Pause for a minute here - the top most talked about smart phone operating systems did not exist (as something I could buy) 3 years ago. Amazing.
What are people using these for? Take the top of the three, the iPhone. People use that for many many things - but it can be boiled down (excluding the phone feature) to, in no particular order: web, apps, music, and email/sms.
As a new contender, PC World’s David Worthington says that Droid Faces Uphill Battle Against iPhone. They don’t talk much about the phone’s hardware. They talk about the software. Telling is the discussion of iTunes:
“However, that would involve switching carriers, and would leave much of my iTunes music library orphaned. My music, video and phone are all-in-one now, and I do not want to have to carry around a separate iPod.”
Verizon’s ad campaign for Droid says “Driod does“. This means that Android does - since the HW does nothing without the SW stack on top of it. Android does offer features in web, apps, music and email/sms. PC world is correct however, the biggest electronic seller of music is Apples iTunes and there are 30 million iPhones (or so) out there. Perhaps Qualcomm or some other group should make a seamless way to get iTunes data on their phone.
One could go the route that palm took and spoof the iPhone. Or you could champion any of the many open source projects aiming to unlock iTunes data for other devices. Without a path from iTunes to your music playing smartphone it will be difficult to convince people to switch from iPhone.
But does any of that matter? David Worthington says:
The question is, does the average user care about things such as open development? I’m an iPhone owner, and Apple’s draconian policies don’t really affect my overall experience. There are still plenty of apps to choose from. I haven’t met too many disaffected iPhone users, probably because the user experience-while imperfect-is pretty great.
Maybe, maybe not.
Regardless of the outcome here, Android phones are exploding onto the market place. Sprint launched the Samsung Momenttoday. Also today, T-mobile brings out the Motorola CLIQ. Rachael may be officially revealed this week.
One thing is for sure, these are exciting times to be working on smartphones.
Update: HTC’s Eris will also come out this week.