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So What?

I’m reading WMPowerUser last night (big fan), I see Surur ripping on the Android ICS update being hellish. So hellish in fact that the NoDo fiasco looks heavenly. Next up on my RSS scrolling medley is some comScore thing showing Windows Phone no longer going sideways but now losing more and more market share (Anthony disagrees). Surur’s post and the commenting volume suddenly made more sense to me, the WinPho crowd’s obsession with ripping on Android roughly as much as they pat each other on the ass about having the best phone the world never heard of but will any day now.

He notes that the only phones to get ICS thus far belong to the Nexus line, the so-called (and aptly-called) development phones that people who cared about getting the absolute latest development from Google should buy rather than some Motorola phone with a locked bootloader. There seems to be a market, as you people surely know, for phones with locked bootloaders. Google made that clear from the first Nexus that it would get a head start in receiving updates. The flagship Google phone, the torch carrier. Though the Galaxy Nexus may be an exception to the otherwise low popularity because it’s being pushed hard and is, frankly, pretty awesome from what I’ve read, the lack of popularity of the Nexus phones tells me what I already know about the Android crowd overall, that for the most part, with exception to the subset that is so obsessed with their phones they make blogs about them (me) and modify the kernels and so on, is that they’re content with Froyo or Gingerbread or whatever they’ve got and aren’t salivating nearly as much for the next update as the WinPho crowd does for their NoDo and their Mango and Tango and Apollo to strike finally. Which they probably will continue to do in an orderly fashion like Mango, which was impressively executed.

Why could that be, the different attitudes? Are Android consumers just dumb sheep relative to WinPho consumers? I don’t think so. Here’s what I think: Google phones, not unlike the desires of consumers, come in all shapes and sizes. There are hundreds of them. Among the shapes and sizes are the first-in-line update traits of the Nexus phones. People have the option to buy that phone anywhere. But for so many, just being able to run Google Maps Navigation, which can be done on 98% of Android phones in consumer hands (for which there still is no equivalent on WinPho, just an honorable mention), is fabulous enough. Google detached many of their updated applications from Android updates so that those stuck on 2.2 could still run the new Google Voice client. I’m struggling to come up with what I remember not being able to do on 2.1 that I can now that’s so huge, all I’m coming up is vector imaging on Google Maps and hotspots without having to do an XDA trick, maybe a speed boost that I didn’t need badly. Not to say Google doesn’t do amazing jobs over and over with the firmware development but my phone not only does everything, it feels like I’m running out of things I can imagine doing on my phone that I cannot already do on what is now not the current platform for my model.

We just simply don’t need updates the way you people do. You need them so bad that you figure we do too and because we don’t get them in lockstep that we’re getting shafted and we don’t even know it because we’re stupid sheep. That’s what you think, is it not? We also don’t need to seize onto random flaws you have with your platform and beat it for years, like Photosynth. And for those of us who love our updates and waiting second or further back in line is not an option, we can get a Nexus on any carrier. Pretty sweet phone by the way. Google does not withhold all of the next platform’s new stuff from the eventual rollout. Our phones do everything, yours do not, so of course it’s a bigger deal to you. Yes, the Mango rollout went well, I owe two people money for betting against it. Yes your phones are remarkably appealing. Yes Navigon probably gets the job done. Yes I think I heard you’ve got some Google Voice-like service and might, just might, get Skype one day, yes you got Netflix first, yes you in general seem to have more passion about your phones on sites like this and WMPU at least.

Also, we’re not desperate with our self-esteem hinging on it for Android’s market share to grow, whereas you clearly are. As a result of having that need, the prospect of the next huge and wildly-hyped-about update you’re going to get you’ll staple on a ton of hope that it may finally usher in the success Windows Phone deserves. You have market share envy, big time. Though you do a good job pretending you don’t have spec envy.

Me, I own and use every day the Nexus One and the Nexus S. Up until the ICS availability I would flash nighties every morning practically. Once the next nightly became ICS, I stopped flashing in spite of my obsession with my phone. The reason I stopped was because I love these damn Nexus phones so much and I intend to get the Galaxy Nexus (outright) and when I get it I want the change to be more dramatic, so I haven’t flashed ICS, I haven’t even watched a single Youtube demo. I bet you know more about ICS than I do. Also, my phone does pretty much everything with Gingerbread, not a severe incentive to flash other than curiosity. I don’t have Google News ICS as a feed on my RSS, I don’t even know what the situation is regarding some poor rollout, I don’t know the changelog bulletpoints, I am just so damn psyched about my impending acquisition that I don’t want to spoil any part of the surprise. But I could if I wanted. Not sure how I’m going to pay for it, maybe now’s a good time to finally get, or try to get, myself a credit card.

My chief complaint with you, and I admit I was this way but have since recovered to a commendable degree, is that you can’t fight the good fight of telling yourselves that you’ll hit the big leagues one day without wishing legal death on HTC for still making Android phones, for wishing Microsoft would kill Android by reneging on some ActiveSync contract or suing Google and every single company that gets in bed with Google for all these patents you are convinced are totally legit (without reading them), using the word fragmentation in reference to Android like it’s your job, bringing up Android on practically half of the WMPU URLs that exist (see for yourself). In fact you have been thirteen times more likely on a given thread to bring up Android than Phandroid users and writers bring up Windows Phone in a given thread, or 21 more times as likely than those on AndroidPolice. Double those numbers and that’s how much Google is mentioned on WMPU. Explain that to me please.

Why do I read WMPU, you ask. Well, it’s a good site and you guys have so much fire in your bellies. Click here to pop WMPU into your Google Reader. 🙂

Once in a while I skim through a thread and I find one of you saying “hey guys c’mon what does it matter whether or not WP becomes popular – we have our awesome phones, let’s just enjoy them and forget about the other guys.” Though not exactly competitive, I would call that an enlightened perspective.  Wish I could comment

And whereas you would tell me to try out a WP so that I can see the light (I did actually, fabulous phone), maybe you could try out that perspective and stop breaking Android users’ balls all the time, calling us sheep and tossing around the F word so liberally. The number of smartphone users is escalating every day, and whether they step toward Apple, Google or Microsoft, it’s a step in the right direction, isn’t it? Blackberry,… well, different story – think we all can agree on that.

I just made some good points, feel free to admit it. Seriously though, it’s high time WinPho gets the market share love it has earned. Good luck in 2012 — and that, folks, is from the heart.

Doug Simmons