iPhone is a Hot Cheerleader / Android is a Nerd

by David on December 7, 2009

Kara Swisher wrote about how she thought one of the latest Verizon Droid ads was bashing women and gays. Uh, no, not really. Maybe I’m the target. I love my G1 and would switch to Droid if it had a better thumbpad. I absolutely love the other Verizon ads. “There’s an app for that” and “iDont” are brilliant!

The use of mannequins does not equal gay bashing. Referring to beauty does not equal woman bashing. It is an admission that the Droid ain’t as pretty as the iPhone. It isn’t and anyone with any aesthetic knows that. The ad even says they built a robot not a beauty queen. I’ve heard many women bash beauty queens for being vapid and brainless. The iPhone is as gorgeous a phone as has ever been created by man (or woman… oops). [You have to read a bit to find my analogy that I am sure Kara will find just as offensive.]

The App phone battle heats up

There has been a lot of talk about Droid vs. iPhone. Right now it looks to be a foregone conclusion that Palm is soon-to-die; the Sidekick won’t survive not one but two complete wipeouts of user data; Windows Mobile will continue on Microsoft’s life support only because Microsoft can afford it, not because it is any good (kind of like most Microsoft products); and Blackberry will continue as long as it is the easy-to-use darling of corporate IT groups (I think most housewives have moved to iPhone).

For full disclosure, I have neither an iPhone or a Droid. I have the Android G1 which is on Android 1.6 and unfortunately T-Mobile. I paid for it myself. No one sends me phones. [That's for the FTC.]

I had 4 Sidekicks prior to the G1 (I, II, III and the first LX). It seems you can only drop your phone so many times so it was time to upgrade. I looked at the G1. Similar amazing thumbpad as the Sidekick. I require an excellent thumbpad on my phone and use it at speeds that most people wish they could type with 10 fingers. I loved that it was open. It had some flaws but I could see the future and I was willing to wait. Plus, it was nice that there was an OS upgrade path. A couple of years ago I tried the HTC Touch Pro. It is almost the same form factor as the G1 but runs Windows Mobile. I found that it did everything well except phone, e-mail and chat. Enough said.

I didn’t get an iPhone for 3 reasons:

  1. As I stated above, I drop my phones… a lot. The iPhone is a piece of glass. I don’t care if I can get it replaced or not. I don’t want to more than every year or 18 months. I don’t have time to deal with that.
  2. The iPhone is only on AT&T. I’ve had AT&T and it sucked every time. I know, I know, I have been on T-Mobile for years with the Sidekick and G1 and have carried a simple Sprint phone for voice but I want a single phone and will get there next year… just not on AT&T. I want Verizon!
  3. Again, as stated above, I require an excellent thumbpad. It doesn’t matter what you say about an on-screen keyboard. They don’t replace an excellent thumbpad and they use up half of the screen real estate. As for the thumbpad itself, I’m not talking about that little one on Blackberries and Treos. I’m talking about 5 flowing rows of offset keys. The @ and . right next to the spacebar. Shift, alt, and menu. Numbers at a single click of a key. Mmmmmm, luscious!I’ve read blogs, tweets, etc. ad infinitum over the last week. There are fanboys and fangirls of both the iPhone and Droid. They insist that one is better than the other. I generally think that technology has to suit you and your needs and there is no single answer for everyone. Android suits me. I obviously am a fan while I remain a fan of the iPhone as well.

Are you hot or not? Cheerleader or nerd?

Simply put, the iPhone is like a hot cheerleader in high school. She is absolutely beautiful and not only does everyone else know it, she knows it too. She has the right lines and seems to shimmer in the right light. She flips her hair to flirt and draws you in. She makes sure not to offend you (except maybe passing gas on occasion… yeah, I had to bring up the fart apps). She isn’t the brightest person; in fact, she’s downright simple in what she thinks so she says little. Everyone wants her and wants to be around her.

Then there is the nerd. He doesn’t have the looks but for the senior prom, his best friend makes sure he gets dressed to show everyone what he can be. He isn’t as polished. He says the wrong things. He is forced to hang out with the geeks. He doesn’t have the car and other material objects that the cheerleader has… but he will.

