Why Android Will Win

You probably know by now that attendees of Google IO last week received a surprise gift, the HTC EVO 4G.

Thank you Google.

My wife was in shock that I got not one, but two phones for attending IO. Great, right? This makes a lot of sense for Google, since they need more Android developers and evangelists for their mobile holy war with Apple.

What better way to recruit them than by giving away a fantastic phone, possibly the best Android device to date.

I’ve been using my EVO for a couple days, and I’m ready to jettison the iPhone. I know, hard to believe.

My reasons are financial more than functional. Surprised?

  • My iPhone is an OG model, and as such, it won’t be supported or updated once iPhone OS 4 drops.
  • I don’t particularly want to pony up for a new phone because I just recently poured another $200 into Apple.
  • The OG iPhone was an awesome device, three years ago. I’m ready for more.
  • Portland is one of the few cities in which Sprint has 4G service.
  • I can stay out of contract.

You’ll notice I don’t mention any of the geeky hot button issues like having Flash or not, closed vs. open development, which carrier is best, CDMA vs. GSM, etc.

None of those is enough to make me switch, assuming relative feature parity with my existing OG iPhone.

I suspect that most smart phone buyers will follow monetary reasons first, too.

Obviously, this gives Android devices an advantage over the iPhone. There are more of them, e.g. Google says they are activating 100,000 Android devices each day, they are available from more carriers, and they can be bought at a range of price points.

As more people jump from “just phones” to smartphones, Android will benefit.

When I switched from my Motorola Razr to the iPhone in 2007, I remember thinking what a huge leap forward it was. Paul had the same feeling, as did a ton of people. Of course, this was three years ago, and there was only one phone that gave people that feeling.

Now, there are dozens.

I seriously doubt that the average person buying a smartphone cares about closed vs. open development. All s/he wants is a Facebook app, maybe a Twitter one, music, etc.

I’ll post some EVO thoughts tomorrow. Maybe Rich and Anthony will add theirs. If you’re interested, Louis Gray is apparently among the converts too, thanks to the EVO.

After WWDC, it’s really going to get interesting.

Find the comments.

AboutJake

a.k.a.:jkuramot

27 comments

  1. Yeah, making the decision after WWDC myself: stick with 3GS, go to 4G, or flip to Android. Android looks good right now…nothing I've heard about the next iPhone really floats my boat.

  2. The way I see is consumers are winning big. After years of slow moving features in phones, we are seeing amazing progress. Nexus One, HTC Incredible and now EVO 4g all within 6 months. this got to put pressure on Apple to increase their pace.

  3. I'm Apple fanboy. I am saddened that I think you are right. Google will prevail in this arena. This is so like the 90s when Apple had something great but the big boy, Microsoft came along and rolled over them with product that was “cheaper” and in some cases better. Great for the masses.

    The good thing is, if all goes according the Master Plan at Google, they will be the dominant player and Apple will lose market share, month by month and soon, I'll finally feel good again about having a product from Apple that no “everyone” has.

    I say all this somewhat in fun, because the fact is, I don't feel that passionate about my iPhone. It works nicely and its interface is great. I don't really care about it like many do.

  4. You're right that financial reasons will drive behaviour, but if you are using your arguments as a reason why Android will win then it just doesn't stack up. Those reasons are all very specific to you as an individual. You got a phone for free, most of the rest of us will have to open the wallet.

    Apple continues to consistently innovate while Google and the like are copying and catching up with what they've already done. I've no doubt that the google app store will rival apple's app store within the next year or so, but I expect Apple to change the game again – that's what they keep doing.

    just my 2p

  5. It's surreal how this is deja vu all over again, Microsoft-Apple Part 2. Don't get me wrong, I like Apple; to build good product, sometimes you have to be a dictator.

    As a consumer/user, I love that competition is driving both sides though. It's good for me.

    The iPhone was a revolutionary device whose impact will be felt for years to come. Too bad its dominance won't last more than a few years.

    Look at Google's history, and you'll see they're fast followers. Really, really good fast followers.

  6. 100% agreed. We all win as consumers, and about time too. The US has lagged behind countries like Japan in mobile for so long; it's nice to get modern smartphones that do more than make calls.

