How quickly loyalties change, really. Till about 2 years back I could not even fathom myself using any other phone than a Nokia. With peer pressure and reluctantly last year I got on to the Blackberry bandwagon, was hooked and could not imagine myself going back to Nokia again. This year the iPhone happened. I havent ever sweated so much for a single piece of gadget, as I did for the iPhone 4. It has me in love till now and suddenly Blackberry seems so year 2000s (oh, you dont have angry birds and Talking tom on your BB?, ok)
Its amazing how fast new platforms are coming and how quickly they come in the reach of ordinary folks like me these days. I still remember vividly from school days when Game Boy was something only boys with NRI relatives used to have, or in college in Palampur when having a camera in your phone made you an instant hit in the University (Hey, I am friends with the guy with camera phone. Can I come ahead in the queue?)
Jokes apart, Its actually becoming tough to form loyalties here. Just got a gadget from office the other day and now testing yet another platform, Android. This time its a not just a phone I am playing with but rather a 'over grown' phone Samsung Galaxy Tab. I know I am an Apple aficionado but errr.. Android is damn cool.
I have avoided using the term OS (Operating System) here because its not just about the OS anymore. Like the Symbian days when only Nokia phones were easy to operate, all others like Sony Ericsson, LG, Samsung and Motorola sucked big time. That was the age of the OS, you had to live and die with whatever the OS had to offer.
Unlike then, this is the age of Platforms. Apart from the features you offer to the customer inbuilt, what else is on offer in your device through the larger ecosystem of developers is the thing that really matters. I am of the opinion that the mobile phone revolutions is not happening because of the devices but because of the Apps.
No matter how useless they are, like talking tom or (my wife's favorite) Angry birds if you dont have them on your mobile phone, sorry but you are missing something. Gone are the days when employers had to be cautious about employees wasting time on the internet on games or chatting. Now they have to closely look at the devices in everyone's hands, sending out tweets and texts or twitpic-ing sleeping co-workers in board meetings.
Give yourself 1 year and be ready to see these new platforms ruling our lives, from real-time traffic updates on maps to spying on cheating husbands. The age of dumb phones is over, smart phones have started controlling our lives. The reason we would see a huge activity in this area is partly because of Android. The open source/open standards platform that is bringing the cutting edge apps, which till recently were only meant for so called Apple Snobs, within reach of everyone. Android has everything that Apple's iOS has and still your eyes dont pop out when you see that shiny little tag with a barcode.
See this report for yourself to see where its headed.
So, after I complete this Android testing exercise, who knows may be my iPhone would be listed on eBay. I dont know, its one relationship where the more you shy away from being committed the better it is.
Apples, Blackberries, Androids all coming our way with much high velocity its better we be welcoming.
And, yeah sorry, there is also this 'Mango' from Microsoft. But, right now I am not saying much about them because apparently they just woke up.