It’s the User Experience, Stupid; How iPhone Critics Miss the Point

on September 8, 2011

The title tells it all: 10 Reasons Why iPhone 5 Doesn’t Stand a chance Against Motorola Droid Bionic. The article, by Elias Samuel in International Business Times, not surprisingly, lists 10 ways in which the Droid Bionic, just announced for Verizon Wireless is superior to the the forthcoming Apple iPhone 5.

Photo of Droic BionicI don’t mean to pick on Mr. Samuel’s, whose other work I am not familiar with.  But this article is sadly typical of a common style of tech reviewing.

Never mind that we know very little about the iPhone 5 hardware, though that doesn’t stop everyone from speculating. The problem is that even if all of Samuels’ assumptions about the new iPhone are right, it just doesn’t matter. For example, you can probably count on your fingers the number of potential iPhone buyers who care that the Bionic’s  Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 processor has specifications superior to the iPhone’s presumed Apple A5.

Some of the other claims are downright inane. If the lack of support for Flash and absence of an external memory card slot mattered, they would have killed iPhone and iPad sales by now. Obviously, they haven’t. And the alleged “open source advantage” is of interest mainly to ideologues (not to mention the fact that Android’s open sourciness is questionable at best.)

What is entirely lacking in Samuels’ review, and many, many others of its ilk, is a discussion of the one thing we do know about the iPhone 5, it’s IOS 5 software and the improvements it is likely to bring to the iPhone’s already great user experience. There are many Android phones whose hardware equals or beats the iPhone. There are none whose user experience comes close. And that, not speeds and feeds, Flash and LTE, is what sells phones.

The Droid Bionic looks to be a fine handset and I expect it will do well. But to say “iPhone 5 may not stand a chance against Motorola’s flagship phone” is just plain silly.

[thumbsup group_id=”2471″ display=”both” orderby=”date” order=”ASC” show_group_title=”0″ show_group_desc=”0″ show_item_desc=”0″ show_item_title=”1″ ]