What’s the difference between iOS devices and Android OS devices? One could argue, not much, but enough. Android runs on more devices than iOS, of course, but both have apps, app stores, icons, and touch screens. What Apple needs is a clearly defined differentiation between iOS devices and the plethora of Android devices.
Here are a couple of obvious ones, and one that Apple seems to be ignoring.
First, there’s quality. Apple’s walled garden approach to applications means iPhone and iPad users generally have better quality apps from which to choose.
Second, there’s hardware. A few non-Apple devices may have good build quality, but most of the Android-based devices are made of cheaper, less durable materials, and that, combined with the disparity between apps on each platform, means Apple’s devices provide for a better user experience.
So, what is Apple missing that would clearly differentiate iPhone and iPad from the run-of-the-mill Android smartphones and tablets?
Most of us understand the U.S. government’s desire and need for surveillance, but there’s a growing distrust of the government’s ability to snoop without abuse, and that means more of us– those who are discerning buyers of quality products– want more privacy, not less.
Apple should come down on the side of privacy and make our devices un-trackable (as far as it depends upon Apple). That means end-to-end encryption, auto purging of data trails, even auto opt-out from any built-in tracking mechanism, whether device or advertising.
Why isn’t Apple on the side of privacy? Google built Android to harvest personal data from users. Apple can differentiate iOS products by building in as much privacy as possible, creating a clear differentiation from Android products.
I suspect Apple is caught between a rock and a hard space on privacy. Apple also sells advertising on iOS devices and advertisers really like to track users habits and destinations online.
Would you rather buy a mobile device from a company that limits or prohibits tracking? Or, buy a device that is the poster child for personal surveillance? This is a no brainer. Apple should go to privacy.