The Smartphone Showdown
There is a huge battle brewing on the horizon. Some say it has already begun and I am inclined to agree. It is the battle of the smartphones. Personally, I believe it would be more accurate to call it a battle of the smartphone OSes.
In this day and age where the world is going increasingly mobile, the smartphone (and recently, tablet) market is exploding and everybody wants a piece of the proverbial pie.
This is leading to the aforementioned battle and it seems the list of the main contenders is in.
We have Apple with iOS, Google with Android, RIM with Blackberry OS (and the recently acquired QNX) and Microsoft with Windows Phone 7 (WP7).
The most commonly expected outcome is that what happened with Windows and the PC market will be repeated with the smartphone market with one OS becoming dominant and all others being secondary. Personally, I am hoping for peaceful coexistence of all of them because it gives the consumers a lot of choice.
Right now, Android dominates the market just based on sheer volume seeing as everybody and their cousin is making an android smartphone nowadays. iOS and Blackberry OS seem to be battling for second place with WP7 coming in behind.
Most people will argue about the openness and resulting fragmentation of android, the closed and strictly controlled nature of iOS or the security and corporate stability of Blackberry.
Personally, I believe that in the long run, all these things will be considered irrelevant. My reason for saying this is pretty simple. One will find that those that argue about all these things are the hardcore enthusiasts. The programmers and the tech obsessed. The obvious (or maybe not so obvious) problem however, is that these people make up such a small percentage of the consumer market that they do not matter all that much. The real consumers are the everyday people who have their smartphones as a gadget just to be used for its basic functionality and not much else.
These people really care about only two major things: Actually using the phone (i.e. the user experience) and the original use of a phone: the ability to communicate.
I know a good percentage of those reading this use blackberries and so I will use it as an obvious example. The main reason most people give me for using blackberries is not that it is fast or secure. It is BBM (Blackberry Messenger). The only reason this is a big deal is because everybody else has BBM. It allows them communicate.
The user experience on the other hand is just about how you use your phone. How easy or intuitive it is for consumers to operate a device. iOS seems to have this covered where people feel just so comfortable using the device and it gives them an experience they find both easy and enjoyable. Android and WP7 also seems to be doing okay in this department though I don’t know if I can say the same for Blackberry OS.
The bottom line is that I believe that the winner of this battle might not be the fastest or the most powerful or safe OS. It will be the OS that can give the users an experience they would enjoy and recommend to their friends.
What kind of phone do you use? How do you like it? Who do you think has the best OS?
Leave a comment and let us know.