Why I Wished I Hadn’t Switched to Android

Alec is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

When Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) first introduced the iPhone, I knew I had to get one. At $499 for the 4GB model and $599 for the 8GB model, at that time it was just too expensive for me. After the newer iPhone 3G came out in 2008, along with the price drop to $199, that’s when I jumped on board. I first bought the iPhone 3G a few weeks after it came out, and have upgraded to every other generation, up until the iPhone 5.

After the iPhone 5 came out, my contract had just expired and I was itching to get a new phone. I went to every Apple store in the area to get one, but every store was sold out and didn’t know when new shipments were arriving. Being home for only a week before heading back to college, I really couldn’t wait to get a new phone, and if I didn’t get one, I’d be stuck with the iPhone 4 until I went back home in the Summer.

Having read many reviews online, and after hearing how great the new Samsung Galaxy S3 was, I decided to go ahead and buy the GS3. The Galaxy S3 for those of you who don’t know uses Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android operating system, which is the lead competitor to Apple’s iOS.

Review:

I’ve had the GS3 for a few months now, and to be honest, I miss the iPhone. Don’t get me wrong, the Android operating system is great and is easy to use; it’s just the little things that get me. For example, I can’t type with one hand, I need to hold the phone with two hands and use two thumbs to type (because the phone is too big to hold in one hand and type at the same time). Also, I enjoy the iPhone’s notification system better than Androids’. I don’t get the popups and same type of alerts as the iPhone.

It may look like I’m being picky, but both phones are really good, and in fact the only way to differentiate them is by discussing the small details. Android has a lot to offer, but as a long time iPhone user, I can’t seem to shake it off. When my contract expires, I do not plan to get another Android.

What This Means:

That’s the main problem with phones today. Android people have a tough time switching to iPhone, saying it’s more restrictive and less customizable, and iPhone users miss holding a sleek and sexy device. In addition, there seems to be a new player in town with BlackBerry’s new Z10 phone. From what I’ve read and seen, I’m not too impressed but I may be wrong. I haven’t used the device, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

I am NOT alone:

According to data derived from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech USA’s consumer panel, “36% of iOS sales were derived from other smartphone users over the last year. The proportion of Android users moving towards the Apple brand increased: 19% of iOS sales over the last year were derived from Android users, compared to 9% in 2011.”

That’s almost 2 out of every 10 iPhones being sold to Android users!

Android currently has the lead of worldwide smartphone market share at 72% compared to Apple’s market share of 14%. Remember, this is worldwide, and since most people overseas (mainly China and India) can’t really afford iPhones, Android’s lead makes sense (because it has cheaper models).

When combining those two data points, Android could still sell a record amount of smartphones, but Apple is selling more and more iPhones to previous Android users. What this means is that people are initially buying Android phones because they are cheap, and then realizing that iPhones are actually better, resulting in more people switching over.

The Bottom Line:

Google and Apple are the main players in the smartphone industry. Blackberry could be considered third with its 5% market share and possible growth resulting from the Z10 and Q10 phones. The fact of the matter is that people are initially buying Android phones, but are not repurchasing Android phones. With 50% of mobile users now using smartphones, the growth of the iPhone is exponential, whereas Android growth will be more bell-shaped. Blackberry could go anywhere, as we’re going to have to wait for the sales figures to be released when the Z10 is released in March. Thanks for reading.


aleceiber owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Google. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Is this post wrong? Click here. Think you can do better? Join us and write your own!

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