Phone companies sharing the market


iPhone-tan by Firecel, on Pixiv

Great points mid-way through the Q&A #3 episode of a podcast called the Ihnatko Almanac, that basing your purchases on market share really makes very little sense. As long as the technology suits your needs and you can be assured that you will receive support for the life of the device (2-3 years in most cases), then this should be enough reason for you to buy it.

The example Andy made is great about sporting teams, as he draws the parallel: “my team wears red, your team wears blue therefore yours sucks”. The current market has too many people either ‘bashing’ Apple or Android providers like Samsung for reasons often not convincing. Perhaps I’m even a little guilty for sometimes ridiculing Windows Phone when some of its features actually are, I admit, rather slick.

I think it’s important that we go with whatever we feel suits our needs the most, not simply because Apple dominates the market, or deciding not go with Nokia since it dominates so little of the market. As Andy says, as Microsoft owns Nokia anyway, we can be sure that it will be around for a while, and we will get support for it.

Unfortunately it seems that in cases where companies do have such a small market share, it can mean that support is somewhat lacking. When you have hardware problems they make take a long time to resolve, or it’s difficult to find the applications you want or need.

Does market share in some ways affect your experience then? With no developers for an ecosystem, even if you enjoy the way an OS performs, your experience may be impacted by the fact that you don’t have access to applications you need because no one is developing. Or if your phone malfunctions, there is not a framework of support to help get it fixed speedily.

Of course, a larger market share hasn’t necessarily helped Android either, as the more developers, the more potential for second-rate applications. But the whole promise of a multitude of ‘free’ apps is pretty attractive to many people, me included once. Sometimes, however, you get what you pay for.

iPhone-tan Illust by Firecel/ファイアセル@スタジオプロト, on Pixiv.