Originally Posted by Qualia
Regarding specs and "features," Apple has always been inferior. But regarding the entire experience of its products, Apple has a competitive advantage that might never be diminished no matter how desperately Google tries to ape them. That's the difference between Apple and everybody else: everybody else is obsessed with specs and brand new features and politics while Apple is obsessed with the experience. What do most people care about: whether something is under the GPL or has the most useless features (reminiscent of MS Office) or whether it works well or not?
This is true, the iPhone OS is a very refined and fluid, however android is not too far behind. All the desktop features like widgets and especially the sense UI on the latest Droid Incredible make it work very, very well. This and the fact that it seems to features gap between the two are only growing larger. Apple is trying to keep complete control over their walled garden, even as this garden grows into a rain forest. Their control does keep the user experience free from bugs and incompatibilities, however at some point it starts to hinder growth, and actually degrades the user experience.
HTML 5 is years from replacing flash. The droid incredible sold today supports flash content, be it slightly choppy, the batter life is pretty good. By next year who knows that hardware these phones will have, (2GHz, more refined flash player, high capacity batteries). We are at a time when closed systems that worked on ipods will not work on networked phones that are approaching laptops in computing power. Allowing the download of flash would only enhance the user who want its experience, while not effecting those who don't.
I'm not looking at this from a profitability stand point, it does make sense for Apple to try to prevent back doors to the App Store. However they are simply restricting features, which is bad for all iPhone customers. Banned technologies with out having any sort of replacement for its features will only degrade users experience. There is no advantage to not even having the option of having flash.