I love my Android Phone. Thank you, Apple! (Google fans, why do you hate iPhone so much?)

Though I prefer iPhone – and Windows Phone – to Android, I understand that some, maybe most, prefer Google’s platform over Apple’s. To each his own. What I cannot understand is why anyone, even the most ardent Android fan, would hate Apple and the iPhone.

Let’s be clear: without iPhone there is no Android. Not like it exists today. Without iPhone, Android probably still looks like a cheap knock-off of 2008’s latest Blackberry device.

The iPhone was released in June 2007. It launched a revolution in telecommunications, entertainment and personal computing. This is indisputable. Odds are very high that, pre-iPhone, you and everyone you knew used a “mobile” or a “cell phone” – but nothing like today’s mobile personal computer, the smartphone. True, Windows Mobile offered enhanced functionality for the few that owned one, mostly thanks to their employer. There were a few touchscreen devices pre-iPhone, such as the HTC Touch, but they were rare and rarely used.  Post-iPhone, a full touchscreen “app phone” is the standard across the industry and around the world.

The iPhone changed everything. If you care about smartphones and the mobile industry, than you owe iPhone your gratitude.

Before iPhone, apps were applications, and even then an oddity, rarely used, hardly understood by the masses. Now apps are a multi-billion-dollar industry that is remaking retail, gaming, search, and personal connectivity. Apps have replaced the “desktop” metaphor for human interaction with personal computing and data resources.

Thanks to the iPhone we now carry with us these amazing and powerful computing devices that we use for shopping, driving, gaming, watching movies, taking videos, documenting our lives, purchasing goods and services and much much more. You should be thankful!

A large part of the Apple ‘hate’ seems to come from this silly notion that Apple is ‘closed’.

Closed is great.

Apple’s closed ecosystem spawned the global app craze. Apple’s closed ecosystem enabled many companies to generate billions of dollars in wealth. That is still a rarity amongst the entire Android ecosystem. Apple’s closed ecosystem delivers movies and music and content that is safe, secure and usable. There is probably no competing Google Play without Apple’s closed ecosystem. Without Apple selling hundreds of millions of its (closed) devices, Google does not pour billions and billions of dollars into rapidly iterating and building out its Android platform. Being closed enabled Apple to profit, to innovate, and to release revolutionary new products into the market.

I love my iPad. Perhaps you have a Nexus 10. Fair enough. But I doubt your Android tablet would even exist without iPhone and then iPad. It’s not like Google is making nay money off these devices. Consider Microsoft. Microsoft has talked for a decade about tablets. For years they’ve shown off their “slate” technology at all the world’s grandest tech conferences. The result? Nothing. Not until Apple sold a hundred million of its iPad tablets, spawning yet another computing revolution.

I admire Apple for its innovation, for its commitment to continuous improvement. I do not mind if you think Android is better. Great, go for it. Choice and competition is good. But think back to before iPhone and before iPad. That’s probably what we would still be using today.

Don’t believe me? Just look at the PC industry. What was the last innovation that industry spawned – that wasn’t a copy-follow of Apple?

If the Apple haters won, there would be no Android; not as we know it today. No great apps. No portable gaming beyond Nintendo and an expensive, clunky Sony device – without a phone. If the Apple haters won, a full touchscreen smartphone would most likely still be something that only a very few could use or afford.

Closed is fine by me.

When I have a problem with my iPhone, I go to the Apple Store. I know who to call, who to blame, who can fix it. How does that work with your Samsung Galaxy? Do you go to Samsung? Google? Your carrier? What about updates? Apple’s closed ecosystem ensures I get timely updates – forever.

It was Apple’s closed iTunes that helped to limit music piracy, and sent that money to the artists and publishers. Admittedly, there are numerous competing digital media platforms and payments systems. But I have not once ever had a problem with a faulty charge, a virus-laden app, a song that did not play thanks to iTunes. I’ve been using Apple’s solution for nearly a decade, problem-free. Open has simply not served me as well.

How many developers are making money from Apple’s closed ecosystem? Ten thousand? One hundred thousand? A million? Far more – and for far more – than on the Android side of the fence.

