Will my next smartphone be another iPhone – or an Android? I’m undecided at this point.

I’ve had two smartphones so far: the iPhone 3GS and my current iPhone 4. But I feel the same way this person does about his iPhone and am not sure my next phone will be an iPhone.

http://blog.chron.com/techblog/2012/07/why-i-might-switch-from-an-iphone-to-an-android-smartphone/

In addition to the points mentioned in the article, I am dissatisfied with the manufacturing quality of the iPhone. In fact, I’ve had problems with almost every mobile device I’ve ever bought from Apple and have almost always needed exchanges or repairs. I won’t go through the whole list here, but sometimes I get the feeling Apple creates all this beautiful technology in high-tech clean rooms and then throws it all into a Chinese back-alley to be assembled by vagrant kids.

The Samsung Galaxy S III has some cool features, like it detects if you are looking at it so it won’t dim. I think Apple tends to play “catch-up” and does incremental improvements, while some of the Android manufacturers leap ahead with more innovation. (With regards to patent suits, I agree with the Samsung executive who recently said, “Why are we arguing over rectangles?”)

The Androids in general give you more access to customize. Can you imagine setting a third-party keyboard on your iPhone? Or setting an alternative default browser?

I have a cheapie Android I run on wi-fi-only just for testing. One thing I really like is that instead of a hardware home button (which failed on my iPhone 4, I got an exchange, and now 7 months later is now starting to fail again on my replacement iPhone 4 – and is probably what sparked this current mood of irritation with Apple) it has a row of soft buttons with haptic feedback below the screen:

– A context sensitive menu button, for options, etc.
– A home button.
– A “go back” button.
– A search button.

Not only does this free up screen space, it makes for a more unified UI experience. On the iPhone they have to use part of the already pretty small screen for toolbars, which might or might not be the same in different apps.

Another point is that if I get my next smart phone from DoCoMo they have a pretty liberal policy about unlocking the phones they sell, which makes it possible to use the same phone in the U.S. with a no-committment AT&T contract.

Of course there are negatives to consider if I switch from the iPhone. For example things which currently sync between devices won’t anymore. But there is still Evernote and Dropbox and Google apps and Kindle Reader and things which sync regardless of device/OS. And also some close friends use iPhones and will stare at me funny if I move to an Android.

Anyway, just thinking about it. For sure if Apple doesn’t fix its manufacturing quality problems with the home button I’m not upgrading though. I want to hear it from them that they recognize there is a problem and they’ve fixed it.

doug


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