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Last Post by jwenting
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impossible to answer. Until the release of Android 2.1 noone thought Symbian would disappear as quickly as it has. The same could happen to both iOS and Android in an instant.

That said, Android is far less dependent on a single source for both hardware and software, so is theoretically less fragile than is iOS.
But the iPhone relies heavily for its popularity on the brand image of Apple, many people buying it not because it's "better" or even better suited for their purpose, but solely because it's there. Such almost religious devotion can be hard to beat, but when it does get beat it tends to disappear almost instantly (Apple has been able to keep their almost religiously devout followers for a few decades now).

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That said, Android is far less dependent on a single source for both hardware and software, so is theoretically less fragile than is iOS.

Though in practice that makes it more fragile. I recently bought an iphone, and the reason is because the Android devices were too risky (and my provider didn't have any WP7 phones I liked). The chance of getting crappy hardware with manufacturer/provider-added crappy software was simply too great. The iphone being locked down also means that it's highly likely to work as advertised right out of the box.

Reputation is important, and even though the Android OS is good, the fact that it's completely open hurts its reputation through cheap and/or greedy vendors. I actually think Windows Phone 7 is a step in the right direction because it's not as locked down as the iphones, but there are still minimum hardware requirements.

Edited by Narue: n/a

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you should indeed always take the hardware vendor into consideration. I'm sticking with the big ones for that reason. Nokia, Samsung, HTC, maybe one or two others.

With fragile I mean mostly that were the single source to disappear, the platform disappears, not that any source may disappear or create a shoddy product.
Were e.g. Samsung to leave the mobile phone market, Android would go on.
Were Apple to do the same, iOS would disappear.

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