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Monday, July 18, 2011

Jury Springer

Am I the only one who thinks the recent smartphone courtroom drama sounds like a Jerry Springer show? Feuding giants Apple and Microsoft slept together to acquire patents (which they already license) in order to keep sucking in revenue from Android (wtf?). Apple sues HTC, hoping to gain partial custody over their successful Android devices. Microsoft threatens to beat the shit out of HTC, Samsung and every other Android manufacturer for spurious patent infringement claims. Apple, whose iPhones are inseminated by Samsung's chipsets and displays, is getting a divorce from the Korean powerhouse 'cause they believe it copied the iPad. RIMjob sits pouting in a corner because their BlackBerries have gone out of season. JERRY! JERRY! JERRY!

The truth is, Android terrifies Apple and Microsoft. Android offers something they don't- an open platform that encourages manufacturers to develop products that fit every lifestyle. The Thunderbolt is a phone for speed freaks, the Droid Pro and Optimus Pro are handsets for the businessperson, Samsung's Super-AMOLED displays are great for movies, Casio makes rugged Droids for the construction worker, the Xperia Play is for the gamer, etc.  Add a vibrant development community and the power of Google, and you've got a real threat to iOS.

Don't get me wrong, iPhones can be attractive to people who want a simple, straightforward smartphone. I can pick up anyone's iPhone and it works just like every other iPhone. They're all the same, which is great if you want to be an iClone. Most of us inhabit a world that's quickly becoming increasingly tech savvy, though, and we relish in the type of customization that Apple can't (won't?) offer. Want a physical keyboard? You're SOL. Battery change? No way. Oh, and I hope you don't need Flash or want to change your UI. Steve Jobs doesn't like to share the sandbox, nor does he think outside of it.

As for the Windows Phone, there's not much to say other than it blows. The OS has a horrible user interface that is illogical at best.  The software looks like it was designed for a 5-year-old, there's no customization and little functionality.

Rather than listening consumers feedback by investing in better technology or trying to improve their products, Apple and Microsoft are instead attempting to (a)intimidate manufacturers into paying them for a free platform they didn't make, and/or (b)kill Android via litigation instead of competition. This is a toxic atmosphere for development and continued innovation, and the consumer is the ultimate victim.

Next time you see an iPhone or a Windows Phone, think about how Apple and Microsoft are acting like the drunk redneck who caught an STD from her neighbor's mule. You might have to start chanting... JERRY! JERRY! JERRY!

It helps me, anyhow.