Back To Android

When we got back from our sabbatical in Europe last fall, I got an iPhone. I’ve been using it for roughly six months. I have enjoyed wrapping my head around the iPhone and the iPhone ecosystem. I’ve learned a bunch. And now I’m heading back to Android.

I bought a Nexus6 from the Google Play Storeย yesterday and plan to start using it when I get back to NYC at the end of the month. I plan to go back to iOS when the next iPhone ships, and then back to Android six months after that. In this way, I can stay current on both operating systems and ecosystems which I think is useful in my business.

There are some apps that are available on the iPhone and not on Android. I enjoyed being able to use them. I like TouchID for unlocking my phone and certain high security apps on my phone. And that’s about it in terms of things I am going to miss when I go back to Android.

I am jazzed about getting notifications back in my life the way I want them, I am jazzed about getting google apps like gmail and calendar and drive that work the way they are supposed to work, I am jazzed about having only one map application and the best one on my phone, and I am jazzed about getting back to an operating system that works the way I want to work.

The iPhone is a great phone. But its not any better than a top of the line Android phone. They are more or less the same. And I prefer Android. Which makes me a minority in the US, particularly in the mid and high end of the market.

Speaking of Android, here’s a great post from Benedict Evans on why Xiaomi matters when you are thinking about Android.


Comments (Archived):

  1. ShanaC

    Have an iPhone for now, but for the reasons you listen I really miss my android phone

  2. awaldstein

    iPhone user here.When you drop your Android and the screen shatters, where do you get it replaced within 2 hours for $70?

    1. fredwilson

      It has never happened. I think apple uses a particular kind of glass that tends to shatter. I’ve paid to have the screen replaced on at least a dozen of my kids’ iPhones over the years and have never once done that for Joanne and my Androids

      1. awaldstein

        Great info.I drop mine a few times a year.

      2. JimHirshfield


      3. Tommy Chen

        My Nexus 5 shattered just as easily. When I was in Korea for a couple of months I saw plenty of people walking around with shattered Galaxys. It reminded me of all the shattered iPhones I would see on NYC subways.

      4. Matt Zagaja

        While Corning does not advertise it on their website, it is well known that Apple phones are made with Corning Gorilla Glass, just like most Android phones. WIRED explains the technology in this article:…It notes: Drop a phone once and the screen may not fracture, but you may cause enough damage (even a microscopic nick) to critically sap its subsequent strength. The next drop, even if it isnโ€™t as severe, may be fatal. Itโ€™s one of the inevitable consequences of working with a material that is all about trade-offs, all about trying to create a perfectly imperceptible material..A few design points include the fact that in the 4 and 4s series the glass sandwiched the unit and was almost completely exposed. If a 4 series iPhone took a drop and wasn’t in a case, the glass is what would probably be taking the brunt of that impact. In contrast the 5 series has metal that surrounds the glass and likely can take some of the impact, though I imagine not quite as well as many Android phones that use some kind of plastic that forms a more durable outer with play that can absorb an impact and not hit the glass.

      5. LE

        That is your kids then. I’ve owned every iphone since the first and so has my wife. Never had a screen break. [1] I’d rather be careful anyway and have a nicer glass to the touch.Well, thank god at least you made your kids pay for those screens? RIGHT?[1] I’m expecting now since I made that comment to have one though.

        1. Dale Allyn

          It seems some people have bad luck or perhaps habits which lead to such issues. Like you, I’ve not had any issues. Likewise, I’ve never understood those complaining about Apple power/charging cords disintegrating at the connection point. Mine all look brand new, but I’m mindful of how I pack such things.I travel a lot in Southeast Asia. I see more iPhones than I’ve ever seen in the past. Even tons of kids are sporting iPhone 6 now. I use the sky train in Bangkok quite a lot and like to observe such things. There are some cracked screens at times [1], but I would guess they’re about evenly distributed across the platforms. However, they are so easily repaired in Bangkok I think they all get fixed quickly enough that anecdotal observations aren’t really worth much.[1] Mostly seen on phones carried by foreigners. I suspect that locals know where to get such things repaired quickly and cheaply, and tourists haven’t found them yet. Hint: MBK or Panthip Plaza. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          1. LE

            Being careful is also a product of being raised in a era where if you broke something you were yelled at and essentially SOL.My stepkids treat their laptops as if they were toys. I remember when electric windows came out on cars. And my dad yelling at me to stop “playing with the windows or they will break”. That was back before bumper to bumper warranties and when fixing things cost real money.

          2. Dale Allyn

            Right. My daughter has always had to pay for her own repairs or replacements of such things. I may have provided a path for the opportunity to earn some money to do so at times, but the responsibility has always been hers. Hence, when she trades a device in or recycles it the recipient is shocked that it’s even been used. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    2. William Mougayar

      There are kiosks in almost every mall that will repair your Android phone for $50 while you wait.

      1. awaldstein

        What’s a mall?

