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Breakdown: Android G1, iPhone share little in common

post #1 of 74
Thread Starter 
T-Mobile's new G1 smartphone based on Google's Android platform has been positioned against Apple's iPhone by the media, but that attempt to set up a dramatic showdown has fizzled as details show the two products aren't very similar.

Even before Google first outlined its Android strategy a year ago, it was clear that the rumored "gPhone" wouldn't be competing against the iPhone, but rather with Microsoft's Windows Mobile, which threatens Google's ability to push its search and information services to smartphone users. Apple's iPhone has served as an outlet for Google's services ever since it was released.

At the same time with the iPhone being the most talked about phone on the planet right now, T-Mobile is going to have a hard time not making comparisons particularly given the fact that T-Mobile can't sell the iPhone. Google is also contrasting its restriction-free Android Market against the iPhone's App Store. The most obvious comparison between the G1 and iPhone is in their hardware, but the features available on both are related to their software support and service limitations. Here, we'll take a look at all three areas to underline that the G1 is aiming at a very different audience than the iPhone crowd.

An intersection of partners' features

Apple designs its own hardware in conjunction with its in-house software development. The iPhone also shares a tight software platform with the iPod touch and integrates into Apple's iTunes. The iPhone's biggest limiting factor is its connection with AT&T, which Apple has worked to smooth over by making itself the retailer and supporter of iPhone sales and service. Still, certain limits posed by AT&T impact Apple, including its 3G coverage and inability to offer tethering.

On the G1, Google's Android software is paired with a hardware design by HTC, a Windows Mobile manufacturer. Media options come from Amazon's music store (the phone isn't designed to sync with a PC, but rather only over the air with Google), and T-Mobile is providing the telephone service. This spreads around the responsibility for managing the G1 experience in usability, sales, support, features, and coverage.

That puts the G1 at the intersection of features supported by all of its vendor partners. For example, Android currently lacks software support for multitouch and advanced Bluetooth capabilities. Other HTC phones support advanced Bluetooth features, but often sport curious omissions, such as the G1's lack of a headphone jack and its paltry 1GB of storage memory.

That adds up to a product with no multitouch, limited Bluetooth features, limited memory that must be augmented at extra cost, and needing a clumsy workaround to use it as a music player. Add in the limitations posed by T-Mobile, the weakest 3G provider in the US with tethering limits of its own, and the G1 begins to look like the worst bits of all its partners.

The other side of the same coin is partner commitment. While Apple is only selling the iPhone, AT&T has other partners' phones to market, although nobody visiting an Apple Store would know that. With the G1 however, Google plans to offer competing Android hardware from other manufacturers; HTC builds Windows Mobile phones; T-Mobile has other devices to sell; and Amazon is working to sell MP3s to every platform. Nobody is backing the G1 exclusively in the way that Apple is putting all its muscle behind the iPhone and its advancement.

Hardware: G1 vs. the iPhone 3G

In raw hardware features, the G1 is $20 cheaper than the 8GB iPhone but only supplies 1GB of internal storage. Apple has pioneered offering a sizable amount of Flash RAM as standard on the iPhone and does not offer any expansion route. The G1, like most Windows Mobile and other smartphones, supplies very little memory to hit a lower price point, but offers a microSD slot so users can add more. HTC hasn't published the maximum size of the SD card [apparently it is limited to 8GB] the G1 can accommodate, but adding a basic 8GB card makes it $40 more, erasing any price advantage and making it slightly more expensive than the iPhone.

The G1 is significantly larger and heavier than the iPhone, in large part to its reliance on a sliding physical keyboard that makes it a half centimeter thicker. It lacks the iPhone 3G's curves and beveled edges, which will result in a bulkier feel. The keyboard should appeal to T-Mobile's SideKick users and people who like HTC's other Windows Mobile phones with sliding keyboards and an interface that relies upon six hardware buttons [the six buttons are a black menu button, a green phone button, a black home button, the trackball button, a black back button, and a red end call button] and a mouse pointer trackball rather than centering exclusively on consistent touch gestures. In fact, the G1 presently has no virtual keyboard option at all, so all text entry will require sliding the screen up and taping directly on its mini keypad.



Anyone interested in the iPhone 3G's interface will be disappointed to find that the G1 doesn't offer 'pinch to zoom,' two finger twirl, and other multitouch direct manipulations because Android is aiming to target the cheaper non-multitouch touch screen market. This is both a hardware limitation of the G1 and a current software limitation of the Android platform, so no software update will add this to the G1 later. Additionally, because software support for multitouch is missing, developers will have to roll their own for any subsequent Android phones that might support this in hardware, making that software incompatible with the G1.

