iPhone …
or Android
or Android
or Android
or Android
or Android … ?

Why “an AOS app” may not be enough

REMEMBER WHEN telephones were clunky, corded things you plugged into a wall and used only for the now quaint, so last-century practice of talking? And when offering phones in a choice of colors was a major step forward?

Girl w Rotary Phone

Thank goodness the Dark Telephonic Ages are behind us. So far behind us, in fact, that when you plop one of those relics in front of kids today, even the most smartphone-adept has no clue what to do with it. And what color is no longer the hot fashion question. With apologies to less prevalent operating systems, the hot question these days is iPhone or Android?

Trouble is, if you answer “Android,” it doesn’t exactly narrow things down.

Several iterations later, an iPhone is always an Apple product, resembles earlier iPhones, and on better than 72 percent of devices out there runs iOS 8.

Not so for Android. According to an article by TNW News writer Nate Swanner, 1,294 different Android manufacturers have unleashed 18,796 different Android models on the market—so far. More, if you break them out by available colors.

Nor do all Androids sing from the same music. This presents a challenge for the payments industry. Since there’s no telling which version of AOS a given customer’s device may run, it’s not enough just to have “an AOS app.” Apps need to work across as many software iterations and as many different kinds of device types as possible, and should undergo routine real-world testing to ensure a positive customer experience.

I am willing to go out on a limb and speculate that Samsung has the lion’s share of the Android phone market. I base this hunch on the fact that Samsung’s share is 43 percent, whereas nearest competitor Sony comes in at 4 percent.

Notwithstanding Samsung’s considerable lead, the number of Android manufacturers is six times what it was three years ago. I’m not sure whether to pity or admire upstarts hoping to take on Samsung. But then, giants aren’t impervious to challenge. Walmart overtook Sears as the world’s largest retailer. WordPerfect toppled WordStar, and then Microsoft Word toppled WordPerfect. Toyota overtook GM and, so far this year, Volkswagen is outselling Toyota.

Not to be overlooked, texting has overtaken voice calls. Something tells me the world has only begun to change.

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