(Source: Pate 2014, Picking sides: Apple versus Android, accessed: 11/9/2014, http://topmobiletrends.com/online-customer-reviews-apple-versus-android/)
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.
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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