Picking a Platform: Android, iOS or Windows Phone?

Stephen Yagielowicz

If there is one thing for certain in the world of technology, it’s that things change. From improved features to the fickle hands of fate and fashion, consumer preference is something that increasingly lacks loyalty, either to brands or platforms.

For example, while some television buyers will only consider a new Sony or Toshiba, competitors such as LG and Samsung are doing quite nicely — including amongst former Sony and Toshiba devotees.

Ultimately, while each operating system has its advantages, the choice of Android, iOS or Windows Phone operating systems may have little impact on a specific phone’s suitability for mobile content delivery.

A similar process is underway on the mobile phone front — where the next crashing wave of service contract expirations will combine with the “back to school” and holiday shopping seasons to once again reshape the market. This isn’t a matter of what the kids are using, but of what your customers are using — and thus what you should be targeting — and what you may wish to use when it’s your turn to upgrade.

The brand loyalty angle comes into play when legions of Apple fans dutifully update their existing iPhone to the most current entry in the line, which illustrates a high level of market traction that should not be dismissed with derogatory terms — but the platform’s drop in market share shows that other alternatives and competitors to the throne of being named “King of the Smartphones” are also in the consumer eye.

Fortunately, the choices have never been better, or more diverse.

In fact, autumn is seeing a battle erupt between the Android-powered HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4, with new offers from LG and Sony, plus Motorola’s Moto X clouding the view; while Nokia’s Lumia 1020 sets the standard for Windows Phones — just in time to face Apple’s new iPhone 5S.

But this year, the choice of carrier and operating system may take a back seat to features available on a certain make or model of Smartphone — including colors, skins and other personalized “fun factors.”

Sometimes, it’s a matter of feel, where nothing beats the hands-on mauling one can enjoy while comparing phones side-by-side at one of the big-box stores; as this is the best way to judge items such as the overall build quality, the screen appearance under similar lighting conditions, and factors of personal taste and “fit” — such as button size, location and feel, camera ergonomics and more.

Other times, it’s all about the specifics.

For example, one of the Android platform’s biggest benefits is its access to Google’s often superior applications — apps that are also now available to iPhone users, but with a better execution on the iOS platform, which is regularly updated, even to legacy devices — a stark contrast to the fragmented Android landscape where old phones are left to rot.

“The fact is, Google still doesn’t ultimately care what device you’re using its services on, just so long as you’re using them,” Brian Barrett wrote for Gizmodo. “To the extent that the Android experience is the Google experience, you really can’t do much better [than using an iPhone].”

“What that means for you — since iOS updates bring so many legacy devices along with them — is that you can have more faith that an iPhone you buy today will get future Google bells and whistles than the vast majority of currently available Android phones,” Barrett added. “By all means, get an HTC One or a Galaxy S4. But do it for the design or the skin or the camera or the features. If it’s Google you’re looking for, you might just want to swing by the nearest Apple Store.”

Ultimately, while each operating system has its advantages, the choice of Android, iOS or Windows Phone operating systems may have little impact on a specific phone’s suitability for mobile content delivery — with its ergonomics and screen viewing angles playing a bigger role in a device’s desirability as a porn viewing platform.

Whichever way the consumer tide shifts, Smartphones are getting better at showing HD video; and this, coupled with faster network speeds, will cause new demands for high quality mobilized adult entertainment, generating new profits for those mature merchants that can serve today’s growing range of devices.