        1. William Mougayar

          in nyc, there are on the streets ๐Ÿ™‚

          1. awaldstein

            in abstract, there is answer.Googled Adroid repair shop my zip–came up with 36th st and someone in Brooklyn.At the mall was as good an aswer ๐Ÿ˜‰

        2. LE

          Did you read where Staples is continuing to release disappointing results? And it makes sense. I no longer go to Staples/Officemax/OfficeDepot really (even though it’s super convenient and close to the office) because I can get a fix with anything I need online at Amazon.The other day I needed two machine screws to fix a handle on the washing machine at home. Even though I have a utility room with all sorts of things in it, it was easier for me to simply go to Amazon and pay about $6 including shipping to get an entire assortment of machine screws then it was to go and find the right ones in the utility room! [1][1] Where I would inevitably waste more time than needed forking out of curiosity while going through the room contents to find the screws.

        3. Matt Zagaja

          That thing with the Starbucks they built around the Apple Store, at least where I am. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      2. Matt Zagaja

        I’ve been seeing these pop-up and they’ll do Apple as well. However I think that the demand for replacement parts in the third-party market for Apple devices must be really high because whenever I’ve looked at the costs, having Apple do the replacement ends up being about the same as the third party with the differential on Apple’s side being the component price is cheaper and more money goes to labor, whereas the third party spends more money on components.

        1. William Mougayar

          True, it’s close to Apple. I checked one out recently to fix the on/off button on an old iPhone 4.

    3. William Mougayar

      get a $10 tamper proof overlay ๐Ÿ™‚ the new ones are pretty good.

    4. Matt Zagaja

      That’s definitely one of the biggest unanticipated side benefits of getting the iPhone. My 5s has lasted but I nuked 2 or 3 4s units from too much exposure to sweat at the gym (I no longer use an armband with my phones when I workout). So easy to just walk in, hand them the existing unit, give them $70, and walk out and after an hour or two on iCloud it’s the same phone.

      1. awaldstein

        Yup–That was my Friday.Apple understands well that some 80% of the population lives in Urban centers and that a surprisingly small amount of stores services a massive population.

    5. Tim Daubenschuetz

      How often do you break your glass for this is a buying argument for you?I own a Oneplus One, I’d rather not replace my screen for 7/30 of the price, or would I?

      1. awaldstein

        Apple as a brand, as having great phone service, walk in support at stores and just great hardware is the buying prop.I run my life and a few of my businesses off of Google Docs mostly.My hardware for both is almost 100% Apple for the above reasons.

    6. LE

      Exactly. Consumer behavior sometimes buying for FUD and the outlier situations (like with 4 wheel drive on an SUV..)That said I wonder what the curve is for this behavior in young people vs. older folks. Younger people (edit: “not”) having had as many near death experiences, that’s why they can travel with just a backpack and essentially wing it.

      1. Joe Cardillo

        That’s interesting, it touches on a couple of things I’ve been thinking on – one is that financial stability looks a lot different to younger folks (kids + no kids) than it does to older generations. When you’ve been saddled with a lot of debt and a fairly hostile job market, you learn to operate very lean hence entrepreneurship / DIY models are more prevalent (there’s some good and bad to that, thinking here in particular about the hidden underbelly of marketplace models / working as a 1099 contractor).The other embedded question is, what do different generations value? Which is nicely suggested by Arnold’s note. It’s not binary in the least, but one thread that I see in my peer group (I’m 31) is that people seem intent on gaining experience and connecting, as opposed to getting set up with structure and sticking it. I’m fine living out of my backpack and bootstrapping a startup b/c I value that also…and of course as mentioned in some ways I don’t have a choice. There’ll probably never be a pension available for someone like me, and I’m not that confident social security will be around either.

        1. Joe Cardillo

          I guess I should also say, I like my things fixed quickly, too! But when it breaks I think it’s fair to question (and I do) why that happened. I’ve only replaced one android phone in the last few years, whereas friends with iPhones are on their 2nd or 3rd, or simply put up with a nearly unreadable / functional screen.

        2. LE

          is that people seem intent on gaining experience and connecting, as opposed to getting set up with structure and sticking it.By the time you are 31 you’ve got to move on from the “gaining experience and connecting” thing and realize that you need to make something work or you will end up at 40 and have no good options. Not to scare you or anything but you need to be fully focused on the job at hand (whatever that job is) and not worry about any of that social shit (unless it’s somehow a benefit to what you are trying to achieve career wise and I mean a benefit I don’t mean a rationalization.) At 31 or 33 you are still young enough to get into something new. At an older age, becomes much harder typically. Possible but much harder. Especially if you are married and have kids.Not sure why I forked on this one but I guess I see to much of that “friends and experiences” thing going around.Perhaps at least one of the reasons is that everyone is so much more exposed to what everyone is doing and how they appear to be having fun (all those pictures on the web in social media).I’ll bring up again a point I raised with my daughter the other day when she told me how much she loved her job and the people she worked with. I said “that’s great and important but can you earn a living from the job and is there a future in that..”.Back when I was in high school the kids that were serious and not very popular are all doing well now (oversimplification to make a point). The kids who were popular and social are selling shoes (not really of course).This guy couldn’t get a date (sorry Cliff!)…

          1. Joe Cardillo

            Well, I know what you’re saying there and it holds water – but part of the reality is that with tons of college debt and not an amazing job market lots of folks my age are already at the behest of 1099 situations where they can and sometimes do get cut at any moment for cause or not…not to mention the corporate world, where I watched an established company do a round of layoffs every 1 1/2 years for 5 years. For me, it’s not binary where there’s a safe and a not safe option. That’s why I’m doing contract work and really serious about my startup and co-founders, because I’d like to build something meaningful and also make some money at it. At 31 I would definitely like more stability, no rose colored glasses here. And re: the happy social media pictures, with you there 100%. It glosses over a very ugly reality of the job market, even with unemployment at 5.5

          2. LE

            Joe, is there a connection between and your previous work experience and background? (I looked at your linkedin and I’m not seeing it).

