I'm at Embedded World in Nuremberg, Germany, where the EETimes/Embedded 2013 survey results we're going to present Wednesday indicate that Android is ascendant. Spoiler alert: It's first among operating systems embedded developers are considering using in the next 12 months.
That's significant, and it gives me an excuse to dive into a discussion of the highest-profile Android application extant. That would be as the OS embedded in smartphones and tablets, particularly those made by Samsung.
My objective -- or, my excuse -- in talking about the market position of Samsung's devices is to show that embedded technology is not an island divorced from real-world forces. Actually, it's more like an iceberg, at least insofar as users are concerned. That's because that can't "see" it, like they think they can with Windows on a PC. And, if they could see it, they wouldn't care, because they're not developers.
After using iOS for 2 years(iphone 4, 4s) and Android(Galaxy S3) for 7 months I can confidently tell Android is not even half as polished as iOS. In the 2 years, I used iOS I had probably less than 20 App crashes and 1-2 OS crash. With S3, I have OS crash alone, atleast twice daily. The good things about Android is the big, awesome screen choice,customisation and specific features like swype kyeboard etc. Lag is severe at times even with a Quad core processor and 1GB ram. Many of features advertised by samsung like smartstay never works for me. If Apple release a phone with bigger screen I will easily switch back.
Apple iOS is really a statement about the power of brand. They may have had the best at some point. I really don't know if they did or do, since I don't have one of their products.
But I have, as have pretty much all humans with access to any form of media, been subject to the Apple brand. That is what got them through ups and downs, gets people lining up in the streets and gets mainstream news media to drool all over them.
Getting a bit more specific.. What I see that they really had is the brand of Steve Jobs. That's what brought so much of Apple's success. The big question - which will be answered soon enough - is: "Was he able to sufficiently attach his brand to the rest of Apple such that it will carry on at the same level?"
I love this quote about "coolness" by Abe "Granpa" Simpson:
"I used to be with it, then they changed what it was. Now what was it isn't it, and what is it is weird and scary to me. It'll happen to you too"
Since the Apple OS is a closed system, it must not be "among operating systems embedded developers are considering using in the next 12 months". That doesn't mean that it isn't a force to be reckoned with.
It's kind-a painfully obvious that any brand that sells itself primarily on "coolness factor" is bound to fall soon, is it not? Surely, teenage girls, at the very least, have demonstrated this effect time and time again.
I remember that when I was living in San Diego, there was a very popular night club on Harbor Island. I then moved and happened to be back in San Diego on business, not three or four years later. Went back to that place to see what was what. Dead as a doornail.
"Coolness" is fickle.
Unfortunately, the definition of "cool" changes very quickly. When Apple was new and unique, it was cool. Now they need something really different to become cool again. Samsung managed to trump the Apple brand with a clean new device with better features at a low cost. They will always win that battle.
Just my opinion.
Samsung is winning the features/specs per dollar game with the US cell phone carriers. I think it's as simple as that. I can only speculate that they are dumping in order to get that lead. I don't know if they are doing the same thing in europe. In the US, you can get Samsung's current top of the line phone for $50 (or less) and a contract. In the Windows/Nokia arena, the 920 (their TOL) will set you back $200 and isn't even available from sprint and others...
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.