iAndroid: Should Apple look into making Android devices?Anna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
iPhones and Androids, Apple and Google; no matter how you put it, these are the two biggest influences in our industry, and when anything involves both of them you can either find an interesting debate or a brutal war between loyalists.
I came across two articles today that involved both companies. One of them is a CNet article that claimed Google is now the most valuable company in the world, which means that they would dethrone Apple as the reigning king. The other was a small, personal interview from Wired with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Only one of them really sparked my interest, because even if Apple isn’t the most valuable company anymore, it’s still an extremely valuable company. That’s not to say it isn’t an important feat for Google and defeat to Apple, but it doesn’t do a whole lot for us right now. Both will continue to be as influential as ever for the time being.
As for the interview with Wozniak, I found some of the questions and answers to be more up our alley. One in particular was one you may expect to hear asked in an interview with an Apple co-founder who is no longer technically with the company; the answer, however, may not be. When asked whether he though Apple should dabble with creating hardware for Android software, his answer was simple.
“There’s nothing that would keep Apple out of the Android market as a secondary phone market,” said Wozniak. He goes on to say that Apple is renowned for making high quality hardware, whereas Android has somewhat slim pickings. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say that he says that Apple should create Android devices, he does bring up a good point by saying that they could if they really wanted to.
Setting aside the fact that, at this point at least, such a device would be highly unlikely, the other question left on the table is whether Apple hardware mixed with Android software would be a sellable idea or not. In theory, I’m thinking it’s the best of both worlds. On the other hand, the main reason that Wozniak thinks Apple could do well with the idea is becoming more and more moot by the month. Android devices aren’t the shoddy hunks of plastic that they always used to be. Some of the flagships coming out these days are quite premium, and in some cases are considered to surpass the quality of iPhones. The iPhone does still have a nice build, and thus far are among the few high-end phones that manage to stay below a 4.5-inch screen. Who knows where the iPhone will be at the time this might ever be considered, though.
If the screen did stay small, though, I could see myself checking out an Apple made Android phone. I did like the way the iPhone 4S felt in my hand, and it made for extremely easy one-handed use being so small. I imagine Apple would also be able to make a forked version of Android, similar to what Amazon does with their Kindle Fire line, in order to make it resemble iOS a little more. But if that was the case, I’m not sure I would want one because Amazon’s forked version of Android really turns me off from buying any of their products anymore. It doesn’t have the same amount of customization that typical Androids offer.
It’s really hard to say whether I would buy one or not without knowing exactly how Apple would execute creating an Android smartphone of their own. I would say that the idea isn’t one to snub before actually seeing the product. The theory of it seems strange, but possible, and it could work out for them. I would be interesting in seeing a hybrid of the two.
More importantly, readers, what are your thoughts on this idea and interview? Do you think that an iAndroid would be something you’d be interested in, or do you think the two would be better off as competitors? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!