Are Cheap Handsets the Real Reason Why Android is Popular?

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zNelson24

I prefer to use Android because I like to mess with my phone. It's open source, so if you got the time and talent, you make make Android do a bunch of crazy stuff. You are also free to make and distribute your own apps and software.

Android phones also come in a variety. While there are a bunch of cheap phones, there are also Android phones that are high end like iOS devices.

A few things that have turned me off from Apple products is the rather high price, and the fact that they have significant revisions of their devices (almost) on a bi-annual basis. It's also a locked down device, so I can't mess with it as I please. This also means that you can't fix your phone (add new features, enhance security) if Apple kills support for it's early devices. Though to be fair, that's a major issue with all locked-down phones in the cellular market.

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MaximumMike

>>While there are a bunch of cheap phones, there are also Android phones that are high end like iOS devices.

Wait, what? Didn't you mean to say that the latest iOS devices are trailing the high end Android devices and are only now beginning to have features that have been around for years.

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Hey.That_Dude

"Manufacturers are free to use Android, pay nothing to Google, and then pass on that massive savings to consumers in the form of cheap-o handsets" So you mean, kind of like, how Apple can take Open BSD and then slap some awful proprietary software on top and sell it for WAY more than what it cost to produce... Yeah, that sounds better.

"Most of them are pretty chintzy, slow, and generally bad, but they're still smartphones" Yeah, which is why Android has pushed the envelope on what a phone is capable of doing (when hardware venders put in the effort) while Apple has STOPPED making advanced features. Where is NFC on the iPhone 5? It's not even in the SOFTWARE! Android had teathering support before phones where made that could take advantage of that software. And crApple is where on that?

When you combine my two points together, it gets even better. You get software that's free and open with support for features that may or may not exist yet. By giving power to the people, open source software is the most democratic (or socialist/communist depending on how you feel like interpreting it).

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MaximumMike

>>By giving power to the people, open source software is the most democratic (or socialist/communist depending on how you feel like interpreting it).

I find that political systems make bad metaphors for OS's . Even if there are some similarities, you often find that those similarities don't translate to the same advantages and flaws that their counterparts typically experience. Furthermore, even when they seem to have parallel outcomes they are usually for vastly different reasons. The analogy seldom hold up very well. Also, people with vastly different political leanings could very well have the same preferences when it comes to technology platforms.

Finally, on a somewhat different note, democracy and communism are very different social models and should never be confused with one another. Nor should it be left up to interpretation that an existing system might be one or another. It's like saying, "I think that vehicle is either an airplane or a four wheeler. But you decide."

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Hey.That_Dude

Then explain to me how I can make the argument for both.

It's Democratic: All people are capable of contributing (or destroying if a majority feels that way) to Android. Everyone can propose changes to, develop software for, or create their own version of Android. However, no one is required to perform any of these actions. Therefore, by definition, it is democratic.

It's Communist: Android is Open Source and modifiable by everyone for everyone without the need for monetary exchange and all code is open for all to use as they need. It isn't bound by class divisions either. Poor/Rich, Old/Young, or computer savy/illiterate, all people can use it. Therefore, it is Communist.

How these two things are applied by idiot humans makes little difference to me. The two IDEAS are actually compatible. It's just a pity NEITHER exists in reality. All forms are tainted and thus your perception of them is also tainted. Proof-in-point: Democracy is a form of government, not a socio-economic stance. Communism is a socio-economic stance which doesn't tell you how to govern.

Also take your own advice, I can think of a few senarios where a person can decide whether they want said vehicle to be a plane or an all terrain vehicle (with four wheels and four wheel drive). The first one being a flying four wheeler... followed closely by the Tardis.

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MaximumMike

>>It's Democratic:

Ok, so you're proving my point. On the surface analogies like this sound good but they begin to break down rapidly. See next comment.

>>All people are capable of contributing (or destroying if a majority feels that way) to Android.