As a mobile device, both phones support worldwide GSM/EDGE operation. However, due to the fact that the US didn't have the same radio bands available for UMTS 3G service as the rest of the world, US providers have had to build their own networks using what radio spectrum they could acquire. The iPhone exclusively supports AT&T's version of UMTS/HSPA 3G service in the US, while the G1 only supports T-Mobile's version of UMTS/HSPA in the US. Again, both support worldwide standards for GSM/EDGE and standard UMTS/HSPA 3G service outside of the US.

While complaints abound about AT&T's 3G service because it is only available in around 200 mostly urban markets in the US, T-Moble plans to have 3G service up in just 21 markets by the release of the G1, and 27 by the end of the year. Other 3G providers in the US, principally Verizon Wireless and Sprint, use Qualcomm EVDO 3G technology that is entirely incompatible with both American and international UMTS/HSPA service, although EVDO offers wider coverage within the US. The bottom line is that the G1 will have far less 3G service coverage than the iPhone 3G, even completely excluding significant markets such as Washington, D.C. and Houston, Texas.

Both the iPhone and the G1 say they offer 5 hours of talk time, but the G1 is only rated for 130 hours of standby, compared to 300 on the iPhone. Apple also outlines battery lifespan times for WiFi and audio and video use. Part of the reason the iPhone can claim longer life is its 1400mAh battery is larger than the 1150mAh in the G1, but Apple also has a better reputation in power management than HTC.

For external connectivity, both the G1 and iPhone 3G support WiFi and Bluetooth 2.0 EDR, although neither currently takes much advantage of the Bluetooth capabilities. The G1 also lacks a headphone jack, providing a single 11-pin port designed by HTC that instead breaks out into USB and audio (both stereo headphones and a mic). The iPhone 3G, like all iPods, has a 30-pin Dock connector which provides USB, audio in and out, remote features, as well as composite and component video output. In addition to this connector, the iPhone also has a standard audio headphone jack with mic support so you don't have to carry around a dongle just to use it as an iPod.

Both devices provide accelerometer support for sensing motion, GPS, and a simple fixed focus camera, although the G1 provides a 3.2 MP sensor (2048x1536 pixels) compared to the iPhone's 2 MP camera (1600x1200). The G1 also provides a digital compass, which enables it to present your direction as you move it, making the accelerometer controls smarter. The primary application for this is being able to hold up the phone in orbit around yourself to navigate Street Views. It could also be applied for intelligent maps that present North automatically so you don't get turned around.

In hardware, the G1 is clearly aiming at people who might be interested in a Windows Mobile phone, not a slick integrated product like the iPhone. It caters to people who buy hardware based on specification numbers and feature checklists rather than overall suitability for a task, elegant usability, and strong industrial design.



On page 2 of 2: Software: G1 vs. the iPhone 3G; Service: G1 vs. the iPhone 3G; and Not the Android many were looking for?

Software: G1 vs. the iPhone 3G

There are two aspects of software: the first party tools and foundation built by Google or Apple, and the third party software created by other developers. In terms of first party software, Apple is now at release 2.1 after having put out regular updates nearly once a month over the last year and a few months. Google will be delivering 1.0 next month, and has a spottier record of deploying software updates, with only two public releases of its SDK since announcing Android a year ago. Apple released its SDK after the Android announcement and put out a dozen updates since.

Android has demonstrated some unique features yet missing on the iPhone, including support for displaying Street Views within the Maps application and MMS picture messaging. The most obvious departure between the two in terms of software is that Android presents the same desktop PC interface found on Windows Mobile and Linux devices, while the iPhone was custom designed around a new mobile multitouch set of simplified human interface guidelines. Google's interface doesn't follow a standard set of guidelines, and Android Market doesn't yet police any restrictions on third parties the way Apple does, making the Market place more of a free-for-all from the onset.

The G1 and iPhone share a few components, such as similar open source foundations, including SQLite and WebKit. This means the two will benefit each other as shared technology contributions simmered together. The G1's browser, called Chrome Lite, really has more in common with the iPhone's mobile Safari and the WebKit browser pioneered by Nokia. Google's G1 browser therefore has the same rendering accuracy of the iPhone's Safari, although it lacks features like pinch to zoom, because neither the G1 nor Android support multitouch.