Even when there are equivalent solutions available, I’ve noticed that Apple’s efforts at design and simplicity for all spur widespread adoption. My parents never in their life made a Skype call. But in just this year they’ve had dozens of videochats with their grandchildren, thanks to FaceTime on the iPad.

It is Apple’s closed ecosystem that has helped make them not just America’s richest company, but the world’s. They have generated billions and billions of dollars of wealth for thousands. So end the hate.

Be happy with your choice. I know I’m happy with mine.

Author: Brian S Hall

Brian S Hall writes about technology, immortality and food for ReadWrite, Techpinions, Unwired View and other publications. His thoughts on the 'smartphone wars' and how these are rapidly de-constructing markets, industries, business models and relationships around the world can be found on his personal site at www.brianshall.com.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Atty-Halmágyi/100001770630008 Atty Halmágyi

    Why we hate Apple, why we hates their Iphone??? The answer is so simple:Iphones are so limited! Their phones looks the same as always. They release only 1 phone a year, which is a huge mistake I think. Apple need to release at least 2 phones per year:A mid-end one, and a high-end. If they will do this, they will get more profit, I am sure about this.

  • iPhoneowner

    The question wasn’t why do you prefer Android. That’s understandable, and to each its own. We have no problem with that. The question is why denigrate Apple and iPhone and millions upon millions people who prefer them? Claiming that iPhone is inferior product, etc.?

    A lot of people do not want to constantly tweak their phone, fiddle with ROMs, settings etc; and are happy to update/exchange it only once a a year or once a every two years. And get the familiar interface that does things they need in a familiar way.

  • http://www.staska.net Staska

    The question wasn’t why do you prefer Android. That’s understandable, and to each its own. We have no problem with that. The question is why denigrate Apple and iPhone and millions upon millions people who prefer them? Claiming that iPhone is inferior product, etc.?

    A lot of people do not want to constantly tweak their phone, fiddle with ROMs, settings etc; and are happy to update/exchange it only once a a year or once a every two years. And get the familiar interface that does things they need in a familiar way.

  • Jeff926

    Apple is already making more profit on phones than all of its competitors combined. Good thing they didn’t take your advice.

  • FrillArtist

    Shilling for apple as usual. Without the pioneers of IBM, palm etc the iphone wouldn’t exist in this form either so cut the bullshit.

  • http://www.staska.net Staska

    As long as we are talking about the dead-end abandoned products, let’s not forget Apple’s Newton, Windows Mobile or Psion/Symbian. They had at least a decade to make a difference, but they didn’t.

    All of them had very little impact on the great smartphone disruption iPhone launched in 2007 and Google quickly followed with Android. Or the way we understand and use smartphone today.

  • Stuntmonkey

    People have always gotten emotional about platform battles: C64 vs. Atari 800, PC vs. Mac, Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD, PS3 vs. XBox 360. Once you’ve bought into a platform, everything you’ve paid for (content, learning curve) are at risk if the platform fades into obscurity. So people get this mindset that they want their side to win.

    Nobody cares much about PC vs. Mac any more, because we spend most of our time in web browsers doing platform-independent things. The choice of PC vs. Mac has become like Mercedes vs. BMW: A personal choice but not something other people will get riled up about.

  • pcgate

    Which companies exactly made BILLIONS due to Apple’s closed ecosystem? Could this article suck lick more Apple iBalls? I dont think so…

  • Wilco

    It goes both ways. Apple has pushed development on the iPhone BECAUSE of Android. iPhone users should thank Google, and the Android team going back to 2005 for their current UI enhancements to the early gen iPhones.

    Also, as an Android fanboy, it’s not that I hate the iPhone (it’s a quite good system), we like the openness of Android, the adherence to the cloud which precedes iPhone, and we resent the arrogance of the iPhone community.

  • http://www.staska.net Staska

    There probably isn’t a single company which generated $1B or more in wealth from iOS, though Instagram came pretty damn close to generating that for its shareholders, and mainly as an iPhone app.

