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Article: On Tech Punditry…

by on April 26, 2011

I wanted to address something that seems to be a-brewin’ more and more these days when it comes to technology. In the past, it was Mac vs. Windows more often than not with geeks everywhere arguing which was better. Mac users are often seen as smug elitists, who really don’t know how to use a “real computer”, while Windows users are often seen as putting up with something that doesn’t always work properly and has no personality. You don’t hear much of these arguments anymore, instead the issue shifting to the mobile space.

Right now the biggest area for debate is the iPhone versus Android. While our site skews very pro-Apple (hey, we admit it), both have their pros and cons. What gets me is the childish fear, uncertainty, and doubt that both sides use to argue, and how, in the grand scheme of things, it’s stupid.

Carriers Make the Device

The argument stateside for the iPhone vs. Android was largely related to the particular carrier the devices were on (AT&T or Verizon). Almost everyone can agree that AT&T’s network is lacking in a number of places, but that it works pretty well for the most part. Verizon users act like their network makes it worth trading in the iPhone, and I disagree. It’s good, but CDMA is on its way out the door and slow. This argument has since been nullified with an iPhone on Verizon’s network and Android models on AT&T’s network. Plus, if I had a dollar for every time I heard a Verizon user use the line, “It’s kinda like an iPhone, but not as good,” to describe whatever Android device they had, I’d be rich.


I think this is the area where it really demonstrates how uneducated Android fans try to pick at old scabs. Like someone gloating about the San Francisco Giants having a long World Series drought, after they won it all, antenna jokes are old for iPhone users. Software updates have fixed a lot of the reporting calculations, and Apple even held an event to talk about attenuation and showed some competitors who also had “death grip” areas. Call it marketing, or few people in really bad coverage areas, but if it was such a problem, wouldn’t people have given up on the iPhone 4 in droves by now, over eight months since its release?

Specs Don’t Matter

I love the guy who argues that his phone is the best because it has dual-core 1GHz processors compared to the throttled-down single-core chip in my iPhone. I say, “Who cares?” and I think the rest of the population, technology-inclined or not, will agree. Does it work for everyday tasks without feeling slow? Probably. Does it matter that your car has a ton more horsepower than mine, even though we both can hit 70mph comfortably on the freeway? Let’s move on.

Show Me Some Tablets and Media Players

I think the funniest thing is that many pundits focus on the iPhone vs. Android, rather than iOS vs. Android. Part of this is because nobody has released something that can fully compete with the iPad (the Xoom and PlayBook haven’t been taking the world by storm), and the best competitors may actually be running WebOS. There also aren’t any good entry-level devices running the Android OS that can really compete with the iPod touch. It’s been almost four years since it was introduced…will someone challenge it?

Competiton is Good

Say what you want about marketshare (multiple devices on multiple carriers vs. one/two iPhone model(s) on two carriers) , but competition is a good thing. If you want a 4-inch-plus screen, complete control to tinker with the OS, specs to brag about, and maybe a slide-out keyboard, Android is your thing. If you want something a bit more refined, a curated app experience, and are fine with the one-size-fits-all, but works well, the iPhone is your device. That being said, this competition is good because even though Apple may not choose to include every feature the various manufacturers of Android handsets offer, the important ones could carry over and vice-versa.

At The End of the Day, It’s Just a Phone…

I think shareholders have more room to hope for a “winner” in the iOS vs. Android competition, but at the end of the day, I firmly believe that people should use what they prefer. I don’t think the Android OS is bad, but I prefer how a number of things work on the iOS. Does that mean that I hate Android? Hardly. By having a thriving ecosystem for both platforms (and others in the future), this makes things exciting for those who cover technology. In sone ways, it is like the early ’80s where you had a number of competing standards coexisting, except there is one equalizer today—the Web. Due to things like Google Docs, Dropbox, Facebook, email, and Twitter, it really doesn’t matter who you buy your devices from if you need to get work done. To me, that’s why we all can choose what we want, but let’s stop letting it define us so much. Besides, in five-to-ten years, we’ll have moved on to something else anyway. Just ask the BlackBerry die-hards.

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