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If Android is so superior, why does everyone have Apple envy?

It really bugs me when one manufacturer advertizes their device by picking on another device, but I've sort of come to get used to everyone taking a dig at Samsung (I'm looking at you, LG). Considering Samsung are the big cheese in Android I guess it just comes with the turf. Likewise, while I don't like it, I can at least understand why Samsung teases Apple – to a degree. But then I think about Apple doing, well, whatever it is exactly that Apple does to the Kool-Aid to get everyone to just buy their products, no questions asked, with no reference to anything in the Android world, and it makes me wonder why do Android manufacturers still rely so heavily on Apple as a touchstone? 

comparaison iphone 5s samsung galaxy s5
Samsung is the undisputed king of smartphones, and yet they always have Apple on their mind. / © AndroidPIT

The latest Samsung ads, which are admittedly a little bit funny, feature Apple ''wallhuggers'' and Samsung screen envy, but they are a pretty immature way to market a device. They simply scream insecurity. It's like saying that our device isn't good enough to stand up on its own merits so we have to pick on someone else so you won't be tempted to buy that instead. If the Galaxy S5 is all that Samsung cracks it up to be then why the hell are there iPhones in Samsung ads? I'm sure Apple doesn't mind the free publicity, but seriously: why would you do it if you had the marketing budget of Samsung and you were confident in your products?

Apple Wall Hugger Samsung Ad
Ok, sure, it's funny. But is it really necessary? / © Samsung/YouTube

Now, I enjoy a bit of Apple-bashing just like everyone else, and I particularly liked the kooky Samsung ad with goats, apples and dancing ninjas, but it worries me how much Android manufacturers rely on Apple for inspiration while snickering about how Android had everything two years ago. Sure, technologically speaking, Android is way ahead in terms of screens, batteries (sort of), customizations, widgets, third-party options and so on. But we're Android nerds, we already know this, so what's the point of rubbing it in Apple fanboys' faces? Do we really think that our teasing will make them magically jump ship to the Android side? The Kool-Aid is stronger than that my friends.

Link to Video

Another case in point: look at the Xiaomi Mi 4 that was just announced: if that thing is not an iPhone clone I don't know what is. Unless we start talking about Huawei and their iPhone lookalikes instead. So why are so many Android manufacturers, who are clearly feeling so high and mighty in their positions as Android OEMs, continually looking to see what Apple is doing, copying Apple's designs and including Apple products in their ads, for Pete's sake? If the aim of all this is to turn people away from Apple products and services, then to me it is obvious that the best way to do that is to simply let Apple do it on their own, with their walled garden and our-way-or-the-highway mentality towards smartphone ownership. Picking at the threads of Apple's failings probably just makes Camp iOS even more close knit in their solidarity.

xiaomi m4 teaser
No, these looking absolutely nothing like iPhones, Hugo Barra. Tell us another one. / © Xiaomi

Of course, it does go both ways: we may well be seeing the first large screened iPhone this year and the latest iOS changes certainly smack of well established Android features. But at least Apple has the class to leave muckraking out of the equation. Sure, Apple posturing as though they invented larger screens and third-party keyboards gets on my nerves a bit, but at least they can stay on message. I firmly believe in the superiority of Android over iOS, but I can't condone the rather juvenile finger pointing that seems to be the norm in Android marketing circles or the constant copycatting of smartphone design that is so clearly ripped off from the iPhone that it is embarrassing to claim it isn't (just take the Xiaomi's blatant use of the Apple Aperture icon on their very own product page). I know Android can do better, but I also know it would be much better off without the constant cross-referencing with Apple.

AndroidPIT P6vs5s 4
Apple make some OK products, but why does Android want to look like Apple in the first place? In case you can't tell, that an iPhone 5s on top and a Huawei Ascend P6 on the bottom. / © AndroidPIT

What do you think of the Apple/Android relationship? Why do you think Android relies so much on Apple in its advertizing and design?


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  • Ive always been a sumsung person but when you look at apple they are two years behind and have copied everything Samsung have done plus most of apples hardware they get from Samsung

  • jack lin May 10, 2015 Link to comment

    think you got it all wrong. most android users just. do comparison. i.e. my wife got my iphone6 after my trying it for 2 months. and I got myself a Z3. i'm not saying iphone6 is not good, but it is definitely not best for me.
    Sorry, but i've to say that choosing between mobile phones is what we mostly do, comparisons are comparisons of spec.s and convenience and needs of different people, iphone6 is ok, but not a hero, no one has to be envy of it in any way.

  • jack lin Feb 15, 2015 Link to comment

    iphone is also 'just another phone'. I choose mobile according to the spec.s and value, and will not pay extra money just for the name 'apple'. Think people will finally see that using an iphone cannot get you any respect or envy.

  • 7
    Yanwyn Aug 29, 2014 Link to comment

    I don't think Android is "so superior", but I don't have iPhone envy neither. The best thing for Android could be to somehow someday pull free of Google.

