Perhaps the most common argument mobile phone enthusiasts have is that of smartphone superiority.
When you analyse these conversations, the yardstick for superiority ranges from speed to sleekness, from functionality to waterproofness.
This is hardly surprising as 6.92 billion people own smartphones as at 2023, according to Bank My Cell.
This brings the percentage of global users to 85.74%, a 36.34% increase from 2016, when about half of the world population at the time owned smartphones.
Going by the trend, it is easy to guess that almost everyone will own a smartphone sooner or later and so the conversation about smartphone superiority is in order, even if banal at this point.
Fifty years since the very first mobile phone call was made, in addition to making phone calls, you can shop, work, play and even monitor your calories with smartphones.
iPhones and Androids have a combination of features that give them their uniqueness; let’s look at how they differ in 7 ways.
While Apple is the sole manufacturer of iPhones, Google provides its software to many manufacturers including Samsung, Motorola and HTC. As a result, android phones vary in features and quality while iPhones are invariably homogenous.
- Operating system
Android phones run on Google’s Android operating system while iPhones run on Apple’s iOS. Both operating systems are pretty much the same: popular apps, utilities, phone app to make calls, a camera app for pictures and touch interfaces. Apple releases a new version of iOS every year while producing updates throughout the year. Android makers on the other hand are not as consistent so far, possibly due to multiple manufacturers.
Check this out: there are nearly 3 million apps available on Android compared to just over 2 million available on iPhone. Apple’s centralized storefront maintains a strict selection process when it comes to apps and so there are less apps when compared to Android’s Google Play. The implication of Android’s more lenient approach is the opportunity for users to have more options but increased risk to malware.
It is not too surprising that iPhones have a higher price point on average, given Apple’s sophisticated brand positioning. iPhones range from $500- $1500 or more while Android phones can be found for as little as $100 and as high as $1750. While owning an iPhone can admit to the ‘exclusive club’ upscale Androids such as Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy can equally confer an exclusive status.
This is one area where iPhone is worth its salt. iPhones are generally perceived to be more secure than Android phones because of two key reasons- Apple’s strict storefront management and end-to-end encryption in its apps. Again, Google Play’s leniency compromises Android’s security as it gives room for malware attacks. Android also only encrypts “in transit”, which is less secure compared to end-to-end encryption. This does not make iPhones immune to attacks but the strict control has provided evident benefits so far.
- Intelligent Assistant
Driven by the powerful Google Assistant, Android is definitely winning this one. Google Assistant’s smart guidance is driven by everything from your meeting time on Google calendar to the traffic on the road while Apple’s Siri is efficacious for simple, limited tasks. However, iPhone users can have the best of both worlds with access to Google Assistant if they so desire. On the other hand, Android users, who are probably not missing much, cannot access Siri without an Apple product.
In keeping with its sophisticated and exclusive brand personality, Apple prides itself on exclusive device servicing- repairs and certain upgrades are referred to trained service providers or Apple stores. On the other hand, basic Android repairs or upgrades are DIY fixes.
Drawing from the comparisons above, it is clear that the choice of smartphone is based on individual circumstances. Some features are more relevant to people based on work, play and lifestyle. Even though a growing number of people own both kinds of smartphones to get the best of both worlds, there tends to be loyalty to one over the other.