Sunday, June 23, 2013

Walk up to any woman with a smart phone and ask her is it an Android phone or iPhone, and watch the reaction. More women will tell you they own an iPhone. Women prefer iPhones to Android phones. This is a known fact that the world accepts. And many are asking why this is the case? Despite the iPhone's high price, there is an obvious appeal to this amazing technological miracle. Steve Jobs went to great efforts early in the iPhone's development to make it appeal to women, as women are strong brand buyers. The "why" behind this is obvious, so Google and Android phone makers need to act on this, before they lose out to the better offering from Apple. This is not just to do with the recent patent lawsuit losses in recent times. This has to do with two general kinds of mobile phones - one that is sleek fashionable and pricey that does useful things, and others that are a bit cheaper, and does things less effectively.

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Women network. Read that sentence again. It's pretty straight forward. We chat, gossip, talk, text, poke, tweet, retweet, email... Apple iPhones get women because Apple understand what women do, we network. And Facebook and twitter, Pinterest, Friendster, MySpace and Yahoo... you get the message. If we want to text or email someone - we want the best mobile phone (or smart phone) we can have. Well, someone should tell that to Google and the Android developers of tomorrow's smart phones. Women will also judge a mapping feature as poor if it is not up to the job, which Apple noticed recently - to its cost.

But the underlying trend still is unchanged. The fact is - too many Android phones are still kind of rough around the edges - and aimed at geeks and nerds. Apart from the Samsung Galaxy S Class, and the truly impressive Galaxy Note series - and some HTC mobiles (superb Android smart phones) - most of the rest seem slow to offer nerd-free phones for women.

Android phones are responding to the call. LG are now bringing out better smart phones with excellent features and great specs and reasonable prices, when compared to Apple or Samsung. So great strides in Mobile Phone development are happening and Android gets better all the time. There are roughly 3 Android phones sold in the world for every 1 iPhone.

The new Android phones have a feature where you point the mobile at a building and on your screen - the name of the building appears on it! How clever is that! But go to any bar, pub, club or cafe, and you will see women using more iPhones than Android-based phones. Women are very fussy since we go for looks and ease of use. We also love sexy phones and here, so the iPhone still beats the competition.

Apple just get mobile networking...Android are still working on it...
See all 4 photos Apple just get mobile networking...Android are still working on it...

Women want Android Phones to have the same networking capabilities as iPhones. This is 2013. Why are Android mobile phones not already better and cleverer than iPhones? Is it just a matter of time. the lines between the look and feel of some Android phones and iPhones are blurring now somewhat. But when you tunnel inside some Android apps, the trouble starts. Apps pause or freeze. Things don't always scroll. The phone can seem to hang, or you have to repeat an action several times. Having said that, and even now as I hold a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 in my hand, I cannot help but be impressed by its feature set. It has functions the iPhone does not have. The Galaxy Note 2 makes you almost want to fall in love with it. Almost. Some small niggles still linger. But as an alternative to the iPhone - this Samsung with the smart Stylus pen does rock! The photo editing apps alone win me over. Social media like Twitter and Facebook are superb and excellent to use. Adding and storing new names and numbers to the Contact address book is better than ever.

Android phones in recent times seemed to focus on hardware instead of software, so they focused on pleasing geeks, and not women. Aesthetics and design of systems were okay, but the large majority of Android phones usually lack the sophistication of iPhones, and the amazing software apps that can be downloaded on them. The quality of the apps on Android is partly the let down here. What Android need to do is fix the sometimes buggy and quirky way that some apps work on Android, and make Android phones easier to update and upgrade. On the iPhone this is so easy by comparison.

It is widely acknowledged by women I know that the best makers of Android mobiles are Samsung and HTC. Sony comes in a respectable third place. HTC are ultra cool, and pricey, although they now offer lower mid-price android models. LG are making headway with the successful LG Optimus. It does clever things and comes at the right price. The Top two brands are much closer to what the iPhone is, but the operating system - as women see it, is still awkward and fiddly. Apple's iOS makes it easy to get to the essentials, Android is improving - but needs to improve more. And then there is the Blackberry...

New Blackberry range in 2013
See all 4 photos New Blackberry range in 2013Source:

The Blackberry - for a while, had what women mostly wanted on a smart phone. But the system just didn't operate as smoothly and sexily as the iPhones. Blackberry is pushing through with a new system in 2013 and so this year our Blackberry mobiles will sport a brand new system that has new improved features. the Mobile phone smart phone market used to virtually belong to RIM. But then Apple came along and stole the show with the iPhone. Blackberry have struggled ever since.

