iPhone versus Android: A nation divided

Molly Rapske, OpEd Editor

The iPhone has been accepted by the popular culture of the United States as the standard for a smartphone. If you ask any person on a college campus, workplace or sports bar what model of phone they have, they will surely say iPhone. But is the iPhone really all that it’s chalked up to be? 

While many people seem to think that the smartphone world is split into merely just Apple and Android products, there are far more options than just the two. What is most commonly referred to as an Android is actually a plethora of smaller companies running Android software. These are Samsung, Huawei and Motorola, to name a few. While the world pits the two against each other, actually comparing the devices is difficult without aligning models across companies in some manner.

The majority of resources for comparing iOS and Android devices state that they are, for the most part, indiscriminate from each other. While both are incredibly different, they both execute the same function, just in different ways. 

The obsession with Apple appears to be a U.S. exclusive trend. Samsung is the top smartphone manufacturer in the world, with 22% of the global smartphone market shares (2020). Meanwhile, Apple has only 11% of shares (2020). 

While Apple devices are the most popular in the United States, the same cannot be said for worldwide usage. Continent wise, what is preferred in Asia, the Middle East, South America, and Africa, is the Android. Apple is ranked as the most popular smartphone in only North America and Europe. However, there are still a few outliers. Japanese and Brazilian smartphone buyers prefer Apple, and German and Spanish users prefer Android.

iOS is indeed user friendly. Apple users have access to accessories like AirPods, Apple Watches and iPods. Connectability between devices is easy to use. However, it’s kind of a one-for-all situation where if a person were to buy an iPhone, they would have to purchase all of the products to go along with it to take advantage of the connectivity ease. Meanwhile, Android users have access to universal accessories such as chargers, headphone jacks and the like. 

Apple devices are one-fits-all. They are created for the user who is looking for a simple, easy-to-use system. Android devices offer much more customizable options. Nevertheless, this isn’t always a good thing. Just because a phone can be personalized to the greatest extent doesn’t mean that it should.

As someone who has been both an Android and iPhone user, I would personally say I am conflicted. I became an iPhone user during my first year of college and I cannot say that I’ve never looked back. The iPhone was seen as necessary merely because that’s what everyone else had.

I miss being able to easily customize and jailbreak my Android phone without worrying about damaging internal software. I miss ease of use when listening to music. However, I thoroughly enjoy being able to like messages in group chats, and also being able to use the FaceTime function. All in all, I believe that both interfaces have their separate pros and cons. 

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