If you missed the live broadcast of our podcast, have no fear, the recording is here. It was a great show with Special Guest Michael Degusta from The Understatement blog. He joined the show to discuss his findings on Android fragmentation that have been sweeping the web over the past few weeks. Before we discussed that touchy subject, we discussed the DROID RAZR and Aaron's coverage of this awesome phone. We have an HD video sample, a two-part review, and much more so check out those videos and watch the opening segment of the podcast where we talk about the great features of the RAZR. Aaron also has coverage of the Nokia Lumia 800 so we discussed that device and what it could mean for Windows Phone. Finally, we finished up the show with a brief overview of the new Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime and an Open Q&A. Check out the show notes below.
Most of you have probably seen the chart on Android fragmentation that Michael Degusta published on his blog. It has been published on The Wall Street Journal, LaptopMag.com, Gizmodo, and several other tech sites. He joined the show to discuss the study and his findings which inspired me to do some research of my own that I recently published in an article called 'How Deep is Android's Fragmentation Problem?' on PhoneDog.
For many Android users, fragmentation is not something they worry about, even though we all know it exists. The popularity of rooting has made it very easy for people to update their phone to the latest version of Android even if it is not officially available. Also, some users just don't care and, as they point out, most consumers don't even know that there is even an update out there. I've also had several people bring out that fragmentation could be called a problem with iOS, Windows, Mac OS, and virtually every OS out there.
All of these are true and valid points. However, none of them change the fact that fragmentation exists with Android. Being curious "techies", Michael and I simply wanted to know what the numbers were for Android. During the podcast, Michael discussed his methods for finding the history of Android updates for eighteen devices and his findings.
Michael brought out an interesting point about how fragmentation could hurt Android. He said that the fragmented ecosystem means that consumers could be "less happy with their purchase in the long-run when they're not getting the best Android experience possible." He went on to explain, "The newer versions are better. They have more features, they work better…and a lot of users aren't getting that experience. So, when they go to buy their next phone, I think they're going to be less likely to stick to Android than they would be if they were getting the best experience…They're going to associate [those problems] with Android, not necessarily realizing 'Oh, I've been running Donut, which is ancient and things aren't that way anymore.'" And how many of us have heard people say, 'I've used Android and it was terrible' or 'Android doesn't have anything on iOS'? After talking with the person, you usually find out that they've been using a cheap Android device or a version of Android that is no longer used. They don't have a proper impression of the OS.
The interview was interesting as was the research Michael did so be sure to watch the video to hear the full conversation and check out his published reports on The Understatement blog.
We've spent a fair amount of time talking about what Microsoft would need to do in order to make a dent in the U.S. or worldwide market with Windows Phone. We've written pieces on and discussed their advertising, the hardware, stand-out features, carrier support, and more. We mulled over this topic again during the podcast and discussed how outstanding hardware is important if Microsoft and Nokia want to draw buyers' attention.
If a person has never used Windows Phone before and their first impression of it is cheap hardware with a lackluster design and no stand-out features, then it will be hard to convince them to choose it over an Android phone with a Super AMOLED Plus display and LTE or the iPhone. This may be frustrating since we know that specs don't always determine how a phone will perform, but it's just a fact. You and I may prefer one OS over another or may feel a sense of loyalty to Android or iOS, but most consumers don't. Most consumers will not choose based on OS loyalty. They'll choose based on getting the most bang for their buck, hardware included. Well, Aaron pointed out in his first impressions article that "if Nokia brings Windows Phone devices like the Lumia 800 to the US next year, I could see the platform experiencing some growth."
It remains to be seen if the Lumia 800 will come to the U.S. or when, though we've heard that AT&T could be picking it up. This scenario makes the most sense since the current Lumia 800 model is already manufactured to take advantage of 3G and HSPA+ frequencies that are compatible with AT&T's network. I strongly feel that it is imperative for the Lumia, or any Windows Phone device Nokia brings to the States, to be a 4G device in order to grab people's attention. We discussed Aaron's first impressions of the phone as well as my personal thoughts on it during the podcast so watch that segment for more details on the device itself.