Given Apple’s developer-hostile practices when it comes to the iPhone and the iTunes App Store, it’s becoming increasingly important for other mobile phone providers to build handsets that are more competitive with the iPhone. It looks like the best hope on that front is Google’s Android, so I was interested to read Tom Conrad’s thoughts on the platform.
Conrad is the head tech guy for Pandora, the Internet radio company whose client is one of the most compelling iPhone applications.
He lists as plusses Google and the Android team, and as minuses, the fact that differences in hardware will make things rough for developers, and that carriers (not Google) will be the ultimate arbiters of how open the platform is.
I think many people who aren’t iPhone owners might see it as odd that people feel so strongly that Apple needs competition in the handset market. The iPhone is a relatively small player in terms of market share. The thing is, though, I don’t think there are many iPhone owners who would trade their phone for any other handset on the market. Blackberry is nice in some ways, but it’s not an iPhone. (Nor is iPhone a Blackberry.) The market is crying out for more decent substitutes for both.