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War of the phones: One phone to rule them all?

It's not an easy choice between the top two platforms

By Chelsea Copeland
On April 3, 2012

Alexis Banks had recently purchased the new iPhone 4S after having many technical issues with her Android smartphone. Alexis got fed up with calling AT&T, so she paid the full price for the iPhone. She said it was totally worth it.

"I went from one brand to the other because that's all I thought they were: a brand name," said Banks, 25, who hails from Barre, Vt. and relies heavily on her phone. "I didn't believe that one was better than the other, but man, was I wrong."

Today the biggest names in the smartphone world are iPhone and Android. Most people believe that iPhone is the most used, but it's actually the Android, according to a recent report by market survey firm Nielsen.

Overall, smartphone sales in the U.S. are 47 percent Android and around 30 percent Apple, and that's with only half the mobile phone users buying smartphones at all. In other words, of all the people who have mobile phones in the U.S., fully half of them are still using low-feature phones.

According to an Android platform website (, Apple's iOS dominates in the northern/eastern half of the country, while Android seems to dominate in the southern/western section.

As technology evolves, people are being persuaded to use smartphones for business purposes; such as checking e-mail, scheduling appointments and taking important calls. Not only is it easily accessible for people in the business world, it's a great way to stay in touch with friends and family all over the world.

According to the International Telecommunication Union, there are more than five billion cell phone subscriptions across the globe today, which is roughly 80 percent of all the people on the planet. Within that percentage, there are 91.4 million smartphones in the United States alone.

"People between the ages of 25 and 34 are more likely to own a smartphone (62 percent) than any other age group," according to the website

As for which smartphone is better, Android or iPhone, users say its depends on your preferences and how you use the phone.

According to, a smart phone is "a device that lets you make telephone calls, but also adds in features that, in the past, you would have found only on a personal digital assistant or a computer - such as the ability to send and receive email, and edit MS Office documents."