Not quite, and in the case of "destroying" the OS, untrue. The general public cannot vote to have Android go away. Android is governed by an open license, but that doesn't give you the right to do whatever you like... even if there are enough of you. I haven't actually read the license for Android, but being a derivative work of Linux it must fall under the GNU. Being under the GNU, you cannot vote to make Android proprietary. Why any human Democracy would vote it's freedoms away (hmmm rmmmm... America) is beyond me, but they certainly are free to do so. With Android this is not allowed, plain and simple. The system must remain open.

>>Everyone can propose changes to, develop software for, or create their own version of Android.

This is an interesting place where the pitfalls of democracy don't apply to Android. Ask the Southern United States if they were allowed to create their own version of democracy, or if ultimately they were were forced to subscribe to someone else's notion of what democracy is. Whether you feel they were right or wrong, they were certainly denied the ability to define democracy for themselves as they saw fit. The truth is that democracies often do not allow those under them to change aspects of the democracy to fit their own needs or preferences, even if there are enough of them.

But with Android you are free to change anything you like. Don't like the process scheduler? Write another one. But what you can't do is force other users to accept your changes. But in a democracy, everyone can vote for a change and force it down the throats of those who don't like it.

Infact, this element of democracy is more like iOS. You may see something you would like to change and even know how to change, but Apple tells you, "no". Or there is a feature you really love and that works great, but Apple takes it away because they have another crappier feature they can charge you more money for. Yes, democracies can be abusive just like Apple. Except when democracies are abusive people lose their lives, their rights, and their livelihood. When Apple is abusive you lose some fancy app, which in comparison isn't that important. But even on the much more trivial scale of operating systems, I'd say the tyranny of democracy isn't present in Android.

>>However, no one is required to perform any of these actions. Therefore,

No, you're wrong. Let's say you make some derivative work and stick it in your proprietary software. Under the GNU, you're required to release the source code of your derivative work. To this extent, you're "required" to "contribute to," "propose changes to," or "develop software for" Android. But then again, democracies can certainly "require" you to do things that further their own agenda as well. For instance, the United States once had a draft and "required" young men to serve in the military, often against their will. So, although your analogy is false, the reverse of it is certainly true and you have found an area where Android is like democracy even if it wasn't what you intended.

>>by definition, it is democratic.

Not sure what definition of democracy you're using, but it isn't a very good one if you think democracies cannot require anything of you.

>>It's Communist: Android is Open Source and modifiable by everyone for everyone without the need for monetary exchange and all code is open for all to use as they need.

Well, I'll give you that you make a stronger case for communism than you did for democracy. It's undeniable that the sense of community in the open source community is reminiscent of some communist theories. But so are AA meetings, and I wouldn't liken AA to communism.

>>It isn't bound by class divisions either. Poor/Rich, Old/Young, or computer savy/illiterate, all people can use it. Therefore, it is Communist.

Much like the case you made earlier for democracy, this is a point where your analogy is false but the reverse is true. Communism is prone to class divisions. This has been proven true as every nation that has ever tried it has had stark contrasts between rich and poor, some of the worst racial discrimination known to man, and officials who abused their positions to the detriment of all.

This also happens from time to time with open systems. There will inevitably be a need to get something done, and a committee will be formed to develop some code, hopefully for the good of all. But sometimes those ruling over committees will push their own projects forward when other projects should really take precedence. Or they withhold source code from another project for a time. Then those wanting the code aren't able to get it in time to include it in their implementation and some features aren't as good as they should be, to everyone's detriment.

Or there are two possible implementations of an idea each with its own list of pro's and cons. Inevitably there will be groups that ascribe to one theory or the other. Don't be surprised to see infighting among these groups on the forums. Don't become alarmed if they start discriminating against each other, are uncooperative, withhold code, and cause problems even for other projects not directly related to theirs.