  • Reg Joo Aug 16, 2014 Link to comment

    Today show, gazelle, and many, many other examples of "free" iphone advertising. Many people are swayed by the media nowadays. So many decisions are made because of this, and people nowadays are swayed so easily because of this, so much so that they don't see anything else. A perceived "gold" standard(akin to a rolex watch, bugatti), you get the idea. I blame the media, which has no real idea of what's really out there, and are always looking for sensationalism, for their newscast(anything that can possibly increase their viewership). What's a mfg to do, than show why their product is better, by bashing the competition, I don't blame them, but I don't like it, the media ,which is biased, gives apple too much praise, for being some patriotic "gold" thing, which it's not(mfg elsewhere, so no mfg here, and no american jobs, except geeky applestore jobs). Most people are not like us, that actually know what's out there, and will buy because the media says it's the best, without looking into the facts, and are too swayed by the media, so apple gets free advertising, others are only fighting back this bias( think about it, it's the american way, in this day, and age).

  • are effectively promoting Apple products on an Android website.
    Apple looks good and has had plenty of time to refine fewer product types.
    Devide and conquer could be Apple's gameplan.... just quietly behind the scenes. With so many Android players, it would not take a genius to construct strategy.
    Marketing the benefits of Android by Google and device manufacturers collectively really is sub par.
    Apple is simply going to continue winning.

  • I don't see what the problem is with Samsung's tactics. Companies attack their rivals especially the market leader.

  • I've never owned an iPhone but I do distinctly recall the ''coolness factor'' simply attributed to the white earbuds when iPods appeared. There was a certain cache in having those earbuds because it meant you were ''in the club''. Hence seeing other MP3 music players coming out with copycat white earbuds soon afterwards.

    Admittedly, Android fans can sometimes be a little over-the-top about the Apple Cult, and I'm more than happy to admit that for many people iPhones are great products. Just because some Android nerds don't like them for whatever reasons doesn't mean that iPhones aren't perfectly good phones.

    The point I'm trying to take issue with is why the likes of Samsung feel the need to constantly reference Apple products. Shouldn't Samsung products (especially in Samsung's eyes) simply be so good that they can stand up for themselves? When was the last time that Nike referenced Adidas in their shoe ads? I just think the muckraking and finger pointing isn't necessary.

  • colsec Jul 28, 2014 Link to comment

    I agree with a lot of what Alistair has said. iPhones just work. They are a simple phone that do everything the average Joe wants from a phone. If I was to buy my mother a phone it would likely be an iPhone. There are a huge number of people for who an iPhone is the ideal phone.

    Personally, if I was given a free iPhone 6 I would put it straight on eBay with no reserve. I would find it embarrassing to be seen with. This is because, like you, I love technology and couldn't think of anything worse than not being able to tweak my phone and flash custom roms. And being one of the Apple sheep.

    There is a strange rush you get when you soft brick your phone and have to revert to a full restore before re-rooting and then restoring a nandroid backup to get your phone back. This would make absolutely no sense to an iPhone user who would likely ask why you would want to do anything to wreck your phone.

    The surf brand Billabong has a slogan which is very true but not understood by outsiders: "only a surfer knows the feeling!" Until you have surfed 6ft perfect barrels, there's is no point trying to explain that feeling to anyone who doesn't surf.

    Trying to explain to superiority of android to an iPhone user who has never dived into the hardware and software tweaking capabilities of android is like trying to explain the feeling of surfing to a desert dwelling African tribesman.

  • sinkster
    • Admin
    Jul 28, 2014 Link to comment

    I don't regard my view of Apple as envy, just perplexity at the ubiquity of their products. A few of the people I know who own an Iphone do so because they have had at least one previous model and are thereby entwined in the Apple 'ecosystem', so it would be relatively complex and time consuming to switch to Android/Google which I can understand. What annoys me are the people who choose smartphones blindly, due to slick advertising and marketing or media placement/endorsement (this is also the reason I don't like Samsung phones) rather than actually comparing a couple of phones or evaluating their own needs.

    • I'm a recent Android convert, having owned iPhones since the original iPhone came out. What I've notice with many people who appear to have a dislike of Apple products is they have convinced themselves that Apple product owners have only become Apple product owners because of the marketing.

      Now I don't doubt for a second there are many people who have succumbed to the marketing might of Apple. But, in the case of myself and many of my iPhone owning friends, the iPhone was a product that did exactly what they wanted and it provided all their mobile phone requirements. I'm not saying that had they (and I) looked at other options on the market that there was nothing else suitable. In my case, the iPhone at the time suited my needs. I didn't buy an iPhone because I chose blindly due to "slick advertising and marketing" - it did exactly what I wanted.

      There are plenty of other people who are exactly the same as me, and I would say the vast majority of iPhone owners are those people. The iPhone suits their needs.

      Now, I am a Sony Xperia Z2 owner, after having dipped my toe in the water with a Moto G. I love my new phone and the Moto G before that. The Xperia Z2 absolutely suits my needs and requirements of a phone. I'm very, very happy with it.

      But please, the Android community needs to get over the fact that the iPhone more often than not suits the requirements and needs of their owners and they're not just buying that model of phone because of "slick advertising and marketing".

      • sinkster
        • Admin
        Jul 28, 2014 Link to comment

        I implied that some people fall for marketing tricks, not just Apple owners. When I had my iPhone I was more than happy with it and if it hadn't been stolen I would probably still be happy with my current iPhone, but fate conspired to introduce me to Android at a time when my work didn't require iOS integration or even a reliable phone whilst having a huge amount of spare time. The issue I was highlighting is that not that many people genuinely need a smartphone, and therefore don't really know what they want from one.

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