another thing) is really appealing to me, as a nerd.

            Of course, depending on your level of technical knowledge/interest your mileage may vary.

          • Agreed. And as the future rolls on and more and more people are more technologically savvy (how old are the “digital natives” now? Am I one of them at 29 years old?), any form of restriction or control on hardware is going to seem increasingly ridiculous and be worked around.

          • So the iPhone isn’t for you and Apples Marketing annoys you – what Marketing doesn’t?

            Sounds like you aren’t the target market. As Jason Fried says; good companies allow their customers to outgrow them.

            Move on, don’t whinge about it…unless you are REALLY REALLY unhappy about giving up your iPhone ;)

    • I agree with you on that front. I know for certain that my iPhone will be getting thrown out as soon as I can get a new Phone on my Business Contract…

      I originally got it, because it was the cheapest phone on offer at the time which also included data. After enduring almost a year of random freezes, the fact that the touchscreen has a habit of taking forever to actually work, and sometimes choosing not to work (EG. I can’t hang up 1/2 of the phonecalls I make as it won’t work).

      • Completely forgot to mention in that:

        I’ve been having issues even connecting my Iphone to the computer for months, due to this random error which only seems to Exist on Windows version of iTunes (Pretty Big Coincidence isn’t it?), which allows me to connect maybe once every month or two at the most.

        • You had a problem with the Technology. Did you get a replacement, get support, whatever?
          Do you think other devices, esp OEM Mobile Devices won’t have the same?
          Any device that is manufactured and sold in massive quantities is going to have a % failure/challenge rate.
          Ask Nokia how many lemons they deal with on an Annual basis

  3. I can see the benefits of the android OS…. but I cant really see it breaking the stranglehold on the smartphone market that currently has at the moment.

    I read this article the other day: http://radar.oreilly.com/2010/04/five-reasons-iphone-v-android.html

    It discusses whether the android v iphoneOS fight will turn into a windows v mac fight.

    BUT… what it does do is look at why iphoneOS will (at this stage) beat android.

    Remember that Apple has probably sold around 1.5 – 2 million iphones in Australia and most of those are going to be every day users. These are the consumers that count and the ones that will ultimately decide whether android is successful here.

    • hey Phil,

      I agree the analogy is not perfect, but I think it is still there.

      There is also the flip side of the coin. Personally I believe that we must not allow Apple to win this battle, simply because the company has not demonstrated any commitment to creating an open platform with its whole iPhone/iTunes/iPad infrastructure. It’s not good enough in 2010 to say: Apple is the only company who gets to decide what application you can run on your Apple device.

      A lot of people discount the Apple censorship around pornographic apps in the App Store, but I think it is symptomatic of a bigger problem at Apple. The company does not just want to make technology, it wants to use that technology to influence the way you live your life. It wants to apply its own standards to your human existence. And that is a very dangerous thing in an era in which we have unprecedented acceptance of all lifestyles and almost no censorship on any platform.

      We don’t want to go back to the censored past.

      • I agree that Apple shouldnt be able to control the market in its entirety….

        However, until I see an android phone that “just works” the way an iphone does, I wont be convinced into moving to a android phone.

        You mention censorship… and I totally agree with you. But, one of the concerns I have with android is the ability for a telco to customise the interface. This is _one_ of the reasons the telcos are pushing these phones as they push users back into the walled garden.

        I think this is potentially a worse form of censorship than what Apple is doing.

        Thats my opinion tho.

        • “[It] Just works” is a ludicrous marketing line that I’d quite happily see wiped from the lexicon. All phones “just work” regardless of them being iPhones, WinMo, Simbian or whatever else.

          What’s going to stop the carriers from creating a plethora of walled gardens is the nature of the open source operating system itself. An Android-based phone is never going to find itself in an iTunes/iPhone situation because it just can’t happen. Don’t like the interface? Change it. Don’t want Optus/Telstra/Vodafone stores? Remove them, install what you want straight off a developers website. Android is *never* going to be stuck in a walled garden like the iPhone is.

          • Matthew,
            Mainly you are right. But do you really think 80% of the population cares about ‘Open’ or otherwise?

            They want devices which they can enjoying using and add services to easily as required.

            This is why they (we) are called CONSUMERS.

            This is why, Apple, Google etc. have targetted this market. There are billions of them and they are mobile, and they have $ to spend.

            And the previous generation of Mobile devices didn’t do what they wanted. If they did, they wouldn’t be purchasing iPhones, Android Phones etc. in droves.

          • “They want devices which they can enjoying using and add services to easily as required.”

