The new smartphone war

There are now three platforms in the battle for smartphone superiority: Apples iOS, Googles Android, and Microsofts Windows Phone.


There are now three platforms in the battle for smartphone superiority: Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android, and Microsoft’s Windows Phone.

Let’s face it: iPhones dominate the smartphone world at MV. No matter which way you turn your head it seems like there’s always an apple logo staring back at you. iPhones seem to have made their way into the pockets of every student and teacher at Monte Vista.

There are, however, many brave souls who have chosen to venture out of the comfortable world of iOS and into the uncharted smartphone frontiers outside of Apple; those brave souls who wish to break from the status quo and give the “new guys” a chance.

The “new guys”, of course, are Android smartphones and Windows Phone devices. Android is a smartphone operating system owned by Google that gained major momentum in the last few years. There’s also the underdog: Microsoft’s Windows Phone, which is still trying to make its mark on the scene.

Each of these flavors of smartphone as a different user experience. Android is more closely resembles iOS, using a familiar system of icons and menus that are not radically different from Apple’s. Android is more flexible than Apple’s operating system, however, allowing users can rearrange their icons more freely and creatively. In addition, Android supports “widgets,” which are essentially large icons on the home screen that display useful information such as weather and emails.

Windows Phone is pretty foreign compared to iOS and Android. Microsoft’s mobile OS uses a series of colorful, multi sized tiles to make up the home screen, creating a mosaic of apps, social media, and notifications.

While in Monte Vista iPhones seem to be the smartphone of choice, the story is different on a global scale. Android phones made up roughly 79% of all smartphones sold in 2013 while iPhones made up a mere 14.2%. Even Windows Phone has begun to overtake iPhones in sales: in 2013 Windows Phone sales have exceeded iPhone sales in several countries including Russia, China, and Italy. The numbers show that the “new guys” are already off to a good start.

Android and Windows phones together completely dominate iPhones globally largely because of their variety. Apple is the only company that makes iPhones (they do this on purpose), which means that when you buy an iPhone, you are stuck with whatever the programming geeks at Apple decide their phone should be like.

In contrast, Android and Windows phones are made and manufactured by a variety of companies around the world, and each of these companies often provides different models of Android or Windows devices to choose from. This gives smartphone buyers options; they can choose an Android phone or Windows phone that best fits their needs and wants. With the rise of these two new operating systems, people are now given freedom in the world of smartphones.

This “new smartphone war” is just starting to get underway, and only time will tell which platform will emerge as the victor. All three operating systems are strong contenders, and the one that wins the race into back pockets is up to consumers.