Android vs. iPhone, Open vs. Closed, Love vs. Chocolate...
Our pal Casey over at Android Central, launching off the latest ruminations of GigaOm Malik, on the relative advantages and disadvantages of open source vs. proprietary software models, as straw-man'd into the current tech darlings from Google and Apple: the Android and the iPhone, says:
We can’t deny that the iPhone is wildly successful in spite of (or because of?) their closed, proprietary nature. It’s essentially the dilemma that iPhone users have been trying to find the balance to–the iPhone’s closed nature creates a clean, seamless and synergetic user experience but it often comes at the expense of the freedom of choice. You have to trust Apple enough to play nice and take a leap of faith with the direction of the iPhone.
And the GigaOm-ster sums up:
The reality is that openness is just an attribute -– it’s not an outcome, and customers buy outcomes. They want the entire solution and they want it to work predictability. Only a tiny minority actually cares about how or why it works. It’s little wonder, then, that the two device families that have won the hearts, minds and pocketbooks of consumers, developers and service providers alike (i.e., BlackBerry and iPhone) are the most deeply integrated from a hardware, software and service layer perspective.
Our take? Depends on your baggage. Are you coming at it as a philosophically determined developer or tech pundit who wants to tinker, toggle, and/or get all Stallman/Jobs on it? Or are you the mom of such an individual, someone who thinks FOSS is what you use to clean between your teeth and OS X must be on late night cable for pre-verts? They just want the most basic real-world functionality to work (i.e. make calls, show off baby pics, and play the latest episode of Murder She Wrote (heh)).
Personally, I'll take the best of both, thank you very much. Let them continue to propel each other ever-forward to the benefit of consumers like us. (And like the Androids, bless their trackball+touchscreen+keyboarded little central robotic cores!)