[iPhone vs. Android] Sometimes Better Does Not Beat Popular

We have two distinct camps in the Clearspring offices.  Our CEO, Hooman Radfar, and a few others believes that Android will dominate and clean up the mobile phone market, while a large contingent believes that iPhone might not lead in market share but they will continue to be the phone that leads innovation and is the bright shiny object in the sky for many.

Last Monday a study came out that showed one third of teens wanted to buy an iPhone “soon.” That number is on top of the 17% of teens that already have iPhones.

The technorati has been quick to point out how Apple may be making the exact same mistakes as it did back in the 1980s as it pertains to their iOS platform strategy.  Experts will tell you by creating a walled garden for application developers and having a singular hardware and software platform, Apple is opening the door for Android to be the operating system for every other carrier and phone.  The one problem with that theory is demand.

Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s the purchase of personal computer purchases was price driven.  Back then Macs routinely cost over $2000, so when  competitors started building inferior machines for half the cost, Macs lost market share and the rest is history.

The mobile space is different.  First, the phone itself is cheaper as hardware in 2011 is a commodity.  Second, consumers have more purchasing power than they did back in the 1990s, and that despite a major recession in 2008-09, consumers seem to still be buying electronics and cutting back in other areas.  Third, consumers, and especially teens and young adults, want the cool and hip product, device or technology.  Even if Android is a better platform built on a better device, people think the iPhone is a status symbol.  Much like the BWM 3 series, there are better built cars for the price in the market place, but that does not stop people from buying the car because it is a status symbol.

So where does that leave us.  Sometimes a better technology is not preordained to be the most popular or the coolest.  If the teens of America have any say, Apple is going to have a hard time replicating the failures of the late 1980s, simply because the brand is considered hip by youth.

AIM for Windows Mobile

Late last week we posted a new AIM beta for the Windows Mobile platform.  The client is built using the Web AIM APIs and provides a new look for an AIM client on a mobile device.  All of the core AIM features are part of this application, including status, viewing Buddy Icons, and Buddy List management.

Please note: This build of AIM Mobile does not have an Update Mechanism available. This means you will have to return to beta.aol.com and check if a new build of AIM for Windows Mobile is available. The Update Mechanism will be included in a future build.

Supported Devices: AIM for Windows Mobile supports devices with the Windows Mobile 5 and Windows Mobile 6 operating systems. Some examples are:

  • T-Mobile Wing
  • Sprint Mogul and HTC Touch
  • AT&T Blackjack II, Tilt
  • Sprint Samsung ACE
  • Motorola Q
  • Verizon Wireless 6800
  • Most Palm Treo’s

Graphing Social Patterns East

Graphing Social Patterns Conference 2008
As a lonely nation’s eyes turn toward Moscone Center West where Apple is holding their developer’s conference, a smaller conference is flying under the radar here in Washington, DC. Granted most web 2.0 developers would not consider DC to be a natural choice for a conference on social networking, and considering my life is spent going back and forth from San Jose and Dulles, I definitely experience the west coast bias.

This week the Graphing Social Patterns – East conference is being held. This conference is a follow up to the one that was held the first week of March in San Diego and it brings together the top social networking minds and companies. What makes this different of course is the venue. Being on the east coast and particularly in Washington DC, is it possible we will be introducing a more bureaucratic spin to social networks? We know the Federal Government already blogs, but will they twitter or have an open social app, maybe after this conference they will?

Its not all about the desktop for social networking either. After today’s iPhone announcement, social networking on mobile devices will become even more prevalent. This is just one of the topics to be discussed tomorrow at the conference, and yours truly will be up there debating the current and future landscape of social networking via an ever changing mobile world.

Hopefully I will see everyone out there, stop by the AOL booth to pick up some AIM swag too.