A major software difference between the G1 and iPhone relates to third party security. Apple has set up a secure software distribution system for third party developers that protects their interests through FairPlay DRM in exchange for cheap software titles for users with the implicit understanding that software from the iPhone App Store won't deliver spyware, adware, or other malicious payloads, and will follow Apple's guidelines for usability, quality, consistency, and performance. The same cannot yet be said for Google, which plans to deliver software without any certificate checks, quality assurance, nor any way to stop a virus outbreak once malicious coders discover that Android users are wide open targets for exploitation.

The other side of the same coin is that the iPhone's several million installed base is creating its own weather in software demand, resulting in tens of millions of revenue pouring upon third party iPhone developers each month. That's a huge incentive to develop new titles that stand out and to port over existing titles from other mobile platforms, where piracy prevents developers from making much in exchange for their work. While Google has future plans to deliver paid software, there is currently no installed base of Android users and no iPod surrogate to fuel confidence in the market for Google software. This risks leaving Android Market full of placeholder software that nags for paid upgrades; promising titles that lack getting the refinement and updates they need due to a lack of profit incentive; both malicious and just incompetent malware; and other problems Apple has worked diligently to address.

One last comparison between the G1's Android platform and the iPhone is that Apple's SDK is based up on Mac OS X's Cocoa and familiar to the installed base of Mac developers. Interest in the iPhone is now great enough to have shifted things to the point where iPhone development is spilling over into increased interest in the Mac platform. Android is often linked with Linux as a platform, but its use of the Linux kernel is as irrelevant as the iPhone and Mac's use of BSD. The real platform of Android software developers is Java, although Android phones can't directly run existing Java ME apps. Google's Android platform does allow mobile Java developers to port much of their code into the unique non-Java bytecode used by Android.

Again, Google isn't targeting Android toward the iPhone, but rather at mobile software markets represented by BlackBerry, Palm, Linux, Windows Mobile, and Symbian.



Service: G1 vs. the iPhone 3G

Apart from hardware and software differences, the G1 and iPhone also have significantly different services; while the iPhone integrates with iTunes for mobile apps, music, video, podcasts, cloud sync, and desktop integration, the G1 connects to Android Market for software, Amazon for music sales, and syncs data directly with Google. The G1 currently provides no desktop PC sync nor any Exchange Server sync support, but does offer Google's own cloud as an alternative service to push email, contacts, and calendar updates to the phone.

The Amazon MP3 store, like Apple's WiFi iTunes Store, is only download friendly over WiFi, not 3G, and does not support any video downloads or movie rentals. In terms of media support, the G1 handles the same codecs as the iPhone (MP3 and AAC audio; H.264 and MPEG4/H.263 video) although the G1 also supports playback of OGG, WMA, and Real audio (but not FairPlay-protected iTunes audio or video content, which Apple will not license to third parties).

The G1 provides no bundled general video player application nor video recording features; the only way to watch video is from YouTube. Third-party video players will be available from the Android Market.

A final difference related to service is that T-Mobile limits users to 1GB of data over 3G per month, at which point they may be choked off to 50Kps dialup or GPRS-level access speeds, according to the fine print on the carrier's web [this policy appears to have been taken back]. AT&T offers all the 3G you can find. With T-Mobile's limited 3G coverage, that might not affect most G1 users, who will be forced stick to WiFi as much as possible.

This is not the Android you were looking for

Overall, the G1 offers a debut that delivers more serious limitations than the iPhone did. It's SIM locked to T-Mobile, proving that pure ideology is no match for mobile provider demands. The company says it will unlock phones after three months of service, but the phone will only ever be usable on T-Mobile's network for 3G in the US; GSM and EDGE will work on other carriers worldwide.

Android Market promises a "more free" development environment, but the yawning debut of the G1 means that there won't be an Android installed base anywhere approaching the iPhone for well off into the future when better Android phones appear. By then, the iPhone market will have grown by additional leaps and bounds. Google is counting on a lack of restrictions to motivate developers to join its platform, but the real motivator in a Capitalist society is revenue, something that Google hasn't lined up yet in its store, and something the small number of G1 adopters won't be stoking on their own. Additionally, the security problems Google is simply hoping won't exist will undoubtedly come to haunt the platform.
post #2 of 74
Quote "G1 doesn't offer ...' two finger twirl,"

Does the iPhone? I thought that was only offered on Apples laptops.
post #3 of 74
I think this website sums it up:

http://www.brokenandroid.com/
:-D * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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:-D * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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post #4 of 74
Okay article, very much an "advocate" article rather than an unbiased comparison though. A more even handed approach (while avoiding the tepid "everything is equal" approach of other tech journalists), would be preferable.