          3. Joe Cardillo

            It’s a bit subtle – it relates to something we’re working on, which is that people don’t consist of just one static identity. Roughly speaking, answer to your question is that (at least initially because of homeschooling) I’ve been thinking about social structure and structure on the web for years and I’m passionate about news / journalism, and how people create meaning and work on things together. Having a background in project mgmt / ops expressed a lot of that for me. But that’s just scratching the surface. I go to and book DIY music in people’s living rooms + basements and warehouses, mentor / work with LGBTQIA individuals, and spend a lot of time writing and creating music. Basically, I’m a weirdo that figured out how to build things from scratch and grow them quickly and with a great deal of care. If any of that makes sense…

          4. Matt Zagaja

            Joe I don’t think a lot of people realize how bad things are. Also student loans are going to be a drop in the bucket compared to the underinvestment in infrastructure, social security, and pension funds that our generation is going to have to make-up for. Our parents generation must have had incredible faith in our future success since they borrowed so much from it.

          5. Joe Cardillo

            Agree. I think what you say is hard to hear, but there’s a lot of truth to it. I know people who are not minimum wage slaves, they are smart, thoughtful hard workers with 5-8 years experience who are doing the same work someone making 100K + benefits as a director in large corporate does, but that’s not even an option anymore. You only have to look at the contractor situation at Google to see how some of those dynamics play out. And of course if you know some minimum wage slaves, and I do, it’s even trickier for them.

        3. Matt Zagaja

          I don’t think the data supports the idea that entrepreneurship is more prevalent. However in spite of this the market for content for entrepreneurship seems quite healthy.

          1. Joe Cardillo

            Link, please? Need a bit more context… e.g. what type of establishments they are referring to, how you’re thinking of entrepreneurship being defined in this case…

          2. Joe Cardillo

            Hmm, may have to think about that a little deeper. One clarification: I mentioned entrepreneurship / DIY models (do-it-yourself) and probably should have clarified that a bit more. I’m including in that freelancers who are responsible for SE taxes / business creation whether they do it formally or not, and people that run businesses that may never get tracked or recorded formally. The other thing about those #s, and this may need some digging, is that they are to 2010, which is consistent with the 1 1/2 to 2 year lag it takes for a recession to have widespread effect on market at all levels, including at the basic level where people are starting businesses. So that’s consistent, but would have to be compared with whatever data is avail from 2010-2015 cohort to support either of our perspectives, or perhaps some other 3rd or 4th conclusion we’re not thinking about.

    7. Susan Rubinsky

      I have dropped my Droid countless times and it has never shattered. I don’t have it in a case or anything. When my Droid needed a new battery, I walked into a shop in Arlington, VA, and bought one for $18.

      1. awaldstein

        Thanks….with the constant demands on me to test/try/evaluate things, this is probably not on my top 30 list of stuff to do.

    8. Donna Brewington White

      Interesting that you ask this. I am on android with no intention of changing. But for the reason you imply I’m keeping my husband and kids on Apple for now — with phones, tablets and laptops that’s 10 devices.Although I do use the Active version of the Samsung Galaxy which I can drop all I want even in the lake.

      1. awaldstein

        Great comment Donna.

    9. sbmiller5

      use – haven’t shattered my screen yet and first case I’ve ever used, barely notice it.

    10. Kevin Galligan

      I run an Android dev shop. Have had *many* different phones since 2010. I’ve never had a case, and am not a delicate person. I’ve only shattered a screen on the Nexus 5, which was enough of a problem that google offered to fix them for free (not in 2 hours, though). I actually broke 2 different Nexus 5 screens. That phone, screen wise, was pretty bad.I currently have a OnePlus One, which has nice high end specs and 64gig of space. Cost: $350. No contract. The equivalent iphone (I don’t expect iphone users to agree with “equivalent”, but go with me) is $750.I’ve dropped this phone several times. No issues. I don’t know where you’d get it fixed if it did break, but since you could buy a whole new phone and still be ahead, it doesn’t keep me up at night.For the people with bigger name brands, I would guess they could go where they bought the phone. You used to be able to go to RadioShack, but sad face.

  3. Sebastian Wain

    My main argument now to move from Android to iPhone is the security side. The FREAK SSL patch depends on my carrier deciding for an update instead of receiving it directly from Google.If I point my latest Android Chrome version to Test it says I am vulnerable. That’s not good.Apple will surely release a patch soon for everyone.

    1. fredwilson

      That’s why I buy the Nexus androids from the Google Play Store. They get updated directly from Google

      1. Sebastian Wain

        I realized it but this assumes that the other “Androids” have almost 0 support.Google et al should solve this.

        1. Tommy Chen

          Why Google and not Samsung, etc?

          1. Sebastian Wain

            Indeed the main issue now is the carrier, then the vendor, and then Google. But for this kind of major security issues Google should deliver this first.