That’s right, at some point, the cheerleader loses her looks and the nerd winds up the richest man in the world. So is the future of Android and iPhone. The iPhone is a thing of beauty. It belongs in a museum. The way the apps work never fails to amaze me. They flow like nothing else. Even the Mac doesn’t compare. Have you seen the MLB app? WOW! I want one.

Android doesn’t have as many apps and they simply aren’t as polished. The UI isn’t as elegant as iPhone apps. Yeah Google Sky Maps and NRU are really cool but they don’t look as cool as so many iPhone apps. And then there is multi-touch. Early rumors had multi-touch on Android 2.0. Nope. Still single-touch. The iPhone is the best phone browsing experience bar none. With multi-touch and that browser… WOW! Nothing beats it. But I predict Android will match it within the next 12 to 18 months.

Now look at the apps you really need and use. Are there really any apps you need that aren’t on Android? If you want to see productivity in action, try Gmail on an Android. Login to your Gmail account and you now have your e-mail, contacts and calendar synced between your phone and computer (and not the Microsoft/Danger version of The Cloud… we tend to believe that this one will work). If you need an old e-mail, just click the search button and you can find any e-mail in your Gmail history. Total Integration. Period. There is no substitution.

I remember a few months ago when iPhone users were talking about push alerts and which apps had them. Well, Android has it just like the Sidekick did years ago. They are amazing. Of course, they drain the battery but on Androids, unlike the iPhone, you can swap the battery. Imagine that. Just pop open the back and put in a new battery. I do it all the time.

I’ll give it a try

How many guys did you ever hear say they’d see if they liked going out with a cheerleader? Right, that number approaches zero really fast. That’s like the iPhone. No one tried it out. They get an iPhone and they love it.

I’ve read so many people who write that they are trying out the Droid to see if they like it. They have 30 days to see. That nerd is cute and I’ve heard she has some amazing tricks (think band camp). I’ll see if I like dating her better than the cheerleader. And in this case, I know the cool kids will welcome me back if I change my mind.

Why not upgrade to Droid?

I wanted to upgrade to Droid. Just being able to dump T-Mobile and Sprint for Verizon seemed like enough. But Motorola dropped the ball on the thumbpad. The screen is better. More memory (but still limited on the memory allocated to apps so no cool games like the iPhone). Faster Chip. Better headset jack. Google Navigation (which we got on Android 1.6 a few weeks later). So much more.

If the Droid were the only thing coming, I’d be on board, especially now that it looks like the G1 is sticking with Android 1.6 and not going to 2.0. But there is choice. Verizon already has another Android phone and I am sure there will be more. HTC makes the best phones on the market. I can give it 6 months to see what else comes out. You see, next year there will be 20 Android phones and they will be on every major carrier in the country. And there still will be only one iPhone… and it probably still will only be on AT&T.

It’s deja vu all over again

In 1994 we had the Mac (that is we as the world and me as an individual who had owned only Apple computers until 1996) which was a great computer and operating system. And then we had PCs running Windows 3.1. I could never figure out why anyone would use Windows 3.1. Windows 95 changed everything. Yeah it still sucked but it was good enough and had a real GUI. [Note that in the last 14 years Microsoft has managed to take Windows backward 88 versions with its latest release.]

The Mac faced problems because it was more expensive and, most of all, it was a closed platform. Yeah, it sounds familiar. iPhone is closed and Android is open. We again see Steve Job’s control freakish behavior on the iPhone and this time it is the iPhone with worms and not other app phones. This argument has been around for a while. Robert Scoble recently wrote about it as well. It needs to be said as it is so appropriate. It looks like Apple is going to do well but will lose out a bit.

Scoble also wrote about why he doesn’t think that the Droid is a great product. He thinks it is better than the iPhone for voice (both call quality and having Google Voice) but thinks the apps aren’t as polished as the iPhone. (He quotes Mike Arrington of TechCrunch who uses his Droid as more of a phone).

Who wins?

Here’s the best part: The real winner in all of this is the consumer. Not only do we finally have two fantastic choices but we now have two fierce competitors who will drive each other. iPhones will improve more and faster thanks to Android (and might even show up on Verizon).

Let the cool kids hang out with the cheerleader. I’m going to go over there and see what the nerds are doing next weekend.

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