    But by now, Apple has probably already paid out more than $7B to app developers (or will get there very soon. The latest official number is $6.5B as of Q3 2012)

  • Stuntmonkey

    I think to some extent Apple brings it on themselves. Arrogance that isn’t backed up by reality always rubs people the wrong way. These are all perceptions (that Apple is arrogant, that the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini are technically ho-hum products), but perceptions are what we’re talking about.

  • shadhu

    You’ve hit the nail on its head: iOS-“haters” were born out of the resentment generated from the condescension and arrogance of the apple community. Although this article harps on about mobile-OS peace “Be happy with your choice. I know I’m happy with mine” it conveniently avoids the history of mobile-OS wars and has suddenly decided to make Apple the victim. As an early adopter of the Nexus One, I endured a ridiculous and baffling amount of tech-snobbery from apple fans who would find it acceptable to insult my intelligence without ever having used the device/OS.

    It’s silly to be a hardcore fan of any corporation (always vested in self-interest) at the end of the day. As consumers, it’s also silly to be arguing who makes more money (unless you have a personal stake in their stocks) and who came up with what idea first. We ALWAYS benefit with greater competition.

  • Wilco

    Nicely said. We shouldn’t actually be “fans” of corporations with hundreds of billions of dollars of cash on-hand, as much as fans of competition with a decided lean toward a specific system. Not quite there, but good to hear.

  • http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002VH8ECQ Brian S Hall

    Yes, that’s a better way of stating this. Instagram is obvious. I think the valuations of some apps, such as Twitter, would be radically lower if not for iPhone. Also, the billions paid out to app developers by Apple dwarfs that of the entire (larger) Android ecosystem.

  • AthrenGlory

    I feel there is something for everyone in our current OS market place be it Mobile or Desktop computing. But I have to wonder, you attributed the success of Apple due to it’s closed platform. Yet ironically it was that same gated system that made them loose the desktop marketplace against Microsofts openness to hardware vendors.

    Mind you I am not implying things are suppose to stay the same, and hardware and software are apples and oranges…I simply thought it was humorous to think about.

  • CrazyMac10

    My complaints about Apple/iPhone/iPad boil down to really just 3 things:
    1) Apple’s arrogance about their systems that we might buy. I don’t like being assumed to be an idiot, it’s my phone, tablet or computer, stop putting up all the artificial road blocks in my way to do with it what I want. To be fair this also has a lot to do with the carriers concerning the phones, but there are at least options with 3rd party ROMs for Android.

    2) Apple’s demand that iOS developers own an Apple OS X machine in order to do iOS development. I can develop for my Android on an Apple, Linux, or Windows, but not the other way around. It’s really their whole closed-system approach that is at the root of this and I for one do not like that.
    3) Apple’s litigious nature hurts us all. Yes, Android and iPhone both borrow things from one another and make them better and different in the process, but Apple’s litigation approach rather than Android’s just compete approach is reprehensible. What about Android’s pull down notification that Apple ripped off? Apple’s patent on a rectangular phone shape, please, give me a break! I’ve had a rectangular phone for many years, that is not unique. (I guess I can blame this on our patent system as well.) Apple comes off as just a cry baby with their law suits, just make good products and let the consumers decide. Make them by lowering your costs and you could beat Samsung. Break out of your little self made legal shell and just compete.

  • Ajedi32

    True, but I think it’s kind of fun to cheer on my favorite OS. It’s like watching a sporting event, it’s more fun if you have a team to root for. ;-)

  • http://twitter.com/peterjohn peterjohn

    Its all about the packaging. All or most of the technologies (or innovations as you call it) associated with the iPhone’s success existed well before it. Lock screens existed. Touch scrolling existed. Grids of icons existed. Application stores existed. DLNA existed. The list goes on.

    Apple’s strength is in its packaging. And it is that packaging that has enabled them to amass a cult following over the years since their ‘rebirth’. Kudos to them for capitalizing on the timing of consumers’ recent gadget binge. I don’t blame them for getting bored of their blackberries.

