A friend of mine, an iPhone advocate and user, recently compared the Android brand to Vauxhall cars, while maintained that iPhones represented the BMW of the smartphone world.
It’s a great put down although if recent figures prove a trend, it won’t be long until the Android/iPhone market share actually reflects the Vauxhall/BMW share (i.e. iPhone as a niche). So, as my friend points out, why would you choose a Vauxhall when you can have a BMW at only a slight price premium?
But the comparison falls apart on one crucial aspect. If you were about to buy a BMW and the sales rep suddenly pointed out that some roads hadn’t been approved for use by them yet and so were off limits, you’d be somewhat taken aback. If the sales rep then went on to point out that certain other roads were blacklisted entirely and therefore also off limits… you’d start to question why you were buying this car.
The worst part of owning such a car would be the inability to request that these roads are made available. The question of their use has been set in stone in a way that the humble owners of the vehicle cannot challenge.
So in the iPhone world, you can’t use Adobe’s Flash technology. You won’t see many types of applications in the AppStore (and not just porn either, look at Sony Reader, VLC and others). And of course, you can’t challenge these decisions in any way, except to refuse to buy another iPhone.
So why would I chose to buy a Android? For freedom.