Why Apple’s Irritating ‘Closed Behaviour’ May Be The ‘Smart’ in ‘Smartphone’

As the announcement of Samsung’s Q2 earnings forces a drop in their share-price the question has to be asked, why are Samsung with such a great array of Smartphones beginning to slow down?

I was an Apple-ite. I moved over to Android over the Christmas period to a Sony Xperia Z (the geek in me couldn’t not have a cool waterproof phone) and in the last week, I’ve moved back to the iPhone. Not because iOS or the App store is superior (as a heavy Google Apps user, the Android platform is now excellent), but because Apple is superior in customer service and aftercare. I have a problem with my Sony and compared to walking into an Apple Store and saying “please could I have a new one that works?” and walking away an hour later with a fully charged unit, Sony kicked me in the nuts.

So, I’ve sampled both OSs recently and they’re both awesome. If you can live without Apple’s aftercare, I think Android is currently a better platform.

So here lies the rub; Apple customers are loyal to Apple (not the iPhone). Why? Incredibly budget spent in brand building, aftercare, high-street presence and design.

Samsung customers (I’d suggest) are loyal to Android. The problem with being loyal to Android, much as I love the platform, is that as Sony start bringing out an array of impressive handsets, Motorola begins to get its act together and HTC is still hard-hitting, it’s incredibly hard for Samsung to sustain an elite position.

The only way Samsung can maintain the pinnacle is through using the open platform to out-innovate its rivals. The announcement of the Boxee acquisition is a big clue to where the strategy is headed … and that might just work. In the mean time, this is a great example of how software that remained closed is selling hardware. And this has been one of Apple’s strengths for years.