One minor point:

You say by means of comparison, that the G1 has 6 buttons to the iPhone's 1.

But while I haven't held one in my hand, all the pictures of the G1 show only 5 buttons unless you are counting the trackball twice, once as a trackball and once as a button. There could also be buttons on the side or back that at not visible in pictures of the G1, but then if you are going to include them, you have to admit that the iPhone has a few more than "1" as well.

These kind of niggly little points, sprinkled throughout the "Prince McClean articles" just come across as deceitful.

Why even go there when it just makes people suspicious of everything else you have stated, and doesn't really add much to the argument?
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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post #5 of 74
First, take off the rose-colored glasses. Are people suddenly forgetting the (hard) 5g lmit of AT&T's data plan?

Furthermore, as is mentioned on the second page, MultiTouch is an Apple patented technology. I can't really imagine such core incentive technology being licensed to competitors. As such, it is unlikely that "...developers will have to roll their own [multitouch] for any subsequent Android phones that might support this in hardware"; if the technology is Apple owned, it isn't going to be on the Android platform.

Multitouch is nice, but there are MANY other human interface paradigms.
post #6 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Okay article, very much an "advocate" article rather than an unbiased comparison though. A more even handed approach (while avoiding the tepid "everything is equal" approach of other tech journalists), would be preferable.

One minor point:

You say by means of comparison, that the G1 has 6 buttons to the iPhone's 1.

But while I haven't held one in my hand, all the pictures of the G1 show only 5 buttons unless you are counting the trackball twice, once as a trackball and once as a button. There could also be buttons on the side or back that at not visible in pictures of the G1, but then if you are going to include them, you have to admit that the iPhone has a few more than "1" as well.

These kind of niggly little points, sprinkled throughout the "Prince McClean articles" just come across as deceitful.

Why even go there when it just makes people suspicious of everything else you have stated, and doesn't really add much to the argument?


If you are going to get picky you should state that the G1 has way more than 6 buttons as it has a full keyboard too. LOL
post #7 of 74
While I agree that in the comparison the iPhone still looks the better phone, I think it would be wrong to ignore it and not compare the two. Apple has taken there popularity and made people aware of what their phone could become, but people also get board of their mobiles and regularly change them. Apple only has 1 phone and the G1 is just the first of what could be many phones using the Andoid platform. People will start to look more at Windows Mobile based phones as well.

As for the software produced by other developers for the platform, I've considered developing something for the iPhone but then think: What if Apple reject it? And why should Apple's get to take part of the revenue for what I made?

Then there's the issue of the App Store. iTunes is great for selling music as people generally know what they want when they go their. But with Apps people have to learn about your app on the store. What do you do if what you make ends up on page 6 of its category, how many people will see it their? The iPhone attracted a lot of developers but that also means a lot of crap being published, and a lot of duplicate products not to mention a lot of competition for anyone wanting to write something.
post #8 of 74
You mention that the G1 has a motion sensor - my understanding is that is has no accelerometers and to flip into landscape you need to pull the keyboard out. Is this correct ?
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Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equpped with 18,000 vaccuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vaccuum tubes and perhaps weigh 1.5 tons.
by Popular Mechanics
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post #9 of 74
This article seems more designed to reassure iPhone owners than to provide real analysis of Android's potential. "Don't worry! Everything's going to be okay. The Big Bad Android isn't going to get you." The reality is that Android, if not now, then in later versions, provides real competition, and this is a GOOD thing. I'm not a big fan of Apple products -- yes, I've tried the Mac and it doesn't do what I need to do, and I've got an iPod, but I rarely use it -- but I do own an iPhone and it's great. That said, in 2 years, when my phone upgrade becomes available, I'll be looking at all of the options. Phones are different from computers. Every 2 years you get the option to jump platforms with no penalty. If Apple continues their closed-ness with regard to apps, Android in 2 years may be a real threat. I and many other iPhone owners have no particular affection for Apple. We'll just use whatever provides the most functionality when the times come to renew our plan. Apple will never make a major dent in the market if they rely on fanboys for sales rather than regular consumers.
post #10 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonybrookadam View Post

First, take off the rose-colored glasses. Are people suddenly forgetting the (hard) 5g lmit of AT&T's data plan? .


i suppose you could say that At&t have defined a limit where T-Mobile are letting you sign up for a G1 and have already changed their minds once on the data limits and have been vague about what you are going to got going forward.