          2. Tommy Chen

            From my understanding, Android is an “open” OS and vendors customize it as they like (often with input from the carriers). They are responsible for supporting it and updating it, not Google. Nexus, Chrome, Gmail, and other Google properties are not open source and Google supports these directly. The majority of the blame should be put on the vendors. Google could do their part by pressuring the vendors to keep the Android platform current and safe.

      2. LE

        That’s also part of the problem with Android though. How would someone new to the experience know that? It’s easy to know that if you want an iphone you simply go to or the Apple store and not only that there aren’t a million choices or things to choose from.You’ve been a fan of Android for so long I am tempted to try it (with a non primary phone number). However unfortunately there would be paralysis in trying to figure out the best phone to get and then where to buy it from. That’s the feedback I’m getting from my puny brain. To confusing.While Apple has variety, they are closer to Henry “any color you want as long as it’s black” philosophy.I found this early on when I was in the printing business. Competitors would show a wide range of paper and/or printing ink to choose from.I narrowed it down to 5 choices for each (maybe less in some cases). [1] That way I got quick decisions and no paralysis and didn’t torment myself and the client.[1] My dad did a version of this when he sold at Gift Shows. Busy merchandise buyers don’t want to see your entire line. They want you to tell them “these are the products that sell this is what you should buy”.

  4. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    Android – hate crapware – waiting for a form-factor that combines a huge keyboard with shirtpocket convenience – think I may just have to leave wireless keyboards EVERYWHERE

  5. William Mougayar

    I love my Xiaomi Mi3 which I have been on for 6 months, after 6 years of iPhone, and I don’t miss the iPhone.I think Xiaomi has nailed it with their MIUI which gives it an iPhone UX on top of an Android OS.And the best part, I could buy 3 of them for the price of one iPhone Plus. Sorry Apple. Sorry Apple users for paying-up.

    1. Tommy Chen

      I agree, the Mi3 rock. The hard part is not being able to user iMessages and Facetime if you are a iPhone family though. Trying to connivence friends and family to use Hangout or something similar is such a pain.

      1. William Mougayar

        I use Skype for that, and Viber occasionally.

      2. curtissumpter

        It’s the ecosystem. My mom bought an Android phone over the holidays as her upgrade. Samsung Galaxy. High end model. Except her cell phone is connected to her Sonos in her house. She got the app to run and then was very annoyed that her phone didn’t sync to her iCloud. She didn’t know why. She returned her Galaxy two hours later. An hour later music was playing in the house because of her new iPhone 6. She’ll never buy another non-Apple device again.It’s the ecosystem that kills migration away from Apple devices.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          That’s an apt anecdote. Also the thing I’m trying to avoid.Edit: Meaning I want to avoid getting locked in like that.

    2. JimHirshfield

      How did you buy it? Direct from China?

      1. William Mougayar

        Via eBay from a high-rated Taiwan seller. It arrived sealed in a box, via FedEx Int’l to my door 36 hours after shipping, and with an Amazon-like buying experience. I wrote about it here http://startupmanagement.or

        1. JimHirshfield


          1. Tommy Chen

            Do you use it as your daily driver? and if so, do you find not having access to LTE to be an issue?

          2. JimHirshfield

            I use a OnePlus One on T-Mobile in USA…Has LTE. Perhaps you meant to address that question to William re his Xiaomi Mi3?

          3. Tommy Chen

            Yes, I was referring to William’s Mi3. I read he switched over a while back, but i was unsure if it stuck. I used the Mi3 for a couple of months when I lived in HK and I really liked the hardware and Miui, but I found not having LTE to be big drawback. Many apps that pull content from the web are too slow to load on 3G, among other things. Or maybe I’m just too impatient.btw OnePlus One is a great phone. I wonder if they really have the chops to create their own variant of Android now that they are no longer working with CyanogenMod.

          4. JimHirshfield

            Re OnePlus OS, I hope they stick close to the stock Android. We’ll see. There are a few buggy things, but no big deal.

    3. Donna Brewington White

      I’m going to need (want?) a new phone and love Android. Have you had to give up anything that you would have gotten with a phone from another manufacturer, let’s say Samsung or Google/Nexus?

      1. William Mougayar

        Not that I know of. But I would get an Mi4 as it has LTE. Or the Redmi Note. I’ll email u.

        1. Vasudev Ram

          I’m checking it on Google, but is the Redmi Note something like the Samsung Galaxy Note, i.e. has a stylus you can write with (as an alternative to touch typing)?

          1. William Mougayar

            I don’t think it has a stylus, but it has a dual-SIM.

          2. Vasudev Ram


      2. Cam MacRae

        Just got a Moto X 2nd Gen which I think is excellent.

    4. Lil Pong

      Only a person living under sub zero weather conditions likes android phones. There is no way a top of the line android phones equates with an iPhone

    5. awaldstein


    6. Tony Salazar

      I guess uiu are the only one using xiaomi. Ever since the 6 series of iPhone got released I have seen people using it all over , be it airports, hotels, adjacent cars I traffic, movies, ads, offices, awards ceremonies, tourist attractions, construction!sites , parking lots, hiking spots, gymnasiums , beaches, and heck all over. It has become a cult. If you don’t use one, you are outdated. Dude, Apple is real , all others are optional, no matter how good they are

      1. William Mougayar

        Which airports – in the US? Xiaomi hasn’t come to the US yet officially.

