2008 and 2009 were all about the iPhone. Smartphones were obsolete, nothing else came close. That will be different this year. 2010 is the year of the App Phone.
Last week I looked at the version of a common app on Droid vs. iPhone. The iPhone still won hands down. (Not that a great app couldn’t be delivered on Android, but iPhone has been so much more successful that developers still prioritize it far above the others.) Why will that change this year?
iPhone has the lead in most areas as the most polished and intuitive device with the most apps. But Android and Palm are set to rapidly gain enough market share and maturity of their own to stand up as viable competition.
And they’re all being freed of carrier lock-in. Palm announced WebOS handsets for Verizon. AT&T announced that it will sell Android and WebOS. iPhone may be available on carriers other than AT&T as soon as June. Google has announced its Nexus One, and many more Android handsets are sure to come this year.
For me personally, this means a big change. I am, afterall, the guy who camped at the front of all three previous iPhone lines.
But at least in San Francisco and NYC, the experience of being on the AT&T network is bad enough to drive one to accept a distant second best phone in order to avoid dropped calls. I ordered a Google Nexus One yesterday. Now I’ll have two phones, one that’s good for apps and one that’s good for phone calls and Gmail. I’ll have to carry both until one does it all for me again. (Maybe I’ll even pick up a Verizon WebOS handset.)
On the one hand, I’m a little sad that I have to carry two devices. I thought the geeky habit of having two kinds of computers was a habit I broke a long time ago. On the other, these are exciting times — it’s been a long time since the competition and advancements have been significant enough that I considered using two computing platforms. Twenty-ten looks like it’ll be a fun ride.