Smartphone’s of today

(Source: Pate 2014, Picking sides: Apple versus Android, accessed: 11/9/2014,

Apple and Android are battling it out in the smartphone realm, becoming increasingly sophisticated with added features similar to that of a laptop. These tiny yet ever so significant handheld devices are being driven by the western world and play a huge part in everyday life (Mitew 2014). As a society, we’ve become heavily dependent and consumed with our mobiles that it’s come to a point that in China, they’ve dedicated a sidewalk lane to Smartphone users.

A customer reacts after purchasing Apple
More great fan pictures here

Even though some of us have been unlucky enough to lose data from software updates, this hasn’t stopped people from being loyal to the brand. A part of this is to do with being in the “walled garden”. It’s a user friendly space where family, friends and colleagues reside in. Apple also has created a sense of buzz surrounding the brand, you’ve probably even felt it this week with the release of the iPhone 6. The pre-order for the iPhone 6 attracted an inundation of early adopters, so much so that the Telstra, Vodafone and Optus websites crashed in Australia from the high demand.

The demand for Apple and its integrated closed systems is fuelled by exceptional advertising, however, according to Tek Syndicate (2012), Apple markets features and technology invented by others by presenting an innovative reproduction of the idea in the form of Apple products. O’Rourke (2014) adds that the new iPhone has been criticised for lagging behind in features. In fact, the newly added components to the iPhone 6, feature technology that Android have had years before. Take widgets for example, they have been available ever since Android first launched. This divide is to do with “the bazaar”, a term developed by Raymond (2001). “The bazaar” describes Androids software – an open source marketplace, which doesn’t result in the product, it results in the process. As Mitew (2014) would say, “release often, release early” (Androids unofficial motto).

The complementary term Raymond (2001) uses to associate Apples type of network is “the cathedral”, a company in control of content. This gatekeeping of power can be behind why users are missing out on some features Android has, but it’s a price to pay to be in the “walled garden”. The way Apple designs products, compromises customization for simplicity and usability. In effect, it allows devices to connect with other Apple products and users to create a sense of belonging and a network that can be understood by small children upwards to grandparents.


Mitew, T 2014, iOS vs Android: the two futures of the mobile net, lecture, DIGC202, Global Networks, University of Wollongong, delivered 9 September.

Raymond, E 2001, ‘The Cathedral and the Bazaar’, pp1-31


4 thoughts on “Smartphone’s of today

  1. Your comment on that the demand for Apple and its integrated closed systems is fuelled by exceptional advertising, definitely stood out for. I believe that Apple’s ability to market their brand and products are above and beyond anyone else. The perception of style they have created around their brand, in my opinion makes people see passed their closed operating system. I think with Android there is a lot more freedom and long term enjoyment for the user, however the brand perception and marketing schemes they employ keep the battle ongoing without Android with their numerous partners, dominating the market.

    Nice post.

  2. I agree with the above comment, Apple has a very clever marketing strategy that definitely stands out from the rest. Apple dominates the market with its utopian advertisements especially when it comes to its sleek designs apps and especially iTunes. However I feel like Android is definitely catching up to this, I found your blog post very interesting as it had a cultural perspective. I never knew China had a sidewalk for iphone users, that’s actually really clever but also a little worrying at the same time!

  3. Interesting post. I think Raymond’s definition of open and closed platforms as the bazaar and the cathedral, respectively is an accurate depiction of the two operating systems. Apple takes its time with new products (usually 2 years between each iPhone) in comparison Android is constantly updating and trying new ideas, applications, etc. I personally prefer Apple because of its simplicity and the fact that almost everyone has a charger for an iOS device. Interesting point about the side walks in China! Nice job.

  4. You have a great discussion here! I like the fact that you mentioned that these creators are trying to pack as much into these small devices as a laptop – we want all the same information and access to all the same things, but on a smaller more portable scale. I think it really makes a statement about the importance we place on ‘staying connected’ in our current networked world.

    Your discussion about gatekeeping and the Android phones is definitely a big one. Android are far less user friendly than Apples, although I guess it depends on your definition of what user friendly IS. Some might say that it is user friendly to have a phone that is highly customisable like an Android, whereas for others, easy navigation is more simple and beneficial.

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