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iPhone, Apple and the Glory of it

June 9th, 2010

It is a frequently discussed topic how much value you get out of Apple products compared to the rivals like Microsoft, Android (Google) and so on. I would like to state some of my personal opinions on this topic.

Basically, nothing is perfect – not even Apple! You can only discuss whether or not something is better or worse compared to other products, if you give the criteria of satisfaction. Otherwise you have no basis for a comparison.

So, my criteria of satisfaction regarding Smart-phones from a user perspective, are:

As a consumer, I want a device which easily and quickly provides me with the basic features of a telephone. Furthermore I want built-in features which help me organize my daily business tasks by using applications for e-mail, calendars and tasks. All the entered data must be stored in a secure way, so that these are both protected against loss and privacy is enforced.

On the surface, most smart-phones on the market will cover my criteria of satisfaction. So why have I chosen to use an iPhone as my primary smart-phone?

All the fuss about Apple being so rigid in the selection of what goes onto the devices or not makes me as a consumer much more confident, than all the other open, closed or semi-open platforms. When handling private data, I prefer a strong emphasis on security all the way through the process. While working with three different suppliers (Android, iPhone OS, Windows Mobile), I have come to the conclusion that the most secure feeling in my stomach is when working with the Apple products. This conclusion is based on the number and variety of problems I encountered when using these platforms. Foremost the stability of the software and the time spent on solving problems.

For the details, I have to dig into technical stuff. The following description is no longer from a users perspective, but from a developers point of view. This is the best way I can explain my findings, because after all, I am a developer and that is how my brain works.

I have mainly developed Java EE and Java SE applications the last couple of years and I have also worked intensively on .NET projects. All projects were large in time and budget (1000 man-hours or more). So in essence, I would have the best prerequisites for the Android and Windows platforms. Interestingly, it turned out that:

- I could quickly developed simple applications for Windows Mobile, but got stranded when I wanted to do real apps.

- I could never really get the Android environment to work, even though I have an 8 years daily experience developing with Eclipse in Java.

- It took me 2 hours to achieve creating a simple app written i Objective-C with XCode and upload it to a real device. (For fairness, not included are the 3 hours I used to get all the paperworks and provisions to work in order to upload to the device). After 3 days I had the first non-trivial App finished and posted to the App Store.

The last time I used Objective-C was in 1997. Back then I developed some AI algorithms in conjunction with my Masters Thesis in Computer Science. Before I started with developing Apps for the App Store, I had never used XCode before.

My conclusion is, that Apple provides a sound overall experience and thus gives me a good feeling in my stomach when using their software and hardware.

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