From Pc World
A day after the launch of the much-anticipated Google Android phonefrom T-Mobile, the Web has been buzzing with complaints about the 1GB cap on the data usage of the phone. In response T-Mobile has moved swiftly and changed its mind and lifted the cap on the G1's monthly data plan. The G1 now has no data cap and is unlimited.

Even though 1GB of data usage might be enough for your monthly email usage, early adopters will welcome the 'unlimited' usage plan for the G1 as they are prone to use more of the data-intensive features of the phone, such as GPS-assisted maps, Web browsing, viewing YouTube videos or sharing pictures taken with the phone's 3.2 megapixel camera.

This is quite a smart and fast move from T-Mobile and is set to calm down all of those who were appalled by the network's decision to cap data usage. Nevertheless, the "unlimited" usage comes with its downsides as well.

T-Mobile introduced together with the "unlimited" data plan a (most certainly annoying) bandwidth metering (slowing) function on its network, similar to what Comcast will use for its Internet users after the FCC trial.

"We reserve the right to temporarily reduce data throughput for a small fraction of our customers who have excessive or disproportionate usage that interferes with our network performance or our ability to provide quality service to all of our customers," said a statement from T-Mobile for NY Times.

As G1 will be available on Oct 22nd, T-Mobile is still reviewing the data plans for the Android-powered phone, so a final decision should come soon.
post #11 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonybrookadam View Post

First, take off the rose-colored glasses. Are people suddenly forgetting the (hard) 5g lmit of AT&T's data plan?

It's not hard, it's soft. AT&T has the via the contractual agreement to drop you if you are abusing their network, but I've gone well over 5GB with my Sierra USB card and haven't even received a a notice or seen any throttling.
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post #12 of 74
Null.
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Þ & þ are called "Thorn" & þey represent þe sound you've associated "th" wiþ since þe 13þ or 14þ century. I'm bringing it back.
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post #13 of 74
It's a good thing you can't easily get your music and podcast collection onto the G1, and that it has no built-in video player. Because I don't see ANY 16 GB microSD cards for sale on Amazon at any price.

And swapping multiple cheaper cards is a terrible option: something tiny carry around extra, and then to lose WITH your data on it? And swapping cards means you never have ALL your data at once. It would be like having a computer with no single HD, just a stack of removable media. That got old for me in the 80s.

(And what is the read/write speed of microSD vs. whatever flash storage Apple builds in, I wonder? A wash?)

Edit: one physical sensor missing from the iPhone chart: ambient light sensor. This is VERY nice, and I don't know if the G1 has that or not, but I know I like not having to dig into Settings every time I walk from a bright room to a dim one!
post #14 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Okay article, very much an "advocate" article rather than an unbiased comparison though. A more even handed approach (while avoiding the tepid "everything is equal" approach of other tech journalists), would be preferable.

I can hardly read an entire article that DED writes anymore.

I am awaiting a review from Ars and Anandtech on the G1.
post #15 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

(And what is the read/write speed of microSD vs. whatever flash storage Apple builds in, I wonder? A wash?)

I'm curious about that too.
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #16 of 74
There is one button above the trackball, which I believe is the home button. So the author is correct that there are 6 buttons on the front screen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Okay article, very much an "advocate" article rather than an unbiased comparison though. A more even handed approach (while avoiding the tepid "everything is equal" approach of other tech journalists), would be preferable.

One minor point:

You say by means of comparison, that the G1 has 6 buttons to the iPhone's 1.

But while I haven't held one in my hand, all the pictures of the G1 show only 5 buttons unless you are counting the trackball twice, once as a trackball and once as a button. There could also be buttons on the side or back that at not visible in pictures of the G1, but then if you are going to include them, you have to admit that the iPhone has a few more than "1" as well.

These kind of niggly little points, sprinkled throughout the "Prince McClean articles" just come across as deceitful.

Why even go there when it just makes people suspicious of everything else you have stated, and doesn't really add much to the argument?
post #17 of 74
The more competion on phones, the better. Google's implementation isn't all that great, but at least they had enough common sense to include copy/paste.
post #18 of 74
DED...

"Again, Google isn't targeting Android toward the iPhone, but rather at mobile software markets represented by BlackBerry, Palm, Linux, Windows Mobile, and Symbian. "


Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha,


<pause for breath>

ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

WTF gave you that idea Daniel? Oh yeah, I forgot those other smartphones don't compete with the iPhone either in Kool-Aid land.
post #19 of 74
Initially the G1 will be and is compared to the iPhone purely because there's only one phone at the moment and the press at large are calling it the Google phone so that's what the masses will believe it to be.