I would say that open communities are certainly prone to some of the pitfalls of communism. But not all of them. In communist societies, some government will inevitably get its iron thumb over the entire society and take control of the resources and the people. But Android is protected by its license and no open source committee can ever get strong enough to wrest control of the OS away from the license. In this way, Android ultimately enjoys a benefit communism can never have.

Furthermore, Android is very unlike communism in that communism posits that everyone share their resources. But with Android, everyone has their own Android implementation that manages their own resources. I would be very perturbed to suddenly find that my clock cycles and RAM were being lent to someone who bought an inferior Android device. But this is exactly the kind of activity that communism advocates. Infact, communism practically buries the identity of the individual in favor of the community, and even produces some very bitter people like Ayn Rand. But with Android, we have the freedom to be individual and expressive with our personalities and preferences to an extent previously unknown with mobile devices. Android really releases the power of the individual to be as much or as little as it wants to be. To this degree, iOS is more like communism than Android is.

>>How these two things are applied by idiot humans makes little difference to me. The two IDEAS are actually compatible. It's just a pity NEITHER exists in reality. All forms are tainted and thus your perception of them is also tainted.

But if we can't talk about the practical implementations of communism and democracy, why make the analogy at all? Before the first line of code was ever written some nerd at Google had a theory of what Android was. And computer science theory is its own beast entirely. You start talking about turing machines and grammars and data structures and lots of complicated math no one in politics would EVER want to look at. And that theory and math is as far away from a political science discussion as you will ever get. But eventually all that theory and math became code and made its way to the shelf in the form of a practical Android device. And that practical implementation of someone's theory is what you're actually talking about. If you're not willing to compare it to practical implementations of democracy and communism, why even open your mouth?

>>Proof-in-point: Democracy is a form of government, not a socio-economic stance. Communism is a socio-economic stance which doesn't tell you how to govern.

If you think those two things are separable, you're kidding yourself.

>>Also take your own advice,

But you never say what that advice is.

>>I can think of a few senarios where a person can decide whether they want said vehicle to be a plane or an all terrain vehicle (with four wheels and four wheel drive). The first one being a flying four wheeler... followed closely by the Tardis.

Yea, but you're obscuring the point, hopefully not intentionally. It's not about what you "want" the vehicle to be. There is a vehicle before you and it is either a four wheeler or an airplane. If it is indeed a four wheeler it's not up for debate whether or not to call it an airplane, and vice versa. If I buy a four wheeler at the Polaris dealership, it would be wrong and ignorant for me to go around telling my friends about my new airplane I just bought. Airplanes and four wheelers have their own distinctive features and are about as different as two vehicles can be, that's why I picked them. But if you know of two vehicles that are even more different and couldn't possibly be confused with one another, please feel free to use those instead.

Furthermore, if someone ever invents a flying four wheeler it would likely be a new class of vehicle. But please put my name on the waiting list as I have been waiting a very long time for my Tardis and could make good use of a flying four wheeler in the meantime.

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praack

someone has to cater to the masses as well as to the high end. Android does just that. i can choose (oh choice- how strange) to get a high end phone or to get a low end.

if the model of - only buy Apple because it is very expensive and comes with a premium is key- then a lot of people would not have phones.- would you see prepay Apple Iphones? any flavor other than what we see at present?

Even in China- Apple is keeping the price up- and is selling due to status- but most phones there are still running android os

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AETAaAS

Android offers the functionality of iOS and more. Plus you don't have to use the herpes riddled leper that is iTunes. Cheap phones only? The S3 has beat the iPhone in sales and the Note II sold a pretty number.

That there are cheap phones is a bonus because not everyone uses a vast array of apps but want some like Skype or free messaging systems like Whatsapp which run happily on low end phones.

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mh15216

So you're basically saying Android is acceptant of people of all walks of life, and the only reason Apple isn't as popular anymore is because only yuppies buy them then? I don't see how this proves much more than the revoked line of Apple "I'm a genius, you're an idiot that doesn't understand email so I'm here to help you." commercials. Apple dorks shoot themselves in the feet.

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