    They know how to package it so that when you open it up, its like you’ve never laid eyes on such a well designed device. Even if its the iPhone5. Or better yet – ‘the new iPad’

    They know how to package it so that other companies will bend over to be allowed in their playground. I’ll definitely give them credit for getting carriers to succumb to their whims. That goes for the entertainment industry too.

    They know how to package it so that they can say one thing one year, then turn around and do the exact opposite the next. Its mesmerizing! Yet somehow we still think its . People don’t read books anymore. BTW, we patented skeumorphic page turning. Three and a half inches is the only screen anyone would ever need. Speeds and feeds? Noone cares about specs anymore. Did I mention the f2.0 on the new iPhone camera?

    It’s a snowball effect that, for the foreseeable future, seems too big to stop. See that line going around the block? Yeah, the device launch is still a week away. It sure is a sight to see. Actually, come to think of it…I REALLY WANT ONE NOW!

    Don’t get me wrong – I don’t hate the devices. I think they are a good fit for a lot of people. But just because Apple puts ‘design’ first, does not mean they can claim ‘FIRST’ on anything just because of a silly design patent technicality.

    That is the crux of the problem both camps can’t seem to agree on. It’s not really about whether or not its open or closed or expensive or free. It’s about two different philosophical approaches that can never understand each other.

  • remydlc

    you are so wrong saying “IF Apple wouldnt have invented the iphone none of this would exist” in a way you might be right, but you make it seem like Apple came out of nowhere to invent the Mobile OS iOS it is today… They COPIED whatever was out there pre-2006 and made a more refined product…SO WITHOUT RIM/Nokia[Symbian]/Microsoft/Meego[Linux] They would have not been AN iPhone. and Without Android, you wouldnt have a copy/paste/notifications,etc. I can just go on.

  • Michael Dempsey

    Yes, it is all about the snob factor of the users, not the OS itself, at least as far as I’m concerned. I still clearly remember the actual rage being generated from iPhone users when Instagram’s Android app being released. Twitter exploded with iPhone users’s disdain over the notion that the poor unwashed masses could join their private and elite Instagram club.

    It was ugly, and it showed me a group of people I did not want to associate myself with.

  • nanoco

    Quit the BS about arrogance and Apple not making great products. Ever listen to Eric Schmidt and Steve Balmer brag about their platforms? Ever pickup and use and iPhone, iPad, or ipod Touch or use an iMac. In your bias, which honestly probably came first, you only want to see Apple is arrogant. Also, maybe you think Apple should go out and make ads about their stuff as being second or third best.

  • vasrassss

    Apple is an innovative company. I just dislike it’s patent attitude. It’s twisting the US patent office into submission with all the UI / UX patents, for most of which there is prior art.

    I like iPhone and what it did to the market. It’s just not for me, because it is so closed I can’t even run my favorite browser on it.

    But hate them? Nah, waste of energy. Both are good, just not for me.

  • nalij

    Any CEO better tout the sh!t of out there companies product’s. But, when your ‘following’ (who has no vested interest) starts that BS and it isnt even remotely correct — people get mad.

    I am an Android user, my wife is an iPhone user – it boggles my mind the amount of things she still cannot do on her device (iPhone5). Apple basically invented the desktop widget – that still hasn’t made it’s way to their phone, live wall papers, NFC, deep-integration outside of their walled in garden, the list continues forever.

  • Mr. Q

    I own both platforms and appreciate both. But to laud Apple as the sole innovator on handheld devices is a bit much. Let’s not forget Palm Computing. For years, their products were how we managed mobile computing. Some still do!

  • nalij

    It’s not a claim that it’s an inferior technological product. IT IS an inferior product. Step away from the marketing department and compare spec’s and feature functionality – if you really think the iPhone, TECHNICALLY, is superior, I have a bridge to sell you.

    Just to be clear the TECHNOLOGY used does not equate to the User Experience – these are two entirely different things. I am speaking strictly from a device functionality/tech standpoint….

  • kangaruhs

    The question should be turned to Apple fans, because, well, “they started it”.

