Apple iPhone vs. Google Android —

Apple iPhone vs. Google Android

Ran across an article on TechRepublic article A very personal Google Android vs. Apple iPhone war just got some more personality.

According to the article there is some real rancor between the iPhone and Android teams/CEO/whatever. Although that might make for some good soap opera type of entertainment – I’m more interested in a comment the article made comparing this spat with the Apple-Microsoft “war” of the 1980s-90s.

For those of you that have been around for a while, the Apple iPhone vs. Google Android war looks a lot like the Microsoft-Apple battles decades ago. Apple went closed ecosystem and Microsoft went with the “we’ll flood you with partners” approach. Nowadays, Google is playing up the Microsoft flood the zone approach with an open source twist.

I thought that was an interesting take on the business/coding/user/and mindshare battles that went on between the Apple OS and Winders….uh, I mean Windows. As a synopsis I suppose it works fairly well – but let’s take a look at what the aftermath has meant for the two companies, and see if there are any parallels to draw in the phone OS space.

Microsoft is now supporting well over TEN operating systems – there are multiple versions of Vista and Windows 7, all which have significant differences (although the cores are basically the same). Apple? 6, assuming you count the Server editions of 10.4, 10.5, and 1.06 separately. That doesn’t sound like a big difference until you factor in all of the possible hardware configurations that can affect system stability and usability – indeed, hardware can make the software look stupid in a blink of an eye, and an untrained user may not be able to tell the difference.

Plus Apple machines are MUCH less likely to go haywire on you – whether OS or hardware related.

In the marketplace, you can buy Macs from a variety of places, but have a relatively few models (albeit well-positioned in terms of capabilities!), all which perform well. The Windows side is a confusing array of options, sizes, price levels, support levels, performance levels, and even quality levels – none of which is easy to discern.

So assuming a similar path in the phonespace means that in a few years we’ll still have a few iPhone models (more than now, if you included the iPad in this scenario) – and tons of Android phones at varying levels of functionality, quality level, and usability.

…. and Google will be using the then-current release of the OS to integrate the features Apple added in their LAST release.

In any case, this is gonna be interesting to watch!

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