        1. Tony Salazar

          Mi as they call is just an other smart looking phone but not a smartphone per se, if you know what I mean.Mi when launched in U.S, will follow a foreign sale restricted mode that ordinates selling only 30000 units for the first 3 years. So it is hard to see mi flourish over here

          1. William Mougayar

            really? hmm…

  6. andyswan

    Best part about iPhone is everyone else is on iPhone. iMessage rocks out the box and no prob if you forget a charger

    1. pointsnfigures

      there is a guy here who has built a nice little business with charger stations. In bars and restaurants.

      1. Matt Zagaja

        I saw these (or maybe competitor?) at CES. Neat idea. I have a cheap Anker battery that I carry with me on long days that will keep me away from chargers. However I know that many are not that prepared for that kind of scenario and I have friends whose iPhones seem to be in a perpetual state of low battery.

        1. LE

          A similar idea was also featured on a Shark Tank episode (didn’t go over very well..)The website is nicely designed however they may be making a mistake by not being transparent about the pricing or business scenarios instead they want potential customers to fill out a form so they can contact them back. Many small business people don’t want to do this because they feel they will be hounded by a salesman. The tendency to hide prices is also associated with products and services that are expensive or “hard sell” which is why they need to get you as a lead so they can close you. Doesn’t mean this product is but that is the message that it sends.Of course if the price is on the site and I haven’t found it in a quick look that’s also a fail.

    2. fredwilson

      That’s is very true

    3. Tim Daubenschuetz

      Totally unrelatable in my social sphere.College student here: Literally nobody owns an iPhone here around and especially since Apple introduced the consecutively breaking lightning cables no one has one.In contrast, every household in Germany probably has a mini USB cable as it comes with the millions of gadgets we acquire throughout the years.In my three years of university, I’ve never been short of a mini usb cable but often had a severe lack of MAG-saves and Lightnings.Also: iMessage, never heard of that. You mean that thing I can only write to a specific group of people and not all of my friends?

      1. Dale Allyn

        I get that you prefer other options, but as a point of clarification: iMessage (or Messages, as the actual app) is pretty versatile because it sends instant messages to other Apple users (free of charge) to iPhone or Mac computer. It also sends text messages seamlessly to non-Apple users (or those not registered to use the free service included with Apple devices). Further, the Messages app handles AIM and other IM communications seamlessly, all in the same application UI.Also, kind of handy is that a message received on my phone can be mirrored to and replied from my laptop or my desktop workstation, all remaining (mostly) in sync.Works well for me, YMMV

      2. Clement M. Lukhele

        Wise man indeed.

    4. LE

      Like in the Deer Hunter where John Cazale [1] forgets his boots and bums a pair off of DeNiro.…[1] Fredo from the Godfather.

    5. Joe Cardillo

      Though, there is a certain advantage to the converse, too. The fact that people have to email / text / msg me elsewhere, b/c android, is nice for my time & brain space.

    6. David Semeria

      There’s really no such thing as an iPhone charger, it’s the cable that counts. And since Android uses micro USB (the industry standard) I would argue that’s it easier to find a Android cable than an iPhone one.

      1. andyswan

        I don’t know. When I ask someone (friend, at an office, Uber driver) if I can borrow a charger, the assumption and availability is almost always iphone.

        1. David Semeria

          I carry one of those retractable cables in my jacket pocket, it’s about the size of a USB stick. The problem then reduces to finding a free USB port…

      2. Dave Pinsen

        I suspect Apple added something in one of their iOS updates to reject aftermarket charger cords. Occasionally I get an error message with the one in my car saying it’s an “unsupported device” or something like that. Then I unplug both ends and try again and it usually starts charging at that point.

  7. pointsnfigures

    Never had an android should probably get one. I know programming for mobile on android is a bit trickier.

  8. kirklove


    1. fredwilson

      I will keep my iPhone and use it on wifi to use Apple only apps

  9. Eric Satz

    Feel like iphone users are like those on the edges of political spectrum: more vocal about their position than the rest. More and more i find iphone users asking me about my samsumg/android experience because they are considering a switch. And my kids, iphone users, don’t want to facetime with their parents!

  10. Hunter

    I’m not so sure Android users are still the minority in the US – at least not by much. The certainly aren’t on a global scale: Android was 84% of mobile OS sales last year (….My biggest issue with the iOS is that they do not have a low-end model. Yes, I get that the low-end phone user does not spend as much per capita and as such are not ideal acquisition targets for startups, but it’s a question of the long-term ecosphere of iOS vs android. Additionally, the high-end share of the mobile market has been noticeably shifting. A few years ago I would be the only person sitting at a table with an android phone, but now when I look around my classroom (I’m an MBA student) I see at least 1/3 of the phones are Galaxy are HTC One series.I’m excited to see how this year shakes out with the Galaxy S6, One m9, and low-cost/high-end Chinese entrants compared to iphone 6/7

    1. Matt Zagaja

      Great post by Benedict Evans about this back in June:….Apple gets more than double the revenue from less than half the MAUs. In the world of software I would imagine this is really pronounced considering many iPhone users I know won’t pay for apps or download apps at all. I think if you’re Amazon, Facebook, or Southwest Airlines you probably do need to be on Android. If you charge for your app its maybe less exciting.

