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American tech culture has an unspoken divide. Everywhere you turn, tech advertisements flash across TV screens and various store ads— all specifically tailoring to either Android or iOS fans; and there’s a stigma between the two.
Apple users are often viewed as being chic and on the leading-edge of mobile technology; while Android fans are more concerned with social tools and individualism.
Some people could even argue that there isn’t much of a difference between the two platforms— so why is there such a bitter rivalry between the two services and their users?
It really just comes down to effective branding on the part of both Apple and Google— something that both companies sink big bucks into. But there is also a time frame that can’t be overlooked.
Apple took advantage of the undeveloped mind of the tech-savvy American, and pushed out the iPod and then the iPhone; it was one victory after another. Fast-forward to today, and the signature bitten-into Apple logo, is now a favorite American icon.
Fans of Branding vs. Function
Apple’s branding power has never seemed to falter. From the early days of the iMac, to the current new iPhone 5s and 5c, Apple has effectively branded and marketed their products. As a result, Apple fans
have become loyal to the end; convinced that any newly released product model is a must-have, regardless of whether or not it varies significantly from the previous model.
And then there are Android users. It’s hard to ignore how Android users partially select their devices in an effort to spite Apple products; it’s a rejection of the technology standard quo. Ask almost any Android user why they chose an Android device, and the common answer will be, “Because I hate Apple.”
But underneath the branding war against Apple, the Android OS is more customizable. It’s easier to integrate with Google services, and friendlier for developers.
Since Android is available on a variety of devices, there’s little way to identify if it by simply looking at a device. For all a user can guess, if it’s not an Apple device, it’s either an Android or a Windows phone. Android as a brand is nowhere near the marketing power of its leading competitor— regardless of the technology in its court.
So the question is: do users really care about the status symbol behind the two different brands? The Apple crowd certainly indicates this, while Android users tend to identify more with a close-knit techie culture.
Many other companies are trying to stay more and more neutral; catering to both brands. Large providers such as DISH Network have a DISH Anywhere mobile app that really incorporates the two platforms. Other companies are likewise following suit.
Being Caught Up With The Times
When iOS 7, the latest version of the iOS software came out, millions of people couldn’t wait a few extra hours. When 1 p.m. came around, millions of people scrounged for the update; causing serious problems for Apple and iOS users who were trying to download the update. It didn’t matter though— fans were willing to put up the fight and couldn’t stand to let themselves fall behind with the times.
The Bottom Line
The need for the “latest” is possibly the sole difference between the two operating systems; it’s a simple numbers game.
When you look at it simply, both Android and iOS devices serve the same exact purpose: to help people stay connected. Yet, it’s how these brands have been engrained in our culture that shows how we prioritize their value rather than their actual capabilities.
Bio: Andrea Fisher is an online marketer and content specialist for DISH Anywhere mobile app
and iPhone Spy Software. She has a B.A. in English and a minor in political science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.