    In 2007, nobody hated the iPhone and nobody knew about Android. Back then, we were all iFans. But when Android appeared in 2008 with the first consumer “Google phone”, the T-Mobile G1, wow the hate just came rolling in from the iCrowd. I remember it. I was a huge fan of the iPhone until I heard Google was making a smartphone platform. It’s hard (in my case) not to get excited about a Google phone, because I associate Google with really good software, really powerful cloud services, and really low cost. I associate Google with the future, and perhaps I trust them too much, but it is what it is. My bias aside, I didn’t hate the iPhone when Android came out. From that point to this I’ve been rooting for competition, it’s just that I’m more excited about Google’s future than I am about Apple’s. I was, however, disgusted at Apple’s loud and annoying user base which spawned an equal and opposite loud and annoying Android user base.

    So, “why denigrate Apple and iPhone and millions upon millions people who prefer them?” It’s human nature to bark back at the original iPossessed Android-haters who denigrate(d) Google and Android and millions upon millions of people who prefer them.

  • Ray

    “Good artists copy, great artists steal. We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas” -Steve Jobs.

    iFOOLS. Please take a moment to absorb what I have written above. That quote was not made up by me, it was made up by your great cult leader Steve Jobs the thief of all thieves.

  • Ray

    Couldn’t agree more!

  • http://twitter.com/apantarzan apantarzan

    I hate wp, its so boring. no hamez and appz….

  • http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002VH8ECQ Brian S Hall

    I think you have utterly missed the mark with your comment. I also think it’s why so many Apple competitors can’t seem to match Apple in revenues, profits or brand loyalty. They think if they can copy Apple “packaging” they will offer an equivalent product. Usability, functionality, value, resale value all come first with Apple.

  • RegularJerseyGuido

    I am a fan of “myself” in that I buy and use what I need, not what others think I need or need to buy. I hold no meaning in these tools other than they are tools. Let the corporations fight for your dollar. From a consumer point of view, the argument is pointless if you just buy what you need. Android or Apple, who cares?

  • http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002VH8ECQ Brian S Hall

    If you dislike Apple’s patent attitude, what do you think of Google? They are now attempting to contort patent rights on industry standards developed at Motorola.


    Why do you have to hate the iPhone to love the android platform? I love my android, it is larger and thinner than the iPhone and I believe operates smoother and faster. The iPhone, after all these iterations is still too thick and heavy. And let’s not forget that the iPhone is an Apple product! What is to love there. Apple is always too expensive and builds in planned obsolescence after just a few years. I still have Apple computers that work, but are no longer useable, because Apple made them worthless. If they were PC’s they would be upgraded and still serviceable. This is Apple, always out to screw money from customers any time they can.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dave-Nullstein/100003753218370 Dave Nullstein

    This might be the most uninformed article on the internet.

  • http://twitter.com/peterjohn peterjohn

    Agree to disagree, heheheh. Copy? We’ll never understand where we both come from I guess…

    Disclaimer – I own both Android and iOS devices. Also – Apple’s hardware is top-notch no doubt.

    Edit – by ‘packaging’, I don’t only mean how it looks out of the box. I also mean their negotiation skills and marketing tactics. In essence – the total package from start to finish. So kudos there.

  • FrillArtist

    Brian, can you be more specific or are you just blowing smoke as usual???

  • FrillArtist

    There’s an error in your comment. It should read “This IS the most uninformed article on the internet”.

  • 1bmwdrvr1

    I thought this might be an article about how folks choose to display their “brand loyalty” with hateful, barbed comments to one another. Instead I just spent 5 minutes reading an.advertisement for Apple! Darn isn’t there anyone willing to be objective? Towards the very end of the piece the author touts the billions in profit Apple has generated for thousands, it’s just heartbreaking to me that it takes rioting workers to bring. “jump nets ” back into public awareness. I don’t hate iPhone, I hate the fact that “we” are so greedy that we turn a blind eye to working conditions, as long as they are overseas. (Greed may be good for America, but seeing those nets and pictures of the children they failed to save, hurts my greedy soul.) Wouldn’t you pay an extra few dollars per.device to ensure better conditions for the children assembling our phones?

