Nasty Competition: iPhone vs. Android – Writerdood’s Feedback

Earlier this week, I posted Grady Winston’s latest guest article – Nasty Competition: iPhone vs. Android – which lays out the moves and countermoves in a precarious battle between Apple and Google. The article has drawn a number of forward thinking comments which deserve wider distribution than a straight-forward comment might allow.

The following comment, by Writerdood, addresses some of the questions posed in the original article – then, raises a series of “functionality probability” teasers. Are they teasers – or, real issues which the smartphone industry needs to address?


imageThe future of smartphones is an interesting topic. I don’t see Apple as being at the top of that list. RIM has fallen and can’t get up. And Microsoft’s solution is still an infant with potential.

Globally, I think Android will likely dominate, at least in the short term, but in the long term it’s difficult to say what will happen. Apple phones are beautiful devices, but so are Android phones. Brand-name loyalty will certainly ensure Apple always has a market, but their innovation seems to have reached its limit. Their latest release offers very little of consequence to most people.

What we’re missing is the functionality innovations – the leaps in operational use that allow users to do more things with their mobile devices.

Who will be the first to add infrared control as a standard in phones (allowing users to control their televisions without needing specific hardware)?

Who will add customization user interfaces (allowing users to decide how their screens display)?

Who will add tactile interfaces (allowing raised buttons to appear when needed)?

Will NFC take off and become a desired utility (allowing users to make payments or upload data with a wave of their phone)?

Will phones start to come stock with projectors?

Will full integration with XBox or Playstation make a big difference?

Will flexible expandable screens become a desired feature?

And all of them appear interested in AI of some type, which will produce the desired results?

Then there’s audio – and some manufacturers seem focused on pushing that to the extreme limits, making the screen itself into a speaker.

And then there’s Google’s project glass and integration between those glasses and their phones may force Apple and others to compete.

I think the smart phone world is poised to move on a variety of innovations that will vastly enhance the capabilities of the phones slated to come out in the next few years. Most of those phones will not belong to Apple.

To keep up with this wave of new functionality, Apple will have to either jump on that bandwagon – and pay the patent rights to use them – or come up with an intuitive leap just as risky as their first iPod venture. Their fans will support them regardless, but the rest of the world will only support them if that leap is useful to them and something they can’t get elsewhere.

Heck, if Apple put infrared and tactile into their phones, I’d even buy one. And a projector too? Worth it. Particularly if it can project a keyboard in addition to being used to project slides and video. But maybe these are features that don’t matter to most people. Only time and user adoption can tell that story.


Filed under Android, Apple, Google, Guest Writers, iPhone, Smart Phone

12 responses to “Nasty Competition: iPhone vs. Android – Writerdood’s Feedback

  1. Thanks Bill.
    Plus – pen-based input and smart-watch connectivity. Two big functionality features that are currently out there, but at a low level of adoption (except for the Galaxy Note, which has had some success).

    And I probably shouldn’t have said RIM “can’t” get up. Anything’s possible, and they do have a somewhat dedicated government and military market with BES.

  2. Reblogged this on Sargastic Irrevalence and commented:
    Bill decided to publish some of my comments in an article. I’m flattered that some of my writing might be useful, so I’m reblogging it here. If you want to comment, please visit Bill’s site.

  3. Pradip Shah.

    This is strictly with reference to the status of BB. I own both, a BB and a Samsung Galaxy. So far as applications or features go I like some from one over the other. Messaging, contacts and calender on BB are far better than on the android. Hardware qwerty is much more affordable. On the other hand control over networking (preferring wifi over data) , easy availability of voip and much wider selection of applications in Android are major plus points.

    Just wish both are listening.

  4. Hello Bill,

    I could say smart phones are like cars, for the most part people do not buy them for rational reasons in this case we would all be driving cars that return the best value for the dollar!

    But still now there is a little info about mobiles viruses, which i think will take a big part in a war between Iphone and Android..Couple of days ago I represent a topic in conference about Android viruses… I can say it will be a huge problem after 2-3years..
    The number of threats are increasing, for most of the last year, there were very few threats, maybe two or three a day. Now, it;s about 20-30 threats a day.

  5. What is it about this product that people go mad for?

  6. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    Bit behind in commenting on this but I have been looking into tablets recently. Interestingly two Android tablets, by Samsung and Sony, feature TV remote functions as standard. These are not restricted for use on the manufacturers’ own hardware. It begs the question why has this been done on tablets rather than phones? Tablets seem too cumbersome to use for remotes, as they are for cameras.

    While on the subject of tablets, off topic I know but hey, I saw the launch of the Microsoft Surface on YouTube. I have to say it was almost embarrassing to watch, being amateurish in the extreme. OK software can, and does, fail. To pretend it hasn’t happened, however, just makes the presenter seem unprofessional. The pitch was big on build quality and “innovation”. The latter consists of a wide-screen format, a built-in stand and a magnetic cover that doubles as a keyboard and comes in pretty colours. Then there is the RT o/s, a version of Win 8 optimised for the tablet.

    My initial feeling was that they are trying to outApple Apple and maybe trying a little too hard. It’ll be very interesting to see how it is received by the market. Something else for the Apple vs non-Apple brigades to get hypertensive (and hypersensitive) about :).

    Kind regards,

    • Hi John,

      The whole Tablet tech segment has passed the “hyped to the max” stage and is now venturing into the land of sheer outragous BS, in my view.

      Having run with a Blackberry 7 inch Playbook for about a year (and having added a Bluetooth keyboard), I can easily state, that for hardcore work, a Tablet doesn’t make the grade. Super consumer device (entertainment, gaming, social, etc.), but WORK – No.

      Maybe – just maybe – the Win 8 Tablet will make a difference.



      • John Bent

        Hi Bill,

        You are right “just maybe”; although it will be the pro version, not available for another 3 months, if any.

        Asus do seem to have tried to address this with their range of keyboard-docking tablets. Whether they are the best or worst of both worlds, though, I’m not sure.

        Kind regards

  7. Hey,
    Firstly, I absolutely loved this article, it left me thinking about the two brands in the long run..Who will prevail? I agree that apple will always have a market share through brand loyalty, but where you said “but their innovation seems to have reached its limit” I disagree, how is this the case? All of apples innovations are now inside the product. They have perfected them physically and are now perfecting them inside as-well. For example Siri, New apple maps (I know are not perfect) , do not disturb and message back default messages if busy. Love to know what your think! Thanks again for a stimulating read.
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