The 4 reasons you won’t buy an Android smartphone

iPhone4Late last week, I caught up with our CEO who was telling me just how much he loved his iPhone 4S. He was most impressed with Siri, the new personal assistant powered by advanced artificial intelligence. He explained how he was running late to a client meeting because of a car accident and that he was able to look up the mobile number of the client and send them a text message without typing a single character. While I’ve been unimpressed with Android in the past, I’ve recently written about how amazing is Android on the Samsung Galaxy S II so it got me thinking as to why people refuse to switch.

Here’s my list:

  • Brand loyalty. Some people are admittedly Apple fanboys — they own everything Apple and they refuse to look at anything else because it is crap. They certainly won’t dare think about an iPhone (even for a second)!
  • Lack of awareness. Most consumers do not know that Android and iPhone devices are on par both from a hardware and software perspective. In fact, certain Android devices sport better hardware (processor, expandable storage, thinner form factor) than the iPhone 4S.
  • Fear of change. We’re human and so we generally resist change. In fact, we are only agreeable to change once we can ensure that change doesn’t upset the status quo. All of this requires a time investment and so it is easier to just stay the course.
  • Popularity. iPhone’s popularity is greater among affluent households. By possessing an iPhone, we make a statement that we’re not commoners — it is the epitome of conspicuous consumption.
Taken together, this list also explains why geeks love Android powered smartphones. We care less about popularity and more about functionality and performance. If you’ve got other reasons as to why you think the iPhone is more popular in the US, add it in the comments.

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  1. Interesting TT, you didn’t think I was going to let you get away with this one did you?

    So someone tells you about a feature they love on the iPhone, one that everyone agrees isn’t even closely comparable to anything that the Android currently offers…and you write a post about how people love their iPhones because they’re fanboys, unaware of the other options, they’re afraid or because its a popular device?

    I feel like I should quote your blog to point out why your blog is off base 😉

  2. Jeff — first of all, this blog post isn’t about you. 😉

    Funny thing is that when I recently visited the AT&T store, I overheard a customer telling the sales person that she needed to check email and search for directions. She told the man that she needed an iPhone to do that. Really? You mean to tell me that you can only do THAT with an iPhone?! Yes, that’s how the general consumer thinks!

    I do like the new iPhone 4S but I also believe that the current device is not what it could have/should have been. As far as hardware, it is missing a truly faster processor, LTE connectivity and a 4.3in+ screen. As far as software, the acquisition of Siri gives Apple a competitive advantage over Android but aside from that it is on par with Android.

    Go and check out the Galaxy Note and you’ll see what I mean when I’m telling you that the hardware is lacking. Maybe Apple will set things right when they release the iPhone 5/iPad Nano. 🙂

  3. Jeff — there’s an article in NYT on how HTC’s Android-powered smartphones just lost their lawsuit with Apple. The core element of the lawsuit is an Apple patent on a feature that currently gives users a list of options whenever they receive a phone number in the message. iPhone users get a menu giving them the choice to save the phone number in their contact lists, dial the number or send a text message
    to it. With this win, Android users will be given the option of only dialing
    the number. It is limiting!

    If software parity disappears and if Apple has the better UX, then you are certainly correct that it won’t matter. Consumers will chose the iPhone because it is simply more user friendly.

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