  • Tom Coleman

    I’m left uninformed by your lack of reason for why this is an uninformed article.

  • JDSoCal

    Not that I really agree, but I haven’t seen Brian hate on IBM and Palm, so what’s your point?

  • Tom Coleman

    I had the phone of phones in 2007, a Palm Treo 755p. And I watched as the iPhoners marveled over their new gadget. Yeah, but I could cut, copy and paste.

    It was only after my Palm Pre and HTC EVO 4g that I finally gave in and bought an iPhone 4S. It works for me. I also have a Samsung at my side just to fiddle with. But my go to mobile tool is the iPhone.

    No, it wasn’t the first with a swipe to open screen, or even a touch screen and my Treo even had a silence switch. But the iPhone was the first mobile device to roll all of that into one integrated piece. Now everyone has a black slab of glass or plastic in their pocket and all are clamoring to be the king of the kill.

    I don’t care who wins as long as the one I’ve selected for now stays in business. And when they go out I hope to find another one that works just as well.

  • JDSoCal

    The openness of Android, except for their patented search algorithms and sales numbers and proprietary snooping data on all their users.

  • JDSoCal

    Ha, I’ve never seen a more condescending and officious group than the Fandroid crowd.

  • JDSoCal

    Exactly. Google loves to tout that they are the smartest guys in the room, highest average IQ of any company, blah blah blah.

    And yeah, when was the last time you saw an Apple ad mock the competition? 1984? Compare to Samsung and other Android companies. So who’s being arrogant?

  • JDSoCal

    Well, there’s Samsung for one, Apple’s biggest supplier (although that’s about to change, since they pissed Apple off with their blatant copying). There’s Qualcomm, ARM, Foxconn, Pegatron, Nvidia, and Sony. And as Brian mentions below, there are all the developers Apple has made rich.

    How many developers has Android made rich?

  • JDSoCal

    At least patents expire and have to be shared. Whereas Google’s search algorithms and proprietary snooping methods and data will never be shared, ever.

  • JDSoCal

    He didn’t say cellphones wouldn’t exist. Just like tablets, the mass adoption of *smartphones* exists mostly through Apple’s massive push into phones, not the least of which were carrier subsidies that only Steve Jobs could have pulled off. Yes, you could have bought an unsubsidized Nokia N95 candy bar phone for $1000. But who would have done that?

    The existence of RIM/Nokia[Symbian]/Microsoft/Meego[Linux] before iPhone proves the opposite; that all these companies were around for years and did nothing other than peddle cheap feature phones, mostly because the carriers called the shots and had no incentive to deliver you anything other than a RAZR or expensive SMS plans on your Blackberry.

    The iPhone was able to shatter this paradigm because, as Horace Dediu says, it is a data plan salesman for the carriers, and data plans are where the profit is (the carriers just don’t like paying the commish, so they try to steer people to crappy Androids once they have their claws in you). Androids are not and never have been data plan salesmen. So yeah, this wouldn’t have happened without Apple and Jobs leading the way like airborne rangers.

  • JDSoCal

    Did it ever occur to you some people hold stock in these companies?

  • JDSoCal

    Yep, Atty Halmágyi, with all of his CEO experience in the field. knows better how to increase the profitability of a company with 40% gross margins than Steve Jobs and Tim Cook.

  • JDSoCal

    Well, it is just about the fastest benchmarked phone on the market, in one of the smallest packages, with great battery life. Ad technical superiority isn’t just about specs – not all components, or the way they are put together, are created equal. Apple tests products for over a year before they are released, instead of just rushing things out half-baked, and stands behind their products. Who do you call if a Nexus 4 has a problem? Google doesn’t even have a support phone number. Does Samsung?

    And how long are people going to fall for this meme that Apple is a marketing company? I see 10 (desperate, “Look at me, I am not an iPhone!”) competitor ads per iPhone ad.

    Samsung spends about 10X what Apple does on marketing (above and beyond advertising). Close to $12B/yr: