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NCDS exciting blog highlighting the latest technologies that keep your business ahead in the growing caribbean corporate community.

Android vs Apple vs Blackberry

Dean Nicholas - Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The smartphone era has been here in the Caribbean for several years now and the boom began with the famous, or infamous depending on your view, Blackberry handsets. Curve, Pearl, Bold, Torch. These were the “in” words only a few years ago but, in an announcement on June 29, 2007 by the now late Steve Jobs, Apple’s IPhone with the IOS operating system (OS), smooth curves and revolutionary touch screen technology broke through the once thought impenetrable wall of Blackberry. Enter the smartphone wars. With Nokia, Motorola and even Samsung at the time reeling from users switching to the new phones on the block they all had to adapt to the ever-changing smartphone game. Blackberry has continued to be relatively strong locally and regionally but that trend may soon change.

On 20 May 2010, Google entered the smartphone fray with their now market leading Android OS. Apple had not quite met their match up until this point and within a few years Google’s Android cemented itself as a major smartphone player. As of September 12, 2012, there were 500 million Android activations worldwide and Android captured about 70 percent of the market. The companies embracing this new OS include Samsung, Asus, HTC, Sony, Toshiba and Amazon to name a few.

Lagging behind and realizing that the mobile technology world was passing them by, Microsoft introduced their competitor to the market, Windows Phone on November 8, 2010. They were embraced by Nokia who have now completely adopted the OS as their major hope for re-emergence into the market sphere but struggle to remain relevant.

Fast forward to 2013 and the once dominant Blackberry, recovering from a near corporate meltdown, release their competitor to the market. We are now in a full-fledged war between the front-runners Google’s Android, Apple’s IOS and Blackberry’s 10.

With the companies vying for our every cent, the choice of mobile device these days is nothing short of mind boggling. So which should you choose? Is it fast enough? Does it have enough storage space? Does it have a good camera? Is the experience smooth? And most importantly in my opinion, is the battery life good enough? All these questions never needed to be asked before but with new technology comes a plethora of new choices.

Google Android

The OS

Google does make physical phones but the Android OS is what drives their smartphone business. It is entirely “Open Source”. This basically means that anyone can make significant changes to their software as long as they have the right tools provided by Google. The app store has become one of the most robust offering applications to rival Apple and developers are constantly creating and innovating new ways for persons to interact with their device. One major drawback, with any open source software though, is that there is the risk of making the OS vulnerable if the developer does not do a professional job during his or her programming.


Screen Size

Most Android phones, until recently, haven’t exceeded the 4 inch screen size but this is an area where most companies who have adopted the OS have gone. Consumers have increasingly warmed up to a larger size phones these days and with the number of things you can do with smartphones more real estate allows for a more pleasant viewing experience. Android users will tell you that they have the “leg up” on IPhones largely due to this feature. Many people though, still enjoy the simplicity and ease to hold of the sub 4 inch phone.


Processor

Android phones boast Dual core and Quad core processors which are common terms these days and with new Nano Technology the speeds are only going to get faster.


Battery Life

Android phones suffer severely from a lack of good battery power. The powerful processors and large high resolution screens literally drain the life out of a phone with moderate use. On average you will have to recharge every 6 to 8 hours.


Other Features

Good camera quality and multi-tasking are so common with Android phones that they don’t need much mention. 5-8 mega pixels is the norm and if the regular man can differentiate 5 or 8 mega pixel photos then that person ought to purchase a photographer’s camera. Swiping and typing are major selling points as well. Being a touch device there is no physical keyboard and that may be something many Blackberry users could miss if they switch.


Cost

Unless you purchase an Android phone in the US with a particular phone carrier and on contract the price will easily exceed US$400. Here in the Caribbean we don’t have that luxury as yet but as they get more popular hopefully the market will allow for prices to be subsidized.

Apple IPhone (IOS)

The OS

Here we have the opposite of Open Source. Apple has sole control of their OS. What they release is what you get. Granted what you get is a well refined and extremely smooth experience. Although it’s not customizable, the innovation of gestures using two and three finger swipes as well as their vast app store make IPhones a big hit with the public. Simplicity and beauty has become the trademark of this OS and Apple does what Apple does best; Creative and functional design.


Screen Size

3.5 inch screens are where IPhones have been since their inception. This has been so to ensure an ergonomic design that users will have no problems using their device with one hand. Recently with the IPhone 5 they decided to increase the screen size but only to 4 inches.


Processor Speed

A New Dual Core A6 processor was introduced for the IPhone 5 and it improves the responsiveness of the experience.


Battery Life

Consumers can expect improved battery life from a current IPhone. A single charge should last 7-10 hours with moderate use. While this is a little more than Android, the battery life for iPhones leaves much to be desired.


Cost

IPhones are on the higher spectrum of the cost of mobile phones. Currently, an off contract iPhone can cost between US$750 and US$800. Once again with the increase in popularity these phones can hopefully be subsidized by a contract offer from local carriers.


Blackberry

Blackberry who up until recently had the lion’s share of the smartphone market regionally, has been losing much ground to Apple and Android. This, due to the vastly greater variety of apps available to users of their competitors. Blackberry handsets have also failed to keep up with the features and some say the durability of their competitors.

Blackberry released their Z10 and Q10 models in January. One thing that will continue to distinguish Blackberry is the physical keyboard which is present on the Q10 model but since the phone is recently released it will be some time before there is a concrete review available.

There is a new approach with the OS and the fact that Blackberry is doing their best to match up with Apple and Android means that Blackberry users should have something to satisfy their mobile palette as well.

So which smartphone will you be buying? The choices are unbelievable and will continue to flood into our market over the coming years and although the frontrunners continue to be the Samsung Galaxy and Apple’s IPhone, the Blackberry Z10 and Q10 being released ensure that the wars will continue.

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