Apple's normality and Android's individuality.
A familiar blue jeans, black turtleneck and accustomed circular eyeglasses appear on the largest stage recognized by technology enthusiasts, Macworld Expo 2007. In the weeks before, bloggers, reporters, and analysts, wrote of the ever-changing speculation. This was not limited to hardware. This was the collective hope of a groundbreaking operating system, and a short lived dream of an Apple controlled nationwide wireless network. Arguably, the most recognized event of 2007 by tech enthusiast. Steve Jobs began by thanking the audience, and welcoming all attendees to the Macworld Expo . He quickly addressed the press and developers with a gutsy statement,
"We're going to make some history today".
And with flawless execution, a spot of humor, and Jobs' charm, the iPhone revolutionized the mobile industry.
But as Apple nears the 5 year anniversary of this "5 years ahead of it's time" product, the phone becomes the opposite of it's arrival. Unique.
The title iPhone (4S) has become a wildly socially recognized device. When you think of a phone, iPhone is if not the first, but one of the phone's that will always come to mind. The symbolic single buttoned (volume rockers and power button disregarded) is always crowned iPhone in a sea of devices. It is nearing impossible to not see such a commonly acknowledged device throughout one's day.
Bottom line. The iPhone is everywhere, Apple knows it, app developers know it, consumers know it.
Google's sweet dive into mobile phones began with a bita? Bete? Beta. And soon the open sourced dream became a reality, with the HTC dream (What!?), debuting with Android v1.0, unfortunately lacking one of many things, including a clever codename. Then came v1.1, and skipping all the way to Android's sweet spot Android v4.0 which desserted the Android's well know 4 button layout. It released with the Galaxy Nexus,which has since bean updated to Google's current OS, v4.1 Jelly Bean.
With up to 62% of market share going to this OS, compared to iOS's mere 18% it's safe to say, this wildly socially recognized device... ... ... Right?
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
With up to 70 phones entering and exiting the market each quarter, the level of awareness compared to Apple's iPhone is extremely low. Each phone is different, including it's differences underneath each unique stupidly named screen (I'm looking at you HD Super Amoled Plus), the skin of the phone. It's difficult to keep up with the extreme amounts of Android phones. Even that asking an average consumer what OStheir own android phone runs, or what skin is on it would be difficult.
Nearing the end of the 1984 Super Bowl, a strange and disorienting advertisement appeared on the TV screens of the millions of viewers tuned in to the yearly ritual. The ad opens on a gray network of futuristic tubes connecting blank, ominous buildings. Inside the tubes, we see cowed subjects marching towards a cavernous auditorium, where they bow before a Big Brother figure pontificating from a giant TV screen. But one lone woman remains unbroken. Chased by storm troopers, she runs up to the screen, hurls a hammer with a heroic grunt, and shatters the TV image.
Although this is not the iPhone, and this is no where near 1984, I would like to recognize the main idea behind it all, that is, breaking normality.
The iPhone aimed to break normality, but is becoming just that, normal. Android OEM's are taking wild steps in design, providing different, unique tastes on mobile phones. But with these gambles may come bitter results, ugly skins, and unreliable designs. This is where the iPhone then strides ahead, bestowing a common perfected goal, but once again falling back into dull, normality.
Apple's one, beautifully bland design and walled off operating system?
Or Android's (OEMS) experimental, unique take on phones and their software skins?