So inside this little forum we can talk all we like about why Google isn't a threat to Apple and how Android is targetting Microsoft etc...but for now the G1 is a competitor. That is until another phone comes along, followed by another...then another...then another until we have a whole army of them in all different shapes and sizes. It's only then that it'll become apparent to the masses what's going on but it won't matter a jot.

The advantage Apple have with the iPhone is that they have the momemtum, its being copied by all and sundry and there's only one.
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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post #20 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

AT&T has other partners' phones to market, although nobody visiting an Apple Store would know that.

That's simply not true. There have been several news items recently reporting that AT&T stores will cross-sell Blackberries to potential iPhone customers if the customer indicates they primarily want a smartphone for e-mail. True, they tend to get sold an iPhone if they say they want to use the web, but the point is that this is hardly a "nobody would know" situation with regard to iPhone competition.
post #21 of 74
While the article was a thorough (if biased) comparison, I saw very little to support the initial premise that the G1 is aimed at a different market than the iPhone. Sure, it works differently; and I agree that the iPhone is the better device. But just because it's a poor immitator doesn't mean it's aimed at a different audience. That'd be really splitting the hairs of the smartphone market, would it? Saying that it's only aimed at the Windows Mobile crowd because "Android presents the same desktop PC interface found on Windows Mobile and Linux devices" is weak, at best.

If having a phone that's "good enough" to prevent customers from switching to ATT to get the iPhone, then it's a competitor. And as Windows and many, many other products have demonstrated in the past, "good enough" is all it takes for 90% of the people.
post #22 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

That's simply not true. There have been several news items recently reporting that AT&T stores will cross-sell Blackberries to potential iPhone customers if the customer indicates they primarily want a smartphone for e-mail. True, they tend to get sold an iPhone if they say they want to use the web, but the point is that this is hardly a "nobody would know" situation with regard to iPhone competition.

You misread the sentence--it said Apple store, not AT&T store.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

While the article was a thorough (if biased) comparison, I saw very little to support the initial premise that the G1 is aimed at a different market than the iPhone. Sure, it works differently; and I agree that the iPhone is the better device. But just because it's a poor immitator doesn't mean it's aimed at a different audience. That'd be really splitting the hairs of the smartphone market, would it? Saying that it's only aimed at the Windows Mobile crowd because "Android presents the same desktop PC interface found on Windows Mobile and Linux devices" is weak, at best.

If having a phone that's "good enough" to prevent customers from switching to ATT to get the iPhone, then it's a competitor. And as Windows and many, many other products have demonstrated in the past, "good enough" is all it takes for 90% of the people.

I agree. It's aimed at the same people (a wide range) who would buy an iPhone, and although it falls very short, it still has the potential to sell, especially to people who can't get decent AT&T coverage where they are.

And there's certainly room for both. (And better Android than Windows Mobile!) The mainstream pocket-personal-computer (not merely a "smart phone") market is just taking off--iPhone is well in the lead, but there's no need for it to remain alone.
post #23 of 74
Good reporting. Some of the bloggers out there are stating that this is the killer iPhone. Yet never mentions some of these glaring weaknesses that AI has just posted. Sure each device has advantages over each other. The 3g coverage alone is huge. 200 vs 20 or so? The hardware advantages of the iPhone is a game changer also.
post #24 of 74
I agree with the original statement of the article, and that is, I really don't see Android-based phones competing with the iPhone. Google's primary intention for buying the Android project was to make sure Microsoft didn't steam-roll over them in the mobile search market. As such, Windows Mobile is the target and will suffer greatly from this project, at least initially.

Also, I believe Apple's intentions of entering the mobile market was to make sure their iPod market didn't begin to fade away. It was obvious that all the smart phones were headed in the direction of becoming multimedia devices. They stood the chance of losing iPod sales to those people that would rather just carry one device that could reasonable do the same as two or three devices. That was my primary reason for getting an iPhone in the first place; it replaced my Nokia cell phone, iPod nano, and iBook. (While it's obviously not a complete replacement for a laptop, it is fairly competent at enough tasks to negate the need to take my laptop everywhere I go.) I don't think Apple is in the phone market to take over the world, they just wanted to expand their mobile computing business into new areas to make sure they weren't left out.
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #25 of 74
I think it was a mistake to call the first phone with Android the G1.

