Google Android (HTC G1) vs. Apple iPhone

Well, the claws are out.

I saw a very interesting review today from Eric Zehman of the new Google Android OS running on its first handset, the HTC G1. He also rather kindly offers some video footage of the interface and hardware to provide context.

I highlighted this article because it tallies most with my own views. It also cuts right to the heart of the Apple-vs.-everyone-else debate.

Eric mentions the G1 in the same breath as Nokia’s N-series, Palm, Blackberry and the Apple iPhone. But let’s not beat about the bush. For personal use at least there’s only one competitor; the iPhone. And as far as I’m concerned, the iPhone wins.

There’s little to seperate these two phones in price. But Apple, once again, has pipped everyone to the post in the usability stakes, at the cost of making a completely closed system. The G1 totally lacks Multitouch. Also, without significant multimedia capabilities, the G1 is little more than the first phone that Google could get onto the market. Good browsing is nice, but shouldn’t we expect this by now?

I reckon Eric is right to say that open source OS’s are where the future lies. It’ll probably be a matter of weeks before we see a more highly-specced phone come out. And thank god someone else is using decent, capacitance-based screens! That has felt like a long-time-coming.

I anticipate that the price of these devices is going to crash over the next year. And then Apple is going to have to do something *amazing* to its iPhone to encourage buyers to continue subsidising Apple’s development costs. Gaming perhaps? It’s already moved in that direction.

Until then, I, at least, would still opt for the iPhone as the better option. But I suspect that, were I to fork out my own money for it, I’d regret it when a slew of cheaper, better Android-based phones come out in six months.

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2 Responses to Google Android (HTC G1) vs. Apple iPhone

  1. Darren says:

    The functionality of the iPhone is indeed superb, however in my mind the battery life makes it an impractical device especially for business. We were at a press launch yesterday and my colleague had hers fully charged before leaving home, and after a morning (granted spent checking emails and making phone calls) the battery was nearly dead, and this before midday. If you spend all day near a power source it’s fine – but surely the concept of ‘mobile’ implies that it should work fine away from mains power for at least a working day.

  2. Richard says:

    Darren – I agree battery life is very important, it has to last a day without running out. I’ve stuck with my 2G iPhone for that reason, it does last a day. I’ll change when I’m convinced the increased speed is an advantage that outweighs the short battery life… soon I hope.

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