The current phones are working on systems 6 and 7 and due to be phased out and replaced by system 10. This is like having Windows XP on my PC and waiting for Microsoft to bring out Windows 8 - which is now several generations beyond "old" Windows. So current Blackberry mobiles can be bought for low prices. So shop around. If the buyer is not looking for newer faster better tech in a mobile, maybe a Blackberry will meet that budget.

Despite showing their age, Blackberry phones have a slew of features and networking abilities that women want and have easy access to. The Blackberry is not complicated. This is one benefit of owning a blackberry. The system no matter how old, is amazingly reliable and simple. Android could learn a lot from this. You either have the smart phone with the neat little keyboard or the touchscreen variety, or even the newest models with the combined features of both.

The Blackberry Curve became one of Research in Motion's best sellers. The current 9320 and 9360 are as near to perfect smartphones for what they cost, and what they offer. And on twitter, if you look carefully, lots of women are using Blackberry's to send their tweets, including yours truly. Facebook works very nicely thank you. And there are plenty of good alternatives like Ubertsocial and Seesmic help those multiple twitter accounts if necessary.

Apps is the name of the game now on smart phones. So we are facing an ocean of apps on all sides from all comers. we asked for them and we got them. Good and not so good. Android has already matched the number of Apple apps - currently passing 700,000. Blackberry and Nokia with less still.

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There is a saying that women want their phones to be like their guys - "...easy to operate and friendly to touch..." Funny but true. There has even been talk of a smaller iPhone, but so far that it hasn't happened. Apple did their homework with the iPhone. There is a size and format beyond which there probably no point going, since the relative phone become less easy to type on and use properly - or carry. The so-called "tipping point" or cut-off point in phone size. So discounted smaller Android phones have been seen as not necessarily always better phones, but mostly and merely in-between phones or "try-out phones" that women will briefly use before migrating up to the iPhone.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 looks awesome until you hold it to your ear to make a call. It is BIG.

I have seen two things that prove that Blackberry and iPhone models are more popular with women. Queues in stores for iPhones and Blackberry's - yes they happen. But I only saw one long queue for an Android mobile, and that was the Samsung Galaxy Notebook 2.

Steve Jobs said it, back in the days before he passed away - the Android Market is very fragmented, while the iPhone market is a lot more uniform. So they are more reliable, and so sell more. And he is still right. There are several versions of Android for the many varieties of Android devices. There is one system meanwhile for just the one iPhone.

Rumors still emerge of a soon to be released iPhone 5s to update the several shortcomings of the current iPhone 5. Expect better maps, less scratch resistant back, better wifi connections, better storage capacity and speedier processor. Oh and that purple haze effect in the camera needs mending too, Apple. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 surpassed the iPhone 5 in most benchmark tests. We are expecting great things from Apple.

Expect the same pattern as before, lowering the price of older models as newer ones come on stream, and more innovations like voice command, and perhaps a better MobileMe service, which rival Google has equaled and is offering free, rather than the many dollars that Apple users have to cough up. Apple may in the future offer a free service here. Blackberry have also embraced the "talk-to-your-mobile" syndrome. I asked my Blackberry it what the future holds for Blackberry. It told me it might rain in Singapore today. Yeah.

Whether Apple get into the pre-pay market is another issue. An iPhone pre-pay model would have to run it's existing 700,000 plus Apps with no loss of service to users. So too would a cheaper slimmed down version of the iPhone, which would corner a major market for Apple.

Aiming the iPhone at those who can pay big bucks - is a strategy that is now well spent, and the iPhone won't survive by being amongst the world's most expensive phones. Look at South America, Asia and South Africa where Nokia and Blackberry rule with the highest market penetration, even though Nokia don't make Android phones. The average national income in those places puts the iPhone beyond the ownership of such phone users. But if they were affordable in more places, the iPhone would rule the world, instead of the wealthiest part of it.

It really would be Android's Victory to take if only they would emphasize more fluid elegance and simplicity of phones, inside and out - as Apple have done, albeit in an original way. Perhaps one of the issues with Android Phones is that so many manufacturers make them, which dilutes its many features to slightly lesser features, while Apple is the only maker of the iphone - an obvious advantage to them.

So please Android, hear us and remember that we like the newer better new mobiles - so give us ladies phones that do what the Apple iPhone does so well. Less coding and fiddling with the system, and more "just do it" capability. It is not that we are simple, we just hate complication! Women are more fussy when buying things. We compare more. We look at how well they suit us in terms of appearance, function, price and usefulness. I even have noticed that women are more likely to buy covers for phones than guys do. Hear us, oh great Android makers! Thank you!

Text copyright (c) 2011, 2012, 2013 Cassy Mantis. All rights reserved. Images are copyright properties respective of their original owners and makers.

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