I am going to admit it. I am biased against Apple. I have an Android phone and a Microsoft computer. I’m in the market for a tablet, and am desperately trying to justify a Surface Pro or even a new Chromebook to avoid succumbing to a dreaded iPad or Macbook. Glancing over lecture theatres, it’s crazy to see all of the little lit up apples around the room. Even in my tutorial today, over 80% of the room had an iPhone. I am a lone robot in a room of apples.
Looking at this information, it surprised me to learn that Android is outselling Apple in telecommunications. My biased opinion made me think “well of course, it is the superior product”. What I hadn’t thought of was why. Why did I think Android or anything not-Apple was better. After the lecture, I realised it was because I disagreed with the close-platform approach that Apple takes with its products.
How platforms are created is an ideological choice. Apple has created a closed-platform device that comes with everything included. This gives Apple complete control over the device, content and ultimately the user. Apple products are pretty, easy to use, highly maintained, reliable and the users are comfortable with the hardware and software. Android phones are an open platform, where everything is customizable – anyone can access and modify the code if they know what they are doing. Android has limited control over their devices, content and users once it has passed into the hands of the user. The ideology behind this is aimed at connectivity verses control.
As was stressed in the lecture, being an open or closed platform doesn’t make something better or worse. In my eyes, open is better, but I can acknowledge that both have their own benefits and disadvantages.