            Exactly. And the phones that will offer this the best that the ones that the geeky, code-monkey developers are making applications for – which brings us back to openess and accessibility for the more technologically-savvy market.

            This is exactly how the iPhone first succeeded. Look at the sales numbers for the original 2G phone, then the 3G (comparing pre and post application development). Notice anything? Sales came because the phones could do what people wanted because it was being developed for.

            Apple is going to hit a wall if they keep up their arrogant, holier-than-thou attitude to developers. They’ll abandon ship and – over time – the consumer market will follow.

          • +1 to this. We’ve seen the same story play out in enterprise and consumer technology a thousand times. Eventually, openness always wins.

          • Really? Wow, I thought Windows was still the dominant OS for 20 (?) years now? :)

            …. For the record i’m an imac and iPhone owner for just on a year however did research and give consideration to Google’s phone [didn’t like the handset, like the ecosystem that existed to support iPhone, fell in love with FlightControl :P], so i’m by no means biased to PC’s or closed source by any stretch of the imagination.

            Back on track, i’m certainly finding the commenting interesting however I don’t reasonably expect that at least for the next 3-4 years that we will see Android dominate in the mobile handset market until Google starts to take some control of the operating system and in paritcular the user experience.

            (as a matter of perfect timing) I was reading an article in the AFR [Spotlight, Page 38] discussing functional design not actually catering to what users need/want.

            Quoted “If a person can’t use something, it’s always a technology failure” was a highlight point but resonates for me because that is what Apple has achieved. They have designed devices that when people pick up, they can use them without a manual, and more importantly not to feel inferior when they can’t work out how to make a phone call/send an SMS/hookup their e-mail.

            Until Google/Nokia/handset providers in general get a handle on that, people with the best of intentions will take an open source platform, develop a million-and-one UI’s for it and it won’t get traction past the geek market, because they will be stuck on the front screen wondering how to make a phone call.



          • fair enough, but time will tell that one. Lots of developers already making money on the iPhone platform and will make more once the iPad gets entrenched.
            I, personally, think you are wrong. But hey, we’ll know better in 6-12 months

          • Honestly, I think will happen is that there will be sustainable markets for both. I doubt there will actually be a winner.

            Interesting you mention the iPad though. That’s a whole other argument.

          • The iPad, yes and no.

            I happen to think that it’ll likely cannibalise Apples iPhone’s sales.

            But it provides another, potentially more lucrative, outlet for Developers for the iPhone platform and therefore more reason to continue to develop for the platform.

            So not a a different story at all

          • Did I read correctly that you think the iPad will cannibalise iPhone sales?

            Why do you think so?

          • There’s a blog post I have to write on that one.
            If you look at how people use their iPhones, you have to say, if it came to a choice between either for many potential buyers, they’d take an iPad now over an iPhone.
            More Anon at my blog!

  4. Have just made the switch from iPhone 3G to Android (HTC Desire) and no looking back so far. Sure, there are some niggles, as there would be on any platform (and I’m glad Telstra/HTC fixed up their GPS snafu in short order), but overall it does feel as if using Android has thrown off some of the shackles of being in Apple-world. I’d like to see a better treatment for multiple email accounts (esp integrating Gmail and non-Gmail accounts into a unified inbox), and the calendar functionality lacks some of the features required for hardcore Enterprise use (as it did on the iPhone to be fair), but nothing yet is proving to be a deal-breaker.

  5. I think something is missing from this discussion, and that’s consideration of the eco-system surrounding each device.

    Apple has the iPhone/iTunes/iPad and various computing devices, Android has phones, tablets, televisions, netbooks and whatever anyone else can think of.

    That’s going to be what determines the winner in the future. The platform that can offer the best integrated commuinications/media consumption experience. Right now neither is there, but with the growth in of Android outside of the mobile phone arena (especially as the devices are standardising on 2.1 and above) Apple’s going to have a lot to worry about.

    • I disagree. I don’t think one player will deliver all of this, and neither will consumers want that from one player. What people want is for any player to be able to deliver any piece of the puzzle. Just as you can now take any MP3 file and play it on any device (because it’s an open standard), the companies that always do the best in the long term are the ones that play nicely with everything.

      Open standards are the key to technology as we know it.

      • Oh abso-bloody-lutley, Open Standards and inter-communication should rule the roost every time. I was more talking to the point that different players (Phone manufacturers, Television Manufacturers and so on) can more easily partner up with a shared platform like Android.