Whilst HTC/T-Mobile are using Google's brand power to launch the new phone it'll be amusing when the next phone with Android appears from a different manufacturer/network provider claiming they have the G-Phone.

You can hear it now. "We have the G Phone...no we have the G Phone...no we have the G Phone" etc...etc...etc...

I wonder what version we'll get to before the penny drops. G999 anybody? Nowt like confusing the consumer
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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post #26 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...the security problems Google is simply hoping won't exist may undoubtedly come to haunt the platform.

post #27 of 74
Quote:
I think it was a mistake to call the first phone with Android the G1.

I think it's funny how some people are referring to the phone as "The Android". Talk about confused. This is what usually happens when tech news spills over into non-tech outlets; there's no understanding of the product or the technology behind it, and as such articles and reports are filled with ignorance and misinformation.


Quote:
in 2 years, when my phone upgrade becomes available, I'll be looking at all of the options. Phones are different from computers. Every 2 years you get the option to jump platforms with no penalty.

While that may be true with "phones" it is not necessarily true with mobile computers, especially if you've invested money in applications for it. That's the biggest problem I have with people's perception of the iPhone... It's really not a phone, it's a mobile computer with phone capabilities. Even after my cell contract expires (SEP-2009), the iPhone will still be as useful as an iPod touch. Recently, I chose not to upgrade to the iPhone 3G, because, frankly, 3G isn't quite up to what it could be and since I don't drive, GPS isn't very useful. So just as with a computer, until the hardware differentiates itself enough from a previous version, there's no reason to upgrade. However, I welcome all the OS upgrades Apple wants to provide me with and unlike with my Mac, the OS upgrades are free!
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #28 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Okay article, very much an "advocate" article rather than an unbiased comparison though. A more even handed approach (while avoiding the tepid "everything is equal" approach of other tech journalists), would be preferable.

One minor point:

You say by means of comparison, that the G1 has 6 buttons to the iPhone's 1.

But while I haven't held one in my hand, all the pictures of the G1 show only 5 buttons unless you are counting the trackball twice, once as a trackball and once as a button. There could also be buttons on the side or back that at not visible in pictures of the G1, but then if you are going to include them, you have to admit that the iPhone has a few more than "1" as well.

These kind of niggly little points, sprinkled throughout the "Prince McClean articles" just come across as deceitful.

Why even go there when it just makes people suspicious of everything else you have stated, and doesn't really add much to the argument?


Well for starters, yes the trackball is a button, and the article did error in saying six rather than five. Calling this "deceitful" is perhaps over the top. -- edit: actually I was right, there are six buttons. I updated the article to recount them for you, and they are also all clearly visible in the accompanying photo of the device. --

Doing a comparison that suggests "everything is equal" when its clearly isn't would be deceitful.
post #29 of 74
My iPhone has 4 buttons and a switch All of which do interact with apps.
post #30 of 74
Surprisingly poor article coming from AppleInsider. There are many cases were a iPhone good, gphone bad bias comes through with unsubstantiated statements. Knocking the gphone for not having an install base is silly. Its a new phone. Duh. Knocking it for not using objective-c is silly. There are more Java developers in the world than objective-c developers.
post #31 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince View Post

Well for starters, yes the trackball is a button, and the article did error in saying six rather than five. Calling this "deceitful" is perhaps over the top.

Doing a comparison that suggests "everything is equal" when its clearly isn't would be deceitful.

Again I mentioned before that there are actually six buttons (including the trackball) on the G1 front screen as shown in the demo video. The one button (with some letters) that is not obvious is located above the trackball. It behaves like a home button on an iPhone.

So the author of the article is not trying to mislead us. Please watch the demo video carefully again on YouTube.
post #32 of 74
All the whining wannabe developers threatening to jump ship to Android are suddenly realizing it's a better party over here.

On a less-serious note, it will be interesting to see this develop. Windows Mobile against Google's Android would be fun to watch. The corporate market is quite huge and while iPhone is beginning to get its feet wet in that arena, it's still more of a pure-consumer device for the time being.

G1 like everything Google has done so far is most likely their "beta" release. They will no doubt wait and see if their reality can coexist with everyone else.
post #33 of 74
If the G1 does not sync with a computer, will Android updates be deployed over the air?
post #34 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by dm3 View Post

Surprisingly poor article coming from AppleInsider. There are many cases were a iPhone good, gphone bad bias comes through with unsubstantiated statements. Knocking the gphone for not having an install base is silly. Its a new phone. Duh. Knocking it for not using objective-c is silly. There are more Java developers in the world than objective-c developers.

