Tag Archives: open source

Smartphones: Freedom or Comfort


The battle between Apple and Android smartphones has been going on for the past 5 years and it is an important battle between two very different visions for the future development of technology. When it comes to deciding what smartphone is better for the user it is dependent on what the user is looking for in a phone.

Apple has produced the iPhone which deals with a closed source mobile operating system – iOS. The idea of closed source system is to maintain control over the source code, from hardware to software, which makes up the product – in this case the smartphone. This means for the user that the phone is controlled by Apple. Apple says what is allowed on the phone and what can be done with the phone. This idea of “have a smartphone that does not need to be changed” and hands it to you, at a large price, with little hassle, gives people the comfort of having a phone, without trying to understand how it works and what is needed for it. There is a comfort in knowing that there is a well-known company that holds the responsibility for your phone. Being a well-known company Apple prospers on the ideal of producing a desirable, appealing and well known product for its customers because Apple is seen as a status symbol. The aesthetic appeal of Apple products is the desired aspect of Apple customers and Apple knows that.

Android deals on an open source system – the source code to make the smartphones is free on the internet and anyone can acquire the code and create something from it. The benefits of having an open source codes allows for other companies to modify and create products as they please – to allow variety on the market. This variety and freedom that open source products allows, allows users to modify their phones in any way they please. Having access to the source code for anyone allows for the collective development of one technology – people are able to find issues and bugs with the code and fix the problem. Open source devices allows for connectivity with other devices that aren’t of the same brand allowing for the freedom to have customized setting on different pieces of technology yet still having them on the same network.

Regardless of what smartphone is produced it is the customer who decides on what they want out of their smartphone. The battle between Apple and Android is an important battle and will continue, to compare what philosophies work better and understand what people want (choice or not) with their smartphones.