        I guess I’m trying to say that barriers to entry are lower with an open platform like Android, as opposed to Apples iPhone/iPad OS

      • Not sure if I’d call mp3 an open standard. It’s a bit of a convoluted licensing bun fight. Open standards aren’t always as successful even if they are a superior technology. Ogg is obviously there, andI am well impressed with APE. Hard to topple mp3 though so I get you drift.

  6. Had an iPhone. Too childish. Gave it to my nephew for his 5 birthday maybe he can watch Philip on it :-)

    • Heard that before. Was talking to a friend last week, he gave his iPhone to his 3 yr old son.

    • Childish? Really?

      Just going from my usage of my iPhone over the last week, I shot and edited video; consumed all my RSS feeds; checked my train timetable (quicker than I ever could on the website or via timetable booklet); read and answered the bulk of my personal email; did almost all my netbanking; used it as a cookbook; cropped, edited and uploaded some photos; conducted some research (RSS, Instapaper and Delicious are a powerful combo); did a bunch of social networking; trialled some music creation apps; read some of a book and yes, even played the odd game here and there.

      I readily accept that the device may not meet your needs, or you might have a philosophical objection to Apple’s business practices, or even that it’s not “professional” enough for you (despite the office apps, it’s not great for editing documents, reading Word docs and pdfs) (not that you said any of these things, mind you)

      But “childish”? I’m sorry, I just don’t see that at all.

  7. Philip should have been ‘hi 5’. Apologies! My nexus word recognition is too fast: -)

  8. What many of the commentariat seem to miss is that Android was, I believe, originally designed to be a low-cost alternative for smart phone and “feature phone” operating systems. The high-end “smart phone” is just one segment of the market. Lucrative, but just one segment. The Android v iPhone smart phone discussion is not nearly as interesting to me as the Android v Symbian feature phone discussion. The BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China) are rapidly industralising with growing affluent working and middle classes. Add to that the amazing things that are happeing in mobile commerce over SMS in Africa and you soon start to realise just how many handsets there are floating around in the lesser developed countries.

    Right now as I understand it Nokia is the leader in this area. Apple couldn’t care less about this lower margin commodity market. The money is in volume here and obviously that’s never been Apple’s go. But Android? If you were a low-margin, high volume handset maker and you had to choose between Symbian, Android, or a roll-your-own Java based OS, which OS would you be thinking hard about?

    Now that Symbian has an open source version, is it really going to be a battle of operating systems or a battle of handset manufacturers? Why not use a cheaper, less-featured phone with a similar look and feel UI with similar apps as a gateway drug for the more expensive smart phones in your lineup as finances permit? Apple will always be iPhone OS and is unlikely to drop down into the feature phone market. But the Sonys, Samsungs, Nokias and Motorolas of the world have a real opportunity to develop an integrated line of products to cover a very large market base.

    The other argument is that it is a battle between the user experience and raw features (whether hardware or software). The iPhone has shown that the experience can be more important than features (shooting video, MMS, copy and paste all missing from the first iPhone). The iPad looks like it could do the same. HP looks like it might understand this wih its recent purchase of Palm and the WebOS. It’s up to other handset and mobile device manufacturers now to try and do the same and they don’t necessarily need to use Android to do this.

      • I raise that +1 by 1^2. Android in India and China will be gangbusters. Google chose well with HTC, I’ve used their phones for years and hardware wise they have been the best smartphones out there. Shame they all ran WinMo before. I dunno if it’s there motto, but I’d sum up HTC as ‘innovation, quality, choices’.

    • Absolutely true about Apple targeting the top segment.

      Android vs IPhone OS is likely to turn into another Windows vs Mac debate. I am not a big fan of Apple but I agree that their system stability and user-friendliness are ahead of its competitors. I attribute this to Apple designing their own software and manufacturing its own device that works well in the O/S i.e no hardware conflict. I do see a potential problem Android might have in fitting into so many different phones with different hardwares.

      However, I do notice a decrease in the quality of the products Apple has been delivering so far, perhaps due to the increase in production quantity and sales As an user of the 2G iphone and 3GS, i think the first gen is much more durable than the new ones. Same goes to the macbooks. IMHO the iphone is not a phone, simply because it is not delivering what it should do consistently – making phone calls. Unless apple improves on that, im definitely switching to another phone in order to make my calls and texts.

      It will be interesting to see how the two O/S develop but being an anti-apple user im going for Android. It is gonna be a lot of flexible to users and there are more options in terms of functions and quality. Also because the iPad is out, i would say users cld have an iPad & an Android phone lol.

