A fanboy rebuttal
I love it when there's a post about a certain platform, and fanboys either for or against said platform completely obfuscate the facts. The truth is all platforms have ups and downs, and fanboys would like to minimize their platforms negatives down to nil, while building up the other platforms to over 9000. I'm going to address some of the popular claims, and just open up a discussion about each of the big three platforms.
Fragmentation: Yes, Android is fragmented. As my platform of choice, I would love for this to not be true, but it is. But to what point is it fragmented, and how bad is the problem? Certainly there are phones that I see coming from manufacturers that makes me wonder to myself why someone would ever buy that. For me, there's only one type of phone to ever look at, and that's a premier, AAA phone. If you're looking to save money, yesterday's premier AAA phones should now be about the same price you'd pay for a crappy new phone. With that said, there's a lot of uninformed consumers out there buying smartphones, and the demand is certainly there. These are the phones most of us reading this blog would be able to pick out from the crowd and never purchase them for ourselves. Manufacturers make these phones knowing full well they won't have to support the phone, since the phone's demographic is not one that will demand regular updates, and probably won't even know what Ice Cream Sandwich is.
The inexcusable part of fragmentation is the Galaxy SII getting upgraded to ICS in May. That, I can't defend. It's a problem, and you can sit here and point it out all you want, but your platform is coming next. Don't worry.
Customization: This is Android's problem and feature at the same time. Sort of like Android's own antennagate. This problem is pretty much the same as fragmentation, except in this case, even the consumers in the know take part in it. The biggest thing about bad skins for Android is voting with your dollar. If T-Mobile insists on skinning it's MyTouch line with crappy software, just refuse to buy T-Mobile MyTouch phones. Unfortunately, I think even a lot of tech readers fall into the trap of great hardware. On the other hand, no other platform allows independence like Android does. You can truly do what you want with your Android phone. While this does take a bit of work, readers of this site can certainly get behind a bit of software manipulation in order to get what you want. The point is, we certainly want to be able to do what we'd like with our phones, but please, if you're a manufacturer and you're going to skin the phone, please give great thought to every single interaction the user will have with your skin. (Btw, if you're someone who bought a Sense 3.0 phone, you should be ashamed of yourself. How anyone thought that looked remotely good is beyond me).
Apps: Oh my, how far we've come. It always amazes me to hear WP7 fanboys say that WP7 doesn't have an app problem when I know how bad it was when Android was in their shoes. Android is still not on the level of the iPhone, but it's certainly come a long way. For now, most of the gigantic companies, popular games, and must have apps are on Android, making their way to Android, or will be there some time in the future. When apps are being developed now, Android isn't something they can simply brush off anymore. The number of devices has reached a point that people looking to make money simply cannot ignore. There are still a bit of cool, hipster developers or companies that see to think their apps can only work on iOS, but those numbers are falling (see Instagram). One thing I will say about ICS apps is that they've brought along a smart and seemingly unified way of doing things. It's brought a refreshing bit of change to Android that was much needed.
Windows Phone 7
Apps: I mentioned this above, and I'll touch up on it here. I certainly don't want to blow it out of proportion, so I'll just say this: you have an app problem. It's not the end of the world. I'm sure you have most of what you need. You have some great games. But that doesn't mean you don't have a problem. Apps are the current form of interaction with mobile devices today, and they are the driving force of a platform. Just like Android, only two things can solve this problem: time and success. If WP7 sells, the developers will reach a point where they can no longer ignore you anymore.
Hardware: iPhone and Android hardware keep going up, while WP hardware keeps staying the same. When the platform debuted, one core was more than enough. It's not that it's not enough anymore. It's just that when you buy a phone today, you're usually locked in for two years. Does anyone want to have a single core phone in 2014? The argument that used to be brought up in these arguments (I haven't seen it as much) was that WP is so great, it runs smoothly on a single core, while Android is still buggy on two cores. That's all fine and dandy, but WP7 really shouldn't be looking at the most popular platform out there and laughing at it's power. While some Android phones do lack in usability, because of the openness of Android, there are bound to be phones that suck, just as there are some awesome phones. It still doesn't answer the question of why WP is still getting single core processors. It just avoids it (which is a popular tactic among trolls).
Better or prettier apps/more usability
This is something that irks me. I used to own a Zune, and I used Zune software, and it was great (still is actually). It's very pretty, and it's fun to use. The same can be said about WP7. The problem I have with this argument is that while it's pretty, it's not always the easiest or most intuitive way to interact with an app. It might be beautiful in a store test, but when you use the app on a daily basis, you want to just get in and do what you want. Instead, the app seems to get in your way. This is what happens with a lot of apps in WP7. I do not want to swipe three times just to get where I want. So yes, your platform might be pretty, but it's not the most intuitive or useful. It actually gets in the way a lot of times.
Not much to say about Apple. As much as it hurts to say, the company itself has things down pat. But that doesn't mean it's fanboys can't be taught a thing or two. First off, it's a choice....for a mobile OS. If someone doesn't choose it, it doesn't mean they are dumb, hate design, or worse off than you. And thinking you have the best platform is also subjective. And finally, it's not a choice made for financial reasons. Me picking Android had nothing to do with money, frankly. Unfortunately for Apple, just like Microsoft was in the 90s and 00s, when you are the most popular OS on the market (or phone in the case of iPhone), you tend to attract everyone. While that means a lot of cool people, you also attract some dumb people. These dumb people seem to think they're somehow better than us lowly peons.
I didn't think I'd be so short handed on things for Apple. The only thing I can say that they have wrong is screen size, but as far as I've seen, many Apple fans seem to agree too. And if rumors are to be believed, Apple might finally come around on that. This post is of course made to combat common smartphone cliches or tropes. Please chime in with what you think about it, and with what you've seen yourself in the comments section of your favorite sites. And as always, please keep it civil.
*These are just my opinions and observations, if it wasn't obvious already.