  11. Semil Shah

    Would really have to disagree w/ the ending. When you start ripping apart the phones, one would begin to see devices that can’t be compared, especially the integration of core sensors and the various APIs they can create for developers. As you write, Android is excellent for a Google-based productivity need (maps, calendar, mail) — no argument there, but the combination of TouchID with Apple Pay and soon Watch (for 2FA) is just something that couldn’t be done on Android.

    1. fredwilson

      I’ve had an iPhone for six months and never used applepay. My Amex works just fine. And I will never put something on my wrist. So neither of those matters to me. TouchID will be missed

      1. Semil Shah

        I hear you on not liking a watch. But, if you imagine for a minute — iPhone w/ ApplePay installed (despite your AMEX) tied to a phone, it all allows for two-factor authentication in payments by swipe, or checking into a building, flight, etc. It will be seamless.

        1. zeeshan

          good one

  12. LIAD

    I’ve felt overserved (in the clay christensen sense) with smartphones for years already.5mm thinner, 0.2x quicker doesn’t get me amped anymore.For me, the pull and effective lock-in is the network. iMessage and FaceTime primarily.

    1. Dale Allyn

      iMessage and FaceTime primarilyVery meaningful for me as well. The versatility of Messages is very helpful. I do use WhatsApp and LINE for connecting with those who prefer them, but FaceTime is particularly good for an almost always more clear option in VoIP-type communication. I fall back to Skype for non-iOS users at times, and find the experience inferior. None of my contacts want to use Hangouts. Not one.

  13. Dean F.

    Android vs. iPhone is a very philosophical thing for me.I really dislike everything about the way Google do business and where possible will not touch their products. I won’t touch Chrome, Android and try to avoid their maps and search as well. It’s a shame because some of their products are simply better.They shamelessly copy and have no taste at all. Just look at initiatives like Google Glass. This is what their leadership thinks in the future. You want to support these delusional, hypocritical, elitists who pretend they’re saving the world, when really they’re just finding as many excuses as possible to know as much as possible about us to serve creepy ads.If they were at-least honest about that, I’d have more respect.You think you’re supporting a more open ecosystem. You’re supporting junk that won’t lead the world forward but rather hold it back because it will hindered by malware and fragmentation that will only hold innovation back. Remember Microsoft in the 90’s? This is worse.

  14. David Lee

    you’re going to switch to the one+! will bring it when we see each other next!

    1. fredwilson

      I’m not sure about cyanogen vs stock android

  15. Lucky

    Fred,At what point do you think you a company should start building on another platform? What I mean is I have an MVP my app for iOS but I don’t know when I should start to build for android .

  16. JJ Donovan

    I think you may have buried the lead. Out of curiosity do you mind sharing where you are for the month? If I had to surmise, Venice Beach? Your geographic location give me “hope” that another area of the country is expanding economically and maybe I should move there. That is right after I get done with the next 6 months working in Palo Alto, CA. I realize this may be a personal question, and answers are optional. JJD – Moving…but maybe the wrong way….

    1. fredwilson

      Yup. I am spending the winter in Venice beach

      1. JJ Donovan

        Perfect! Although I don’t think Venice has a “Robust” employment outlook for me in my cloud computing skills. I think I will stick with Palo Alto until they kick me out. Thank you for all that you share, personally and professionally. JJD- Heading West from DC

  17. Dan Goldin

    I made the move to a Nexus 5 from an iPhone after switching carriers and wanting an unlocked phone. The vast majority if apps that I’m interested in are available on both and the experience on Android has improved significantly since my first smartphone – a Motorola Droid. Biggest issue is that I can’t try out the latest apps but that’s something I can live with.

  18. curtissumpter

    I read Benedict Evans article. Very interesting but there are huge colossal implications here. While the physical design innovation is important to selling phones and gaining marketshare in China it’s not what I find most impactful. Rather it’s the forking concept.Microsoft’s dominance in the PC market allowed for multiple software companies to enter the market and create solutions (that often forced MS to respond and either buy them or put them out of business). But it’s the bedrock technology concept that allowed for Google Spreadsheets, Chrome, Facebook, Dropbox, Twitter, Tumblr and many other technology companies and products (!) to rise. This bedrock technology allows for developers to focus their energies on building great products for a small number of platforms (osX or MS) as opposed to focusing on implementation on a plethora of platforms which forces developers to make very tough decisions (i.e. updates vs. audience availability on each technology, uniform experience decisions vs. development time).This will only get low orders of magnitude worse with a fragmented mobile world. Once you begin forking and grow comfortable with changing the Android code base why not continue to innovate? It’s the nature of innovation to build up a skill set and then continue to expand it. It’s the desire for human mastery.With the smartphone becoming the hub of our worlds (Bluetooth, WiFi, beacons (iBeacons or not), IoT) do we really want to ask developers to develop across multiple fragmented platforms? What Google is doing is trying to provide a bedrock technology as Apple has all ready done but it can be agued that Android is more important. The upper end of the market will always be able to migrate and will always be well. But the lower end needs innovation much more than the higher end because innovation expands options and lowers costs. Developers need access to this group of people because the people need it but they also need to be able to move and monetize quickly. The world is all ready fragmented by languages, laws, and cultural barriers. Do we really want fragmentation by device?My answer: I’m not sure. Is the value Xiaomi adding really worth it?PS: Thanks for recommending this post Fred. It really expanded my way of thinking. Recommend more posts please. WR — Curtis Sumpter

    1. curtissumpter

      It can also be argued that Android is more important because more non-cell phone devices can run on Android. Drones, healthcare devices, etc. This is an important point in the A.forking debate.