The G1 was not "knocked" for having no installed base nor for not supporting ObjectiveC. Its support for Java was presented as a positive for developers with existing Java code who can port it without much work.

Also, what unsubstantiated statements or reflection of bias did you note? The article clearly highlighted unique features such as the compass and Street Views and the slightly better camera specs on the G1.

The fact that the article didn't present your bias does not make it "biased," but if you have any specific criticisms that you think were unfair, it would be helpful if you could present them so that we can ensure everything is presented fairly.
post #35 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilco View Post

:"may undoubtely" rolleyes:

this was originally written as "will undoubtedly," but edited to sound less decisive and opinionated, and ended up non-sensical.
post #36 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

DED...

"Again, Google isn't targeting Android toward the iPhone, but rather at mobile software markets represented by BlackBerry, Palm, Linux, Windows Mobile, and Symbian. "

WTF gave you that idea Daniel? Oh yeah, I forgot those other smartphones don't compete with the iPhone either in Kool-Aid land.

Why would Google be targeting the iPhone when the entire purpose of Google entering the smartphone market is to push its search and ad services, something the iPhone already does by default?

Clearly, Android does have to compete for attention against the iPhone as I noted, but to suggest that Google is out to cannibalize its strongest position in smartphones to replace Apple's Google-searching Maps and Safari with its own Apple-based browser is as ridiculous as everything else you post.
post #37 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post

And why should Apple's get to take part of the revenue for what I made?

Why does Target or WalMart get a "cut" of your product? Perhaps because it's their store? Because they are the ones providing access to millions of customers? Because they're handling the sales, credit card processing, "returns", and complaints?

Try developing for, say, WinMobile. Now, go see just how big a piece of the action a major distributor like Handango wants as their cut. (hint: 50%+)

Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post

What do you do if what you make ends up on page 6 of its category?

Write a better application? Seriously. Because if your application isn't good enough to be featured or ranked highly on the App Store, what makes you think it's going to be ranked highly or in demand on another platform, or in another marketplace?

The developer of Trism for the Mac has reportedly made $250,000. That's a quarter of a million dollars. You, on the other hand, appear to be so adverse to risk that you're unwilling to go for the reward.
post #38 of 74
I sold my iPhone (original, not 3G) some time ago.

I'll be ordering my G1 today.

Sorry Apple; you don't get to tell me what I can and cannot run on my phone. It's my phone, not yours.
post #39 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post

Why does Target or WalMart get a "cut" of your product? Perhaps because it's their store? Because they are the ones providing access to millions of customers? Because they're handling the sales, credit card processing, "returns", and complaints?

Try developing for, say, WinMobile. Now, go see just how big a piece of the action a major distributor like Handango wants as their cut. (hint: 50%+)

The point is though their is no alternative to their store, despite the fact its technologically possible. Imagine if every program written for the Mac had to be sold through Apple and Apple took 30% of that. Fair enough distributors for WinMobile charge a lot as well, but at least there's a form of competition between them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post

Write a better application? Seriously. Because if your application isn't good enough to be featured or ranked highly on the App Store, what makes you think it's going to be ranked highly or in demand on another platform, or in another marketplace?

The developer of Trism for the Mac has reportedly made $250,000. That's a quarter of a million dollars. You, on the other hand, appear to be so adverse to risk that you're unwilling to go for the reward.

Isn't their something like 3000 apps already on the App Store? I don't doubt that the ones that manage to make it to the top of the charts or get featured are going to make a lot. But the problem I was mentioning is to get in the chart first a lot of people have to buy the thing and the featured space on the store is very limited compared to the number of apps already on the store.
post #40 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isomorphic View Post

I sold my iPhone (original, not 3G) some time ago.

I'll be ordering my G1 today.

Sorry Apple; you don't get to tell me what I can and cannot run on my phone. It's my phone, not yours.

Is it the principle of Apple doing quality control that irks you, or what? I think Apple has done a very good job monitoring and not hindering the App Store. There are countless number of helpful apps, and the system used allows the best Apps to be recognized. In regards to something like NetShare, start the blame game with AT&T. Besides, it wouldn't really be fair to other AT&T subscribers if the iPhone could tether for free. Blackberry users, Palm users, heck, any user must pay 30 bucks a month to tether. Imagine how iPhone users would react if there were an application out there that allowed Blackberries to tether for free. There would be an outrage on these boards in seconds.
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