We often face similar choices at first glance, but later discover that they are very different. The latest iPhone and Pixel smartphone launches look beautiful on the surface.
Apple’s strategy, however, is about status and making yourself stand out as an Apple user. Google’s strategy, on the other hand, is more focused on features and what you can do using its phones. Apple’s focus is on form, appearance and ease-of-use, while Google is focused more on function.
The two companies are vastly different even economically. Google doesn’t care about the initial profit margins of its devices, as it makes money selling customer information and advertising. Apple is a company that lives off margins. Apple generates revenue by raising prices and lowering costs forever.
Customers who are well-suited for either product line are generally happy with the result. Historically, users have been more loyal to iPhones than Pixel users.
Pixel users don’t have to stay with one manufacturer or model. They can switch to many different Android phones and manufacturers, if they wish. There are many Android alternatives, including twin-screen and foldable phones. Apple users have a limited number of options, and are therefore locked into a certain set of choices. This can be a benefit if you don’t mind making a fuss about it.
Let’s compare Apple and Google smartphones.
Apple vs. Google
These companies are vastly distinct.
Apple was founded during IBM’s dominance. It reflects the obsolete “lock-in”, strategy IBM used. This strategy effectively made the customer exempt from competition, which allowed Apple to control prices and features.
This strategy can and should result in more knowledge about customers, a narrower line of development, and far less risky product design. The customer will usually choose what you offer, even if they don’t have the option. Apple’s products are king. Users will choose the Apple products.
Google was launched at a time when Microsoft was under fire. To a certain degree, it mirrored the image of Microsoft then. Although Microsoft has become a better option than Google over the years, Microsoft has been able to evolve to be an alternative to Google. This was the time lock-in as a strategy had failed and customers desired alternatives.
Google also licensed its technology, much like Microsoft. It was still a champion of concepts such as open source and interoperability, which is a departure from Microsoft. These concepts were adopted by both Microsoft and IBM in the years that followed, which proves that Google was initially able to go where the rest of the computer industry went.
iPhone vs. Pixel
Pixel phones are more affordable and look less expensive than iPhones. Both Pixel and iPhone have multiple cameras that take stunning photos and videos.
Apple’s A15 Bionic has AI capabilities as well, but Apple isn’t as aggressive in using them. Pixels’ AI is better at real-time translation, automatic speech recognition on the device, and creating captions for media. Pixel has more powerful editing tools, and the latest version includes a Tensor-dedicated Ai processor.
Revenue differences often mean that the Pixel phone will cost you significantly less than an equivalent iPhone for comparable performance. Apple is more interested than you in buying new phones, while Google is transitioning to a longer-term support model, where enhancements are more aggressively distributed to users.
The Pixel phones will last for longer and cost less than the Apple counterparts.
This differentiation will continue to grow as Google places more emphasis on sustainability than Apple. Perhaps because Google’s model is more service-centric, it favors sustainability. Apple’s focus on sales and not services is a conflict with sustainability, as its model is based on the replacement of devices.
Both phone manufacturers use a very unique, but different type of glass for their screens.
Apple uses a ceramic display, which, like Sapphire is stronger than glass and less brittle. Google uses Victus, Corning’s most advanced solution. It promises scratch resistance that is comparable to ceramics but should be stronger than ceramics.
I believe Apple chose the ceramic method because it was less expensive, and Google chose Corning because of its technical superiority, which reflects both companies’ priorities.
You get more functionality with Pixel, but less status. While the iPhone is more expensive, it offers you access to the Apple ecosystem and a higher level of status than the Pixel.
Apple users who are very status-oriented will be happier with the Apple product line than those who don’t want to learn new skills.
People who value function and learning new things will prefer the Android ecosystem and Pixel.
The Pixel would be my choice over the iPhone every day, but I would choose the Pixel almost any other day. My wife would prefer the iPhone just as often, and we would both be happier with our choices than if they switched sides.
Android and the Pixel line are the best options for those who are willing to spend the time learning advanced tools and want lots of options. The iPhone line is better for those who are locked into Apple’s ecosystem (moving to Android can be painful), and especially those who want an easy-to-use phone that conveys status.
The best smartphone for people who view the phone as a tool is the Pixel. Those who see the smartphone more as an accessory or personal statement will choose the iPhone. You’ll be happier if the phone matches your past experiences and your personal approach to technology.