  19. Dan G

    in my circles, it’s mostly Android. I have this $200 off of eBay used Moto X because it fits me the best. My girlfriend uses the Note 4. My co-worker just got an G3, and so on. Its about 70 percent Android, 30 iPhone. Ultimately, a person gets a phone that fits them best. For most, that phone runs Android.

  20. Susan Rubinsky

    I love Droid for all the same reasons.

  21. Emil Sotirov

    Periodic roll call from Fred to check our platform allegiances. Brings me here every time… :)Nexus Android here.

    1. karen_e

      hilarious comment!

  22. Pete Griffiths

    I have the Nexus 6. Very nice phone which I bought to replace my OnePlus One.One very interesting consequence of the slightly larger screen was the fact that I now have 5 rather than 4 apps on each line. It makes a big difference. It’s fascinating how such small things can matter. Form factor is a subtle business.

    1. Ana Milicevic

      Curious why you switched from the OnePlus? I haven’t been that impressed with a phone in a very long time. The Nexus 6 feels clunky to me in comparison. What do you like about it in comparison?

      1. Pete Griffiths

        2 reasonsa) liked nexus 5 and wanted pure lollipop – oneplus one were taking foreverb) screen is bigger and it does matter6 doesn’t feel clunky to me

  23. Donna Brewington White

    Fred Wilson is back on Android. All is right with the world.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      He’s still positive on Facebook – he needs to switch back to negative..

  24. scott crawford

    Phones, schmones. I’m just happy to read the word jazzed that many times in a single paragraph. C’mon Spring.

  25. Ana Milicevic

    I highly recommend the OnePlus – mine’s running on Cyanogen vs. Lollipop and I think I actually like it better (no need to root the phone w/ CM). Hard to beat on price, quality, insane battery life, and how it feels in your hand.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      I’m wanting one of these. Might be my next phone.

    2. Kevin Galligan

      I have a One Plus. I’d prefer stock L, but Cyanogen is fine. When I first set it up, I went 2.5 days without plugging it in, and still had like 25% power. Its been a long time since that happened. I don’t think Apple has too much to worry about. Android is great, but people basically don’t switch platforms in big numbers. Samsung and similar, however, have some soul searching to do.

    3. Kevin Galligan

      Could do without the chrome bezel, though. Kind of “meh”.

    4. kenberger

      Yep, this is an excellent early Samsung galaxy breaker, and i find cyanogenmod a big plus.Alas this phone has had early issues with the hardware, and political issues with the company. Many more options to come. Very exciting times.

  26. george

    Ben’s posts are always interesting to read, and a great lead indicator of things to come. I do sense these Android subsystems (Xaiomi, etc…) will begin to fragment android continuity value, it’s almost inevitable.The part that really just might accelerate or exacerbate this problem for Android is when the battle for mobile payments begins to scale.Glad you gave iPhone a fair shake, big respect; real tech purist’s stay open minded!

  27. Allen Lau

    I always carry 2 phones, one iPhone and one Android. It helps me stay current. The difference is that I carry a low-end Android phone instead. It helps me understand both ends of the market. The problem is that naturally I gravitate towards the better phone (I am only human!). So I think I spend a bit more time on iPhone than Android even though ideally I want to be 50/50.

  28. LE

    With Apple watch authentication play (my words, not something that I read…so far..) it will be possible to use more than one smartphone but not have to pay for more than one wireless account. As long as you only use one phone at a time. Right now if you want more than one iphone (as an example) you need to pay for multiple expensive data accounts. If there was a way to tie the phone to a person you could have more than one device and only have to pay for 1 data account. That way is the Apple watch. The watch is like a fob that you wear. And if you lend your watch and other phone to someone then you can’t use your phone.And let’s say that I want to get an Android device and an Iphone. And I want to use them interchangeably but not at the same exact time. That’s good for Apple (or Samsung) because they can sell more devices. Right now if you want more than one iphone you have to have a data plan or you can just use it with wifi even if your other phone has a data plan. Or what if I want two phones with two phone numbers but only want 1 data plan. Can’t do that now. (With Apple at least..)This is another reason I see the Apple watch as a device that has so much potential.

  29. AnonyMoose

    “I am jazzed about having only one map application and the best one on my phone”??? I only use Google Maps app on my iPhone… the Apple maps app is out of sight out of mind. This isn’t really a problem, unless I’m missing something.

  30. Michael Pierce

    I myself like iphones than android phones because it’s very useful to navigate similar to having a laptop on the go. Though however, for now I am using Blackberry ‘cos it’s been awhile that I’m anxious to try it, and the battery is insanely great though the feeling in navigating the phone is not user-friendly as the iphone.

