Android Owes Success to… Apple?

It seems hard to believe how fast the tech world is changing. Just 3 years ago, the iPhone was only just starting out. And a year ago, the Android platform wasn’t very popular. Why, when even Android fans admit the iPhone has a nicer user interface, would people keep buying Android phones? As it turns out, for many Android users, the iPhone’s AT&T exclusivity lead them to Android.

Flash back to this weekend. A friend and I are discussing phones. While I love my iPhone 4, and would never trade in iOS for Android, I recommended an Android phone. Why? Not for the “freedom” (the app store has more apps, and a huge variety anyway), not for customizability (most Android users don’t do much more than rearrange their app icons), but because he didn’t want to leave Sprint.

Let’s face it, Android doesn’t do as well on AT&T because users can just get an iPhone. But Verizon, TMobile, and Sprint have seen a lot of success with Android. This is because they finally have something to put up against AT&T’s iPhone. Apple would see a huge jump in users if only they offered their iPhone on other carriers. Android owes it’s huge success to the exclusivity agreement Apple had to get into with AT&T. It’s unfortunate, because the only reason they had to do this was because other carriers didn’t think many people would like smartphones. Always ahead of the curve, Apple was then limited by the shortsightedness of another company. After it became immensely popular, this allowed Google to come in with a touch based OS available on all other carriers. Because these carriers so desperately needed an iPhone competitor, they were willing to avoid exclusivity agreements. AT&T’s exclusivity agreement with Apple is what gave Android the push it needed.

Hopefully, Apple can break away from the AT&T chains. While I like AT&T, and probably wouldn’t switch back to Verizon anyway, many users say AT&T is the deal breaker.
inspired by TechCrunch

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