Robert Scoble published a post yesterday that raised 85,000 reasons why the iPhone will continue to dominate smart mobile sales. But, there’s one giant reason that Scoble skipped.
Yes, the topic was been raised and covered multiple times before, but the fact remains that AT&T’s voice and data networks are struggling to keep up with iPhone users. For a lot of people, especially those whose locations are well covered by AT&T, the number of applications available in the iTunes store will keep them on the iPhone or persuade them onto the platform.
It’s the Network, Stupid
But, for a lot of other people who currently don’t have an iPhone or are becoming exceedingly frustrated with:
- Dropped calls
- Delayed voicemails/text messages
- Dropped internet
- Slow internet
- Useful app rejection
the new open platform Android 2.0 phones that are being hyped right now seem quite tantalizing. There’s really a bare minimum of apps that I use on my iPhone (and a crucial one that isn’t available, unless you hack it, yes Terminal please). The network frustrations puts a damper on the excitement of having 85,000 applications in my pocket, especially since many of them rely on a solid network to work properly.
There’s No App For That
Out of the 85,000 apps on the iPhone, there’s not a single app that will improve AT&T’s clogged network. Having Yelp in my pocket is great, but if it doesn’t load or takes 5 minutes to return results it becomes relatively useless. Give me something that is 80% as good as the iPhone on a network that is reliable and consistent and I’m there.
Yes, the Motorola Droid is looking mighty tempting. I’m holding off until I can get my grubby hands on it to decide if it’s close enough to jump ship, but the 75,000 fewer apps won’t have any real impact on my decision. On an open platform, new apps can be written and guaranteed to be allowed. The network, on the other hand, is completely out of our hands. Deliver a strong network with a great mobile phone and the users and apps will come.