      • Hank – I’m a little confused by the line “IMHO the iphone is not a phone, simply because it is not delivering what it should do consistently – making phone calls.” I understand that the iPhone is not perfect for everyone, but from all the iPhone owners around me I have not heard one complaint about the iPhone’s function as a mobile phone.

        I’d be interested to know what are your problems with it as a phone. Please explain. :)

        • lol it is just not working consistently as a phone. screen freeze on incoming call – > cant pick up. horrendous reception -> signal indicates full bar but no call cant be made or received. The argument is I shd go back to my good old nokia. I would love to, but i also need the excellent web browsing and emailing capabilities from iphone.

  9. I’m sitting here with a several year old series of Palm OS based Treos.

    I haven’t upgraded and won’t go to Apple because I don’t like lock-in and am predominantly Windows-based (I hate the number of processes that seem to start on my machine when I’m not running iTunes just for installing it).

    It is very unclear where Microsoft is going in the mobile space.

    So if I want an application rich environment on my new mobile there’s only one place to go: Android.

  10. Sorry to interrupt the ‘smart’ comments for a moment, but Renai – I don’t quite buy your lead in. NO ONE who owns one of these things is ever going to refer to it as a ‘phone’ ever again.

  11. it’s true, android has a lot that the iphone doesnt. flash being the one thing i am jealous of. but then, you can now run android on your iphone if you want, and have the best of both worlds. also, the new iphone OS will fill a lot of the gaping void in functionality between iphone and android. it will have a better camera with flash and zoom (rumoured) multiple app instances supported and many others. write this article again when you have your hands on OS 4.0 and see how much remains different that anyone who is not a die hard linux user wants but doesnt have.
    i dont see the ability to fiddle with the OS as an essiential feature. i dont see the need to have every man and his dog try and make a quick buck out of making an android app that can be crap but will be almost pure profit due to the lack of $99 developer fee and no approval required. how does that prevent someone making a child porn app?

    Sure, steve jobs needs to wake up and realise he can’t just do what he wants with his platforms, that he has to listen to his cutomer base, but it doesn’t mean a free for all android system is the best option overall. (not that it’s a bad option, just maybe not the best)

  12. I’m really keen to try the HTC Desire, but as a long term BlackBerry user I’m tempted to wait until RIM release a touch screen slider with OS 6. I like touch screens but love the BlackBerry qwerty keypad. A touch screen slider would be a great combination for me.

    Personally I think the Telco’s need to make the data plans cheaper if they really want to flood the consumer market with smartphones. $70 per month ($60 + a minimum $10 data plan) is not going to entice the average consumer to buy the HTC Desire on a 24 month contract.

    • Hey Dan, check out the HTC Touch Pro 2. Android touch screen slider with full qwerty keyboard. My brother just got one. PS: I love my Desire. It just gets better and better.

  13. Fantastic story!
    Wish that Nokia could update it’s Symbian OS to be similar to Android as I am a Nokia fanboy at heart…but slowly coming around to an Android way of things to come!

  14. I don’t even think it’s a comparison. The iPhone’s a phone, and Android is a free operating system that exists on many many phones.

    I also think it’s small minded to imagine that only one device can be king. This town is certainly big enough for both iPhone and Android to co-exist.

  15. I have a Nexus One and I absolutely love it!

    I can see the potential of Android gaining significant traction in the Australian mobile market as it is already starting to do in the US and UK. And I sure hope it does.

    Go Android!

  16. Meh……iPhone 4G (HD) will douse the Android fire. Then once the 4G is old, competitors will again start to the gain traction in the market.

  17. Many of my IT nerd friends and relatives are showing a great deal of interest in Android phones. Interestingly for most of them it’s a combination of features and a backlash against Apple.

    How this actually plays out in the next upgrade cycle, when they actually have to make choices, is still an open question.

  18. Android on the phone looks to much like Linux on the desktop, which year will that be again?

    • Except it’s not. Linux on the desktop was fighting against a very entrenched player in Microsoft with very little in the way of support from the commercial vendors. Was never going to happen.

      Linux on the mobile device on the other hand has the backing of one of the biggest players in the business, has the advantage of learning the lessons from the last 19 years of linux development and adoption and is proving to be as successful as any of the current players within the market.

      Whether you like it or not, Android is here to stay. It will be at the very least providing a competitive push to Apple and Nokia to pull their socks up, and at best will create a cross market and cross OEM platform that will bring App development and marketing to everything from your mobile phone, tablet device to your home entertainment system.

  19. Sorry for the huge review, but I’m really loving the new Zune, and hope this, as well as the excellent reviews some other individuals have written, can help you decide if it’s the solution you’re looking for.

Comments are closed.