A Familiar Situation

apples_to_orangesI write this today at the very real risk of further exposing my age. I’ve already divulged in articles past that I worked with Novell in the 90’s and have a lego-loving nine year old but this may serve to better pinpoint the number of rings around my mid section.

It’s exciting to see how Android is beginning to ruffle some iPhone feathers. It’s becoming more and more evident that a mano-a-mano confrontation between these two camps for the minds (and wallets) of Joe Consumer is eminent. But before Android vs. iPhone there were some other much more intense battle lines drawn. Mac vs. PC, IBM PC vs. Clone, DOS vs. Windows, PC-DOS vs. MS-DOS, Word vs. Wordstar, Excel vs. Lotus 123 or even Wordstar vs. WordPerfect. If you remember living through any of these historical IT battles then you are about as old as I am! If not, then a short history lesson is in order.

For whatever reason I.T., which for the purposes of this article includes mobile smartphones which are really just small computers, has long had a habit of fostering divided loyalties. When I was a Novell guy I regularly battled the Microsoft guys. Those that loved DOS weren’t about to let it go for that “graphical Windows nonsense.” The conversation went beyond a discussion of which application or process was better or worse and after a while things became personal. You would meet a WordPerfect user and immediately not like them; mumbling under your breath how dumb they were as you powered up your awesome WordStar document. Sure it was funny, bordering on immature as I look back at it, but that’s the way it was when the battle intensified.

The most enduring of the battles has proven to be Mac vs. PC– thanks in large part to those amazing “I’m a Mac” commercials. You would be hard pressed to find someone into both platforms, you are either a Mac or you are a PC. It’s clear to me as I scour the web for information about Android that a new battle is not only brewing, but intensifying. In just over a year, Android seems to be the fly in the iPhone ointment and iPhone lovers are taking note. With Gartner projecting an Android takeover of iPhone by 2012 it seems the playful banter between the two sides is turning personal.

Google the phrase “I hate Android” and you will find 10,200 sites to explore. Most spiteful, however, are the comments left on pro-Android articles. At the risk of offending some, here are a few examples. Those with weak stomachs, anger issues or just a general nasty disposition are encouraged to turn away. My responses are included with the understating that none of these comments were posted about anything I or anyone else on AndroidGuys.com wrote so my replies aren’t personal:

“This is hearsay and complete jealousy of Apple.
Good luck with the lack of apps on Android and glut of Android phones to confuse the consumer to death”

Jealous? I’m not jealous of Apple. I’ve been able to find an app at the Android Market for most everything I need and a few things I didn’t need.  Death from confusion?  Politicians everywhere are glad that’s not really possible.

“Are android phones selling like hotcakes ? I don’t think so. The G1 and G2 haven’t sold much. ”

1 million in the first six months I think qualifies as hotcakes. Hotcakes with bacon, some potatoes, powdered sugar, and warm maple syrup.

“This android OS will NEVER become a seamless user experience… EVER… Why? Too many handsets from too many hardware manufactures. Too many BS options… too many options period that won’t work well…. ie BLOATWARE…”

BS options, bloatware, I got your BS option right…. um, sorry. Android is neither BS nor bloated, thank you very much! :)

The line in the sand has been drawn. The “iPhoners” hate us. Normally, being hated is not the greatest thing in the world but it beats being ignored. Android was a gleam in Google’s eyes just a few short years ago. It was looked at with interest and a condescending wink by Apple at launch. But now it’s the bull pounding against the foundation of the glass house iPhone sits on. Will iPhone topple? Is Gartner right in projecting 2012 as the year Apple is looking up in the sales standings at Android? We will see, but either way it’s nice to be in the middle of another classic IT battle.