Ask Paul: iPhone or Android?

Posted on March 10, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Mobile with 0 Comments

This one is a question for the ages: If Microsoft were to kill off Windows Phone, which smart phone platform would I choose and why?

Amrish T. asks:

If, and a big IF, you decided to leave Windows Phone, which of the other two platforms (iOS or Android) would you choose and why?


This one is actually pretty easy to answer, though I’ll throw out a few caveats. First, things change, and much of what I do with regards to content ecosystems is to ensure I’m not locked in to a certain platform; that is, I move from platform to platform pretty seamlessly right now and would like to continue to do so. Second, the answer I give below further assumes I’m coming at this from the perspective of a normal user who will only use one smart phone.

The answer is iPhone. It’s not even close.

Three reasons.

  1. Apple’s current generation iPhones—the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus—are nearly perfect from a form factor perspective. Completely subjective, yes, but I love this hardware. (Windows Phone OS on iPhone 6 would be the ultimate smart phone, in my opinion.)
  2. The iPhone—iOS, really—has the best and biggest content ecosystems by far. Yes, there is plenty available on Android. But the iPhone has more and better apps and unique things like iTunes U and Podcasts that are missing on (stock) Android. Apple Pay. So much more.
  3. Camera. It’s no PureView, but the camera hardware and camera app on iPhone are excellent.

And to be fair, if you look at Amrish’s question, he’s really asking about the broader platforms—i.e. iOS, not iPhone—and I’ve answered for phones.

Looking at tablets, nothing changes: the Windows tablet ecosystem today is in sad shape, with a terrible apps and games selection. Windows Phone is a bit better, especially with games, and the recent update to Audible on Windows Phone does give me some hope. But today, I choose iOS—iPad mini 2, in my case—over any other tablet, including some nicer newer devices like the Nexus 9 I also own. I will continue to use iPad until and unless things change.

I’d be happy to go Windows here, of course. This would require at the very least a high-quality Kindle app and the ability to run Windows Phone apps and games on a Windows mini-tablet, which I expect in Windows 10. We’ll see.

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