Apple vs. Android, iPad vs. Android Tablets

About a month ago I decided to renew my contract with AT&T and upgrade to the iPhone 4 after much loud and vocal discontent with both AT&T and the speed of my iPhone 3g after one of the OS updates. I have two key reasons why I decided to continue with Apple at this point even though I am absolutely sold on the idea of Android; I’ll get to those reasons in a moment but first let me talk about the reasons that I am enamored with Android.

1.) Android is open source and is designed to be an open platform. I think history is pretty clear, with Apple no less learning this hard lesson, that open systems mature faster have larger uptake and become more widely adopted because of that. True, apple is “what all the cool kids are using” but I don’t expect that to last as Android stabilizes and we find it embedded in many product outside of Internet enabled ones.

2.) You can get the Droid 2 in an R2D2 form factor. I don’t need to say more here.

3.) Android phones are available on nearly every cell provider in the US (AT&T) included. This may over time become the largest chink in Apple’s armor around iPhone. Will their deal with Verizon ever come to fruition?

4.) Android has native QR code support. Look for those cool barcodes at Best Buy and TV ads.

Despite all of the “cool” facts above I still chose Apple’s iPhone for my Internet enabled smartphone platform. Why?

1.) Facetime. I travel a lot. It’s really nice to hit a button and be visually connected with my wife and kids back home, truly this application is a marvel. They dreamed of this on Star Trek and ladies and gentlemen it has arrived!

2.) Android versions are completely fragmented. Carriers, phones, tablets, etc all run different versions of the OS. Significant lag can sometimes harm the update process as carriers build specialty applications on top of Android, and sometimes for special phones. This needs to get ironed out and situated before I trust my phone, my right arm, to Android.

So here is what I’ve decided. I will stay an Apple customer (at least until my new contract expires) and invest in an Android tablet (Samsung Galaxy maybe) until Android matures, de-fragments, and continues it’s insane rise to the top of the mountain.

What are your thoughts? I’d like to hear them!


Brent Kastner

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Brent Kastner

Hi Bruce,

Thank you for the comment. I completely agree that Android powered OS devices have a huge mountain in front of them with regard to the cultural phenomenon that Apple seems to be at the center at with the iPhone and iPad technologies. The main one is that there isn’t an Android “device” there are many, many devices all with their own form factors, manufacturers, power and data plugs etc. Easy for a complementary product to make accessories when there is standardization on the points I referenced above.

Steve and his crew get loads of credit for being geniuses for marketing their products in the way that they do. My question, and I hope you respond, is how much of what Apple has done over the past 3 years is marketing and product genius and how much is some good old fashioned good-luck? I think there are few product marketing successes like the iPhone, but is that something that can be repeated with ease or is there some other cultural phenomenon at play here?

Thanks again!



I think Bruce has a good part about why Apple is winning right now – because of a complete experience that is simple and beautiful.

I’m an iPhone guy but actually the #1 reason I want to move to Android is the Google Maps on Android. My g/f has it and it is 10X better – perfect integration with voice so you can just say a name of a business and it starts giving turn by turn direction with voice. With my iPhone 3gs I’m stuck looking up a business, hitting get directions, and without any voice turn by turn directions.

James Hammond

Well..heres a discussion i have to be on both sides of the isle on. Being both a proud Android Phone owner (Tmobile g2) and the proud owner of an imac. I think that android has a solid operating system and yes it does have its benefits being completely open sourced. and Apple creates amazing products the Ipod, Ipad, and all of the computers. However i do think that mac has underestimated the power of android. The New Samsung Galaxy Tab is amazing, its 7inches and has more functionality than an ipad. It takes pictures, shoots video and does face time. It is also available on every mobile carrier. I think that in the near future Android is going to be a bigger player in the Mobile media…and Windows needs to stay out of this conversation…they have failed before..and we dont need cell phone viruses.