    I'm also glad the carriers are getting squeezed.

  7. I'm sure iPhone 4 will wow. Jobs knows how to put on a show; he knows what people want. It's a monetary decision for many. I'm sure you're in a contract with AT&T, which will influence your decision.

    Incidentally, WTF is AT&T thinking by upping the contract termination fees in advance of iPhone 4? Shouldn't they be lowering them to drive demand to the new phones? Maybe I was sick on “carrier revenue model” day at school, or maybe the new iPhone will bork up their network even more.

    Because iPhone users are using the network wrong. You can't just check email and surf the web whenever you want. My bad.

  8. Dude, I am too. I'm penning a post about why iPhone wins tomorrow. It's a fun ride to be on as a consumer. We benefit from the competition on all fronts; even the carriers are pushed.

    Interested to read your thoughts after WWDC.

  9. My reasons aren't specific to me. Pricepoints vary for Android phones. They do not for iPhones. And don't tell me that the average person is going on Craigslist to find an old iPhone either 😉

    The average person will go to the various carriers' stores and browse the phones they have. When comparing the iPhone with the HTC EVO or Droid Incredible, price will matter, including the data plan; phone OS features will not b/c they're very close to feature parity.

    The iPhone has lost its awesome-factor edge and now has to compete on price.

    Google is very good at fast following. Those of us who were around remember that Excite (or Alta Vista) was better than Yahoo, but they lost. Just as Yahoo lost to Google.

    How many iPhone moments do you think Apple has left in phones? Maybe in some other areas, but I think they're already in a losing battle there.

    And it only took a couple years. Wow.

  10. Lucky Git..
    They aren't releasing the EVO 4g here in Europe.. Its by far the best phone out now in my opinion 🙂

  11. Economics will win out so I completely agree with you. It already has…. As hard as I tried to convince my mom to go with an iPhone just for ease of use she wouldn't do it. Why pay for a phone when you can get it free? She did and although she can't figure most of it out – in her mind it doesn't matter, you don't pay for a phone when you can get one cheaper/free. Subsidies drive adoption. Apple should have learned when competing with Microsoft. They had market leadership, when the Android came out they should have opened the carrier offerings and let those guys push it hard. Google just like Microsoft is relentless, eventually they get it right and then they overwhelm the competition by meeting the mass need.

  12. That would make sense, since it's CDMA. It would be worthless to you, which is a problem international attendees at IO had immediately. Don't fret, you'll get something cool soon 😉

  13. Too true. As I said below, Google made its money fast following. Apple innovated, and it cost them on the carrier side, i.e. they had to tie themselves to AT&T for 5 years. Google acquired Android, jumped in the game about 18-24 months ago, and now they're charging hard.

    I do think more consumers will want smartphones, but the general logic of price first will still apply, even if the device is not free. This can only benefit Android.

  14. Economics will win out so I completely agree with you. It already has…. As hard as I tried to convince my mom to go with an iPhone just for ease of use she wouldn't do it. Why pay for a phone when you can get it free? She did and although she can't figure most of it out – in her mind it doesn't matter, you don't pay for a phone when you can get one cheaper/free. Subsidies drive adoption. Apple should have learned when competing with Microsoft. They had market leadership, when the Android came out they should have opened the carrier offerings and let those guys push it hard. Google just like Microsoft is relentless, eventually they get it right and then they overwhelm the competition by meeting the mass need.

  15. That would make sense, since it's CDMA. It would be worthless to you, which is a problem international attendees at IO had immediately. Don't fret, you'll get something cool soon 😉

  16. Too true. As I said below, Google made its money fast following. Apple innovated, and it cost them on the carrier side, i.e. they had to tie themselves to AT&T for 5 years. Google acquired Android, jumped in the game about 18-24 months ago, and now they're charging hard.

    I do think more consumers will want smartphones, but the general logic of price first will still apply, even if the device is not free. This can only benefit Android.

  17. While I love a physical keyboard, after dealing with the Samsung Captivate for approximately 15 minutes, it is hard to go back. Presently I am debating whether or not to visit Verizon for the Droid X, move to Dash for the EVO, or stay with AT&T for the Captivate…selections, decisions.

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