We all know the two big players in the mobile operating system game are Apple and Google. Apple has iOS and Google has Android. Once these guys have you in their app ecosystem it is really hard to make the decision to change to another mobile OS. With the announcement of the new iPhone 4s last week one thing I think many people looked over was that the iPhone 3GS would be free with a new 2-year contract. How will this effect the smartphone and mobile OS market? Read on to hear my thoughts.
The iPhone 3GS is still a very good device and I know many people to this day that still use it. I think the thing that keeps people using it and not upgrading to the iPhone 4 or the newer iPhone 4s is because the 3GS still works perfectly fine. That being said I know many people that have other phones that are dying to get their hands on an iPhone. You have to admit iOS is one of the best-looking and most functional mobile operating systems out there and the phone just looks great. Also some of the best apps out there are iOS-only to start. This makes the demand for iPhone very high and why it is one of the most popular phones out today.
Never before were you able to get an iOS device for free. Looking at AT&T’s website right now I can see at least 4 Android-based phones that I can get for free with a new 2-year activation. Now that an iPhone is thrown in to the mix it makes the choice of a new free phone much harder. You have to admit many people will choose iOS because of the ease of use and the “cool” factor. So the fact you can get an iPhone 3GS for free really is going to push more people on to iOS.
How many people do you know that have an iPod? They use iTunes to manage their music so why not stay on that system and get an iPhone, it is an obvious choice. Many of you reading this are probably geeks, but general consumers don’t want to have to download a new piece of software or learn how to put their music on their phone. Since they already know how to do it with their iPod they are going to want to go with the easy choice.
Even when the 3GS was $99 there was still a barrier there. Now that there is not one you should see the flood gates open and see more and more people on iOS. What does this mean for Android? I think that they need to really work with handset manufacturers to come out with a compelling product to keep people on Android. Also with the iPhone 4s announcement no Android-based mobile phone should cost over $199, the price of the iPhone 4s.