(Initially written as a friendly email debate, late May 2010)
If the iPhone and Android were women, the iPhone would be the super hot, well-dressed, high maintenance woman. She’s wearing a knock out dress that shows all the right curves, rounded out with a pair of killer heels, perfectly done hair and stunning make up. She’s radiant. And she knows it, a little too much. The Android phone would be the tech-geeky, cute, slightly awkward, super smart woman. She thinks she’s pretty cool but not entirely confident about it as she’s still growing and learning. On an average day, she’s dressed comfortably, maybe a simple shirt, a cute skirt and sensible flats. Her make up is natural and minimal. Her hair looks good but you know she didn’t spend 45 minutes on it this morning. She could pull off the same outfit as the iPhone, she just can’t deal with all that hassle and primping.
Men like the iPhone for its obvious aesthetics and allure. It’s polished, it’s gorgeous, and the user interface is flirtatiously friendly. Hell, it makes them look and feel young, cool and hip. In fact, they flock to it. Why wouldn’t they? It’s the coolest thing on the market and first to market. Sure, there’s better women in development, but why wait for them if they can get and have a pretty good thing right now?
A few years into the iPhone courtship, enter Android. Sure she’s different, quirky and up and coming but really, they’ve invested so much time into the iPhone already. Aren’t the known iPhone flaws better than taking a risk on something entirely new and unknown? You’re guess is about as good as mine. What we all know is this: The iPhone, her communication skills flat out suck. Not only is she only intermittently available and temperamental, she actually hangs up on men ALL THE TIME. But they keep coming back for more! Because she has all these great features and is so much fun. And, she’s so easy to use! What people forget is that the core function of the iPhone, hardly works. It’s called an iPhone for god’s sake and she’s not even good at being a phone! That’s her job and she knows she stinks at it, so she distracts men with her cool, fun secondary features – like she’s great at Words with Friends!
As the years pass, iPhone gets a little controlling and demanding. She’s now decided that she only exclusively wants to be friends with people who will email her using a Safari browser or MacMail as their email client. She still manages to keep a decent circle of friends – or enough so that it still fosters a creative environment – but she’s starting to close herself off to people simply because they use Mozilla, Chrome, IE, Firefox, etc. Her friends are beginning to wonder if she’s getting a little nutty with her arbitrary restrictions. She’s a little aware of the feedback and the discontent among her people but she only likes to do major improvements once every year or so. So no point in taking in feedback and changing right now. Plus, if she did take feedback in more frequently, all other functions would grind to a halt. Did we mention that she can’t walk and chew gum at the same time? Regardless, she knows she’s still pretty damn popular and makes people look good, there’s really no point in walking out on something that’s comfortable, cool and familiar.
Meanwhile, on the other side of town, Android is slowly growing in popularity. She’s been fostering a group of friends where she encourages an openly creative environment. She shares a lot. She thrives on it. She partners with a bunch of people and works on her communication. There are no arbitrary rules on what her friends can and can’t use when interacting with her. She’s constantly taking in external feedback, re-assessing what’s working/what’s not and iterates and tries again. She’s agile. Her solutions might fail but that’s alright, she’s willing to put her ideas out there, mess up, be judged for it and adjust accordingly.
She’s not perfect, in fact, she’s got plenty of flaws that are painfully visible. She’s not terribly polished. She’s little all over the place partnering with so many different people. Ok, ok, so Android can come off as a bit, uh, well-traveled. But we like to refer to it as having deal flow. But beneath the superficial disarray, Android is realizing that she has a good head on her shoulders. So she continues to focus on what’s important even if it means not taking care of all the little external details. And as weeks, months pass other people also start to see her influence. In fact, they’re surprised by what she comes up with time and again. She’s full of pleasant surprises and will likely only getter better and cooler over time. Oh, did we mention that not only can she walk and chew gum at the same time, but she can also hold a conversation while browsing the web and scheduling events?
Update: June 30, 2010
Awesome! The iPhone can now multitask. It only took FOUR versions and THREE years for her to learn multitasking. My nephew was multitasking before he turned one. Of course with great enhancements, come great sacrifices. Sadly, now, if you hold the iPhone4 in a certain way, she’ll go cold and drop all reception.
The writer of this post is currently a Blackberry Curve 8330 owner. If the Blackberry were a woman, she’d be the corporate librarian – the one where everyone is secretly wanting and waiting for her to let her hair down. She is “sleek, chic, sensible, pioneering, capable, not caving to market pressures, calm and collected. Attractive and sophisticated – not very flashy. She just does her own thing, and does it well.”*
*Source: J. A. Chin, via Facebook. July 1, 2010.