Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My Take On Fruits and Robots

I’m not against the iPhone/Pad/Pod or anti-Apple.  I actually admire what Steve Jobs was able to accomplish.  I give iPxxx users a hard time because it’s fun!  Seriously, at the end of the day I recommend doing you're own research and deciding which platform and device is right for you.  The answer will not be the same for everybody.

On personal usage:
However, the iOS platform and iDevices are not for me – I don’t want to be locked into a specific hardware platform.  I don’t want to use iTunes and convert all of my WMA-lossless music to Apple’s AAC lossless format (and WMA compatibility is actually more prevalent in other devices than AAC). I am used to having certain apps available to me as part of my daily routine (a podcast app that automatically manages new podcasts including downloading new episodes and deleting the old ones I’ve listened to, for example).  Can I get similar apps on the iPhone?  Probably, but not always.  The most popular apps are typically available on both phones.  But there's no guarantee that a less-popular app I might like and use will be available on the iPhone.

In other words, it would be a project to convert to iPhone. And at the end of the day I will have a phone with a smaller screen? Not something I want to do if I can avoid it.

On business usage:
There are two trends that can’t be ignored:
  1. Market growth/popularity
  2. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

My employer standardized on iPhones for both of these reasons.  Apple's iPhone and iPad are popular in their markets (iPad is the tablet market leader).  The executive that mandated this new standard didn't weigh all of the pros and cons of all devices in the market AFAIK.  A number of other employees including managers either bought thier own iPhones or were asking for them.  So a number of these things came together and boom, we have a new standard.

It's interesting to note here that we still maintain some RIM devices in our supported corporate standards.  These devices have always been more business-oriented.  They're cheaper in most cases.  But they're losing market share on the business side and I don't think they ever had it on the consumer side.

I would argue that it's for these same reasons that Android devices can not be over-looked or ignored.  Android devices are the mobile phone market leader and Android-based tablets are gaining in popularity.  As of this writing, the Google Android platform holds a 51% market share compared to Apple's iOS at 31% (source).  Then there's the fact that Android continues to find it's way into other devices such as TVs and even car stereos! I don't do predictions but I've got to believe the platform will continue to improve, market share will continue to grow and businesses will continue to adopt Android phones as part of their standards at increasing rates.

As in most companies, all it will take is for a C-class executive to want one of these phones for whatever reason and boom - another new standard.  It's not a matter of "if", but "when".  Maybe it's one month from now, a year or five years from now.

On a final note, take this for what it is - my opinion.   There are many heated "Apple vs. Android" threads that can be read on the Internet.  Each platform has technical pros and cons in both the hardware and software.  That would be the topic of an entirely different article.  I'll be the first to admin that I'm technically biased towards Android and believe it to be a better hardware/software solution over-all.  But don't take my word for it.  Put the time in, do the research and decide for yourself.