“I got a Samsung because I don’t need an iPhone.”
—Every single one of my friends, family, and acquaintances who own a Samsung Galaxy smartphone
With the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy S5 expected at this week’s Mobile World Congress, I'd like to take a moment to unpack(1) this all-too-common argument. First however, I need to confess something: I’m an iPhone user and I love the Android operating system underpinning Samsung’s smartphones. I’ve happily used various Android devices for months at a time, including the Nexus 4 and 5, and the Moto X. There’s a lot I enjoy about Android as a platform: widgets on the home and lock screens, apps that configure settings and run actions based on my location, and sharing content easily between apps.
So with my experience using both Android and iOS devices, I think I'm in a rather objective place to argue the merits and costs of each. However, the phrase “I don’t need an iPhone” almost immediately gets my pulse racing, so I want to document here just why I believe that’s an objectively irrational argument:
“The iPhone is too expensive” - How much was your Galaxy S4? $199? That's the same price as an iPhone 5s. Only $99? That's the price of an equally equipped iPhone 5c.
“I can remove the battery and put in a fresh one” (2) - Do you actually own a spare battery? My iPhone 5s lasts about 18 hours per charge in average use. When that's not enough, I think a Mophie Juice Pack case is a lot harder to misplace than a spare battery.
“I can put in an SD card for more storage” (2) - Are you close to filling the 16gb built into your Galaxy? What would you put on the card, and how would you get it on there? Most apps and even some downloadable content won’t work on an SD card.
“All of my stuff is on Google” - Oh, great! iOS 7 plays really well with your Gmail, contacts and calendar. Google even makes iOS apps for all their major products, including Google Maps, Drive, Chrome, YouTube, and Play Movies & TV, Music, and Books. In fact Google’s iOS apps are often friendlier and get new features sooner than their equivalents on Android.
In the end, with all my dabbling to understand Android smartphones, I always find myself coming back to my trusty iPhone. I fully admit it’s a simple matter of preference---I only hope my Galaxy-owning friends and family can stop beating around the bush and feel confident saying the same about their purchases.
1. Pun absolutely intended.
2. It's impossible for me to un-see the parallel of removable batteries and SD cards being the floppy disks and CD-ROMs of this decade.