My iPhone for an Android!

Yes, you’ve heard it right. I’ll exchange a legally unlocked iPhone 3G for a recent Android phone such as the Samsung Galaxy or the HTC Hero, and will pay the difference back! (street price minus 30% of devaluation for the used iPhone 3G).

I got an iPhone some time ago to learn the concepts introduced in the platform, and get a feeling of how it works out in practice. I’m happy I did it, since the hands on experience is worthwhile. But the experience is done, and even though I have positive things to say about the platform, the omnipotent and arrogant position of Apple with developers kills any chance of any further involvement I could have with the platform. I’m upset enough with it that I don’t want to see my wife using the device either.

There are many things in Apple’s behavior which are a source of arguments, and interminable flamewars, and most of the times I can see both sides of the story. For instance, when people pay a premium to get the hardware, some feel like it’s just throwing money away, but if there is good engineering behind it, well.. I understand people may want to pay the premium to get that exclusive product they like. That said, being so incredibly arrogant in the marketplace, and with developers, which theoretically should be their most precious partners, since they sustain the platform going, is something I can’t tolerate.

I know.. who am I. Just a random guy that actually gave them some money for one of their products. But I’m also a guy that won’t be buying their upgraded phones, and will be spreading the word to make people realize what a terrible future it will be if Apple ever dominates the marketplace. Even you’re not a developer, it’s a good idea to ponder carefully about this behavior. It tells a lot about how far they go to defend their own interests, and what kind of lock in they intend to get you into.

Finally, compare that to a nice open source operating system on which multiple first class vendors are cooperating. Sheeshh.. easy choice for me.

Update on November 29th

I actually got an HTC Hero for a couple of weeks now, and I’m quite happy with it so far.

4 thoughts on “My iPhone for an Android!

  1. David Allouche

    Way to go Gustavo!

    I am the proud owner of a G1 (got it second hand from a business partner). I’ll readily recognize that the iPhone is better on both the hardware and software, but I would have stayed with a old non-smart phone rather than giving money to Apple.

  2. Chris

    Good on you. If everyone votes with their feet (Although all the lemmings in this world don’t know that they even possess feet to vote with) Apple (And Microsoft) will crumble or at least be taught a valuable lesson and work with the little guy instead of against him (Or her). I’d love to go Android on my next phone as well!

  3. Milan Andric

    I’d love to go android but it’s such a crappier product I can’t handle it. Just like I can never go back to using a PC after being on Mac OSX for some years. I want the best product, and if that’s considered “lock-in” then so be it. I’ve spent too much time in front of computers and working with technology to go back to using cassette tapes. If I was a cook, I would be using fresh organic ingredients rather than genetically engineered tomatoes that taste like cardboard.

    Technology has bewildered a dilemma on the world. As long as companies are competing to kill each other then Apple *has* to maintain its interests. That includes rejecting apps form the app store if it affects their return. I don’t really see much point in being anti to a superiorly engineered and designed product. I support quality design and engineering and the practices that a business must succumb to, though not ideal since it’s not an ideal world, to survive in the jungle. Of course this doesn’t include things like sweat shops but that is not the case here. Also there are many developers happy with Apple. Think for a minute as an individual, if you always compromised with the little guy, you would go hungry and so would your family? A better future is coming hopefully but in the meantime I will support the best thing out there because we need more of it, and less techno-junk. I would rather see useless dvd players disappear from the planet rather than boycotting Apple products. I would rather see a global digital grid/network rather than tons of crappy hardware being bought and sold to play plastic discs that will all end up in the land fill. I do not want to see weakening of the most quality product on the market. I want to see less junk, waste and crap.

  4. Gustavo Niemeyer Post author

    Hi Milan,

    Thanks for offering a different view on the issue. I think we disagree in a few different ways regarding this.

    First, I have tried both the iPhone and the Android, and I must say that I don’t see the iPhone as such a clearly superior product. I’ll mention just a few areas which are obvious and hard to disagree to give an idea: the notification system is far superior on Android; the communication between third-party applications on Android is very nice, and it’s non-existent on the iPhone; the Android has a “back stack” of applications which allow you to navigate back to what you were doing, while the iPhone simply requires to close and reopen every single application.

    Note that these three points are not minor details. They’re core to the usage of the phone. So, no, I don’t see the Android as an inferior choice.

    Then, the second area we clearly disagree regards using products from companies which are monopolists and put their own interests over those of their partners and customers at all times. Specifically, think about the duality in your comment:

    That includes rejecting apps form the app store if it affects their return. I don’t really see much point in being anti to a superiorly engineered and designed product.

    They are rejecting products, no matter if they are superiorly engineered or not, and thus preventing you from using good products.

    Given their wild practices, I’d probably stop using their products anyway, even if there was no Android out there. But given this behavior and the existence of Android, even if you just want to go for the best product, switching to Android looks like an obvious choice.

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