Robert Scoble on the Droid

Robert Scoble, long-time iPhone user, bought a Droid, and his thoughts on it are interesting:

Second, the hardware. I totally disagree with CrunchGear on this point. Greg Kumparak said that the Droid is “a shining example of great industrial design.”

Oh, please.

It’s a phone an engineer could love. Compared to the iPhone or the Palm Pre it isn’t even in the same league. The battery door on the back proves my point. The iPhone? They just got rid of the idea of replaceable batteries and the Palm Pre spent a LOT of time making sure that having a replaceable battery did NOT make the phone have a noticeable door. The back of both the iPhone and the Palm Pre is smooth. The back of the Droid is not. That is NOT a shining example of great industrial design.

Android may well have a bright future, and I’m certainly very intrigued by it personally. But I suspect no Android phone will show the attention to detail of an iPhone or a Palm WebOS device.

I’m very much enjoying Scoble’s perspective on the Droid — more about the user experience and less about the technical specs — but I can’t let this bit from his conclusion go without comment:

I told Dave Winer that it looks a lot like Windows 3.1. The Mac back then was way better, but we all know that Apple ended up in 1995 with a small market share compared to Windows 95. The thing is, the Droid is Windows 3.1. It is showing the momentum is shifting but now Google has to ship their metaphorical equivalent of Windows 95. It isn’t this phone.

Windows 95 was a huge improvement over Windows 3.1, and it appeared at a time when Apple’s leadership was weak and the Mac OS was stagnant. But even Windows 3.1 had a massive monopoly-size market share, and I’m pretty sure the Mac never had more than about 5 percent of the U.S. unit sale market share in the ’90s. I don’t think this analogy is applicable to the current situation at all.

Monday, 9 November 2009