Rich Mariner

I own both. Android is like Windows v. Mac OS. One is an experience that’s great. The other works just fine most of the time but doesn’t blow you away. You pay more for the better experience. If people pay 1/3rd for Android than they pay for IPhone, Android will do great.

On a related not I’ve created a few Android Apps using Google App Inventor software and it is really cool. Check it out here.

Brent Kastner

So I almost picked up a Galaxy Tab yesterday… Now I need to decide which carriers version to get, it looks like they all vary slightly in features available and networks types support. Leaning towards AT&T’s although I’ll likely not get a contract.


T. Carter Ross

Android all the way … and specifically in response to your second point against Android … when I found the stock ROM and UI on my HTC Hero slow and battery intensive, it was a relatively simple matter to root the phone, flash a new ROM (CyanogenMOD) and, voilà, it’s a whole new phone running a newer OS than my carrier and the phone developer included. Being able to get deep into the phone, deleting the junkware it was preloaded with, and really making it work the way I want/need it to … that’s Android’s biggest advantage.

Jeff S

I have the AT&T network and updated to an Android OS in the Samsung Captivate model phone. I am on my third phone in the last 30 days. Two days after I received phone 1 it began cycling off whenever it was set down. Phone two did the same thing after 25 days. I am on phone 3 and so far so good. Samsung blames AT&T and AT&T blames Samsung. I have friends that have no problems with the droid OS on their Verizon phone. Incidentally the Droid system is fast and I love the phone just not constantly needing to turn it on.

Jim Mack

Here is the tablet that I’m watching. Just approved by FCC. Don’t know the production date yet.
NotionInk Adam

All kinds of geeky goodness, including dual-core processor, integrated GPU, USB connectivity, HDMI out, mini-SD for additional storage etc. Check out the swivel camera on top.

With Android 3.0, which will be optimized to work with tablets, this should be a great device…

Denise Hill

@Jim Mack. NotionLnk, Nice! Thanks for sharing. It’s hard to resist purchase of an alternate tablet, holding out for the ultimate tablet (for me).

Jim Mack

@Denise- Yes, I too am suffering from a bad case of TAS (Tablet Acquisition Syndrome.) I will hold out, I will hold out, I will…

Amy Ngo

My husband and I have liked our iPhones and our iPad but we’ve been watching the Android because we are due for new phones this year. Thanks for the information. I’ll have to share it with the hubby. I think he was sold on the Android… something about it connecting with the iPad for the wireless internet connection???…

Jim Mack

@Amy – Android version 2.2 added WiFi hotspot capability into the OS. Carriers saw an opportunity for a revenue stream, even though the capability is native to the operating system. I think Verizon charges an extra $10 a month to enable the capability, which is pretty reasonable if your present iPad is restricted to WiFi only.

There are a couple of Android apps that support USB tethering as well (PDANet is one I’m familiar with.) I think that the USB port on the iPad has been crippled by Apple to only perform specific Apple-approved functions, so USB tethering probably won’t work for you, but the Wifi hotspot should!

Kyle Scott Richardson

We were looking to get the Driod 2 Global phone. When we went to the Verizon store, the phone kept freezing up. Yeah it was the floor model but still. Another guy that works with us has the Droid X, and his keeps freeaing up to where he has to take the battery out and restart. Android still working on some kinks?

Jim Mack

@Kyle – My Droid Incredible has been flawless since I bought it. I would think it likely to see phones that need service at the place that services phones.

Brent Kastner

I’ve bumped into a few folks that have had the freezing issue, but from what I can tell that is typically a handset issue not something systemic to Android, or even the Droid 2/X product line. I suggest if you end up with one of those, exchange it!

@Amy, I’d highly recommend you find a store to play around with the Droid’s before diving in with the purchase. They operate pretty differently from an iPhone 🙂


Brent Kastner

Tethering is a great option. I was thinking of trying it out on the iPhone 4, but AT&T wants another $20 or so for that. Tether for free, now that would be awesome!