  31. richardaltman

    I’ve been using a nexus six for a month and a half, I have a black leather spigen wallet case and it runs L5.0 and it’s usably buggy, however, I still use my note 3 as my lead device and the nexus for when I need to speed think with proof.Both have wallet style cases, look like cheque books from the 70s.I find iPhone to be a very slow phone mentally.I love my note 3 and love touch wizPicture is concept art from blade runnerI carry around a plug pretty much all the time its not even an option to leave the house that a plug unless it’s the Nexus 6 its got good battery but I bring the plug with me 99.9% the time

  32. kenberger

    a few seconds agoThe MWC conf in Barcelona gave me a few A-ha moments. The Apple vs Android jihad thing is only participated in by a tiny slice of the world, including most readers here. Rest of world doesn’t care.Big thing is the Chinese and Taiwanese brands. Not just Huawei and Xiaomi– there are MANY brands producing amazing android 1st world-ready phones. I saw so many Note4 alternatives for โ‚ฌ300. And many more phones for about โ‚ฌ100 that I’d have been happy to carry a year or 2 ago. Samsung has really lost its relative edge, and overplayed it’s hand by diverging from Android.Similar thoughts re the Nexus6. Loved it 4 months ago, partly as it was the only Lollipop option. Now it feels a bit clunky and there are tons of great unlocked cheaper android phones out there.

    1. fredwilson

      what would be a good lollipop phone for me Ken if i want to use one instead of the Nexus6?

      1. kenberger

        For you (and me), and if it needs to be within a month, I’d go for the new S6. Way better camera than existing galaxy phones, wireless charging, great form factor. Available from UK retailers April 10 (so, unlocked), don’t yet know if tmo’s timing might be similar.Yup, for right now I’ll put up with samsung. But I predict in a year I’ll be with a brand I can’t even predict yet.Also, LG and ZTE had great new models. And Sony has nice ones today with awesome cameras.1 last observation is re other OS contenders. Ubuntu had a very impressive mobile offering.

  33. zeeshan


  34. Ben Kinnard

    Android user here but the “hot” apps are still being built for iPhone first, forcing you out of the conversation (e.g. I want to see what all the fuss about Meerkat is) – that’s the only reason why I would ever switch to Apple I think

  35. Axel

    @fredwilson – What kind of computer do you use?

  36. Lucas Dailey

    Be forewarned: Once you have a 6″ screen you’ll never want anything less.(And for reference: I have smallish hands for a guy and my Nexus 6 feels much better than the 5.5″ iPhone 6 Plus)

  37. Frank Traylor

    Everyone has a favored ecosystem that locks them in. We are split into phone -> ecosystem and ecosystem -> phone camps. I am ecosystem first. Like you Fred, I like google apps, google maps, the ability for me to modify the phone to fit the other things I do.Most didn’t an ecosystem, or weren’t married to one. They bought a very nice phone in the iphone and their ecosystem grew from their phone platform. In either case, you don’t see many switching. Not because they can’t switch their phone, because they can’t switch their ecosystem.

  38. Murtaugh

    Fred, I admire your intellectual curiosity to try everything and form your own opinions. In that vein, what do you think you will miss the most on the iPhone, be it a hardware or software feature/benefit? Sounds like on Android you missed notifications the most?

  39. deancollins

    Just be aware Fred that under USA supreme court….a fingerprint can be forced from you in order to unlock a mobile device………but a passcode cant.(ruling was fingerprint to unlock similar in nature to dna and not ruled self incrimination like a passcode is)…….just a thought…..

    1. Jim Ritchie

      Ruling was not by SCOTUS…Not a lawyer, but I don’t believe VA case would set precedent in other states. In any case, police still need a warrant to get your fingerprint to unlock the phone.

  40. Sean Hull

    I was going to suggest a Xiaomi phone, while reading through. Then I got to the bottom & you beat me to it!

  41. RichardF

    I’m on the Nexus 5 and I love it, I’ve been thinking of moving to the six so I’ll be interested to see how you like the increased size of the 6

  42. Selim

    When you switch to Android you decide of your OS and you can choose among many devices and manufacturers. Vice versa you have no choice, you switch to an iPhone.What about pads? Itโ€™s like the iPad has no serious competitor.Itโ€™s the ecosystem. But itโ€™s also the price. With Android you can have a good user experience with a less pricy device than on iOS.It would also be interesting to know what kind of laptops/OS each group is using, probably PCs/Linux (or Win) for Android users and MACs for iPhone fans…

  43. JimHirshfield

    OnePlus One. $350 unlocked. Been using it for a few months now. Recommend.

  44. Hunter

    Agreed with the OnePlus One recommendation. My brother picked one up a few months back on an early invite and let me play with it – solid phone, especially for the price.

  45. Dan G

    used 2013 Moto X in eBay from Gazelle

  46. JimHirshfield

    I get invited frequently. Also, you can search Twitter, as I did and make friends with someone not trying to resell invites.

  47. Matt A. Myers

    I hadn’t heard of it prior to today and seen many positive reviews. Nice.

  48. JimHirshfield

    Yeah. Worth checking out.

  49. fredwilson

    I won’t wear anything on my wrist. I’ve always hated the feeling of something on my wrist and that is probably why I’m negative on the watch

  50. Vasudev Ram

    I agree with that sentiment even though I wear a watch (regular kind). So I agree with you more than you disagree with myself (or something like that ๐Ÿ™‚

  51. someone

    this. I picked up the Microsoft Band and enjoyed much of its functionality but eventually took it back b/c I don’t like having something strapped on my wrist