It’s holiday shopping time, Thanksgiving week here in the States, so Black Friday is coming up. Anyone in my circle of friends and family has had this dialogue with me over the last 5 years….. multiple times. Enjoy this YouTube clip from what I consider one of the best TV shows of all time, Extras. These guys are more qualified to pick a phone for you than me, and yes, I do have that ringtone. And now, the famous dialogue between me and anyone:
Anyone: “Hey Josh, that new iPhone came out, should I switch?”
Me: “Why do you want to switch?”
Anyone: “I just know it’s supposed to be cool and the best phone. What do you think is the best smartphone?”
Me: (hitting the auto-playback button in my head) “I don’t answer that question for two reasons, 1. I don’t know what you are going to do with your phone, and 2. Every new phone seems to bring new features that change the metrics we measure “best” against. So let me ask you to narrow it down to one of these as the most important feature, or at least rank them”:
- Web browsing
- Making phone calls (remember those?)
- Touchscreen or physical keyboard
- Work provided or personal only
Anyone: “Uhh, e-mail and web browsing, and games, I really don’t know.”
Anyone: “Yes, but not as important as email.”
Me: “Physical keyboard or touchscreen?”
Anyone: “I’ve never used a touchscreen, are they good?”
Me: “Depends on the user, length of mails you type, and your preference. You should lean toward a BlackBerry, especially if your company supports them.”
Now I have them on the hook and dumbfounded disappointed, they don’t want less popular technology and wanted me to bless the iPhone.
Anyone: “Oh, really, I was thinking the iPhone would be better though.”
Me: “iPhone would be fine, but it’s sweet spot is applications and their ease of ecosystem integration. Android is a close second, but requires a bit more customization. Some people prefer/like that, and it’s a lower hardware cost. BlackBerry is still rock solid for email, but if you don’t want a BlackBerry but need a future proof phone for two years, go with an iPhone.”
Anyone: “ Isn’t the keyboard really hard to use?”
It’s at this point I sigh and acknowledge in exasperation I have done a poor job at pragmatically laying out the reasons for/against a certain smartphone. It’s basically two kids arguing about who’s dad can beat up the other’s dad in a fight.
I sometimes use an analogy for smartphones like this:
- BlackBerry – Audi
- iPhone – Porsche
- Android – custom kit car
- Windows Phone 8 – DeLorean
So this is my opinion, but, all four will “go fast” (one can do at least 88 mph) and all provide the features needed, but style is truly the difference at first glance, then it’s ecosystem of dealerships and mechanics. For Android, sky’s the limit for features and potential failures, BlackBerry, around a long time, not sure what’s innovative about BB10, waiting to see. iPhone, not as innovative as 5 years ago or even 3 years ago, but still years ahead of others. So where is Windows Phone 8 in this discussion? Exactly, stay tuned.
To wrap up, what will you need to choose if you want mobile access to your business? Good news from the SAP front, we don’t care. We are device and platform agnostic. We connect, secure, and enable development for all operating systems. Go tell your friends dad.
Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your new smartphone,
BLOG written using my iPhone 5
p.s. My features ranked highest to lowest that got me to iPhone: Apps, Web, E-mail, music + iTunes
p.p.s Another reason not to recommend an exact choice, they’ll call you for tech support
p.p.p.s I am not as happy with iPhone 5 as iPhone 4s, very close to swapping, leaning towards…….