Posts Tagged ‘smartphones’

There has been news everywhere that Samsung Galaxy phones have surpassed Apple iPhones since the last year. It’s probably true because Samsung now sells in more countries than Apple does, especially in developing countries where the rising middle class has created a paradigm shift in the markets. Samsung has figured out how to provide a luxury phone experience at affordable prices. iPhone is still a high end luxury phone in most countries. Here is a chart that shows how the price of these phones compare to the GDP per capita of some of the countries. (all figures have been converted to USD and multiple sources from respective countries have been used to get the most current prices/information. GDP per capita data is from world bank. Currency data is from Google currency convertor).


This chart reveals some interesting things

  • It clears the picture why Samsung has more units sold based on affordability of the people
  • Any country where the ratio is greater than 0.25, implies that cost of these phones is 25%+ of the country’s GDP per capita. That’s pushing the limit for an average consumer
  • Even though many emerging countries are closer to 0.25 or greater, they are selling thousands of units of both phones reinforcing the power of rising middle class

So Samsung may be winning the battle in the short term but what’s keeping people glued to the iPhone?

iPhone started its journey in the US and has changed not just the phone but our lifestyle. How many things has iPhone changed since 2007?

  • Well, it’s a phone to begin with
  • It has replaced music players, GPS, notepads, planners, alarm clocks, digital cameras, video recorders, voice recorders, game consoles, translators and the list continues…..

One may argue that all the phones offer these features now but iPhone was the game changer. Was it?

I got a Samsung Galaxy S3 recently as my work cell phone. Excited like a small child I ripped through the box to get my hands on it. Very nice big screen, cool touch interface, better camera, better speed and better voice recognition. In 15 minutes I discovered all of this and enjoyed it all. The real test started the next day when S3 replaced my iPhone for day to day work – calendar, conference calls, mails, document editing, alarms/ reminders, travel schedule, collaboration tools etc. I went a full week reminding myself that I am new to the phone and it would take time to adjust, especially with the size and placement of buttons.

After one full week of exhaustive testing that included international travel I have concluded that it has nothing to do with the brand names or hardware. It’s actually Android vs. iOS.

Here is a day in my life with an iOS vs. what I experienced with Android.

  iOS Android
Reminders and Alerts Show up even if the phone is locked. A helpful quick view. Phone buzzes but you have to unlock and then view them
Ease of use during calls Mute/Un-mute or add call even if phone is locked Press the home button while locked during a call, enter password to get to the call. Missed my turn to speak many times
Cut copy paste Simple, elegant Why make it difficult?
Twitter and Facebook Integration Post to T or F from browser, photo album etc. Integration does not exist
Integrated email One mailbox for work and personal email Separate apps especially for Gmail
Photos to email Directly email or MMS from photo album Does not exist
Music Sync Thank Steve Jobs for iTunes Samsung’s Kies replicates music but not playlists. How annoying is it to use a 3rd party app for this
Dropbox Integration Seamless through many apps Does not exist
Memory use Effective and you don’t see back ground apps Apps keep running on their own. Need Advanced Task Killer
Single hand use It’s not the size. It’s ease of use to multi-task Too many clicks for basic tasks
Browser quality Never realized how good Safari is until I used S3 Inconvenient. Chrome was much better
Favorite contacts Directly dial favorites from call menu Does not directly dial. Opens contact for one more touch
Phone settings Easy, a child can use most of them Need to be tech savvy. I guess that’s what Android lovers wanted
iCloud Awesome! No match even though there is a backup utility

We live in a complicated world and last thing we need is more complication in our phone. I know Android lovers hate the simplicity of iPhone but simplicity drives productivity, a basic principle in the corporate world.

iPhone was the game changer but only for a short period time after its launch. Apple gave a new “smartphone” to the world that other companies have improved through better hardware. However the true game changer has been iOS as it continues to transform our every year. Sorry Android community but you have a long way to catch up, or may be you don’t want to.

I hope Apple can bridge the price gap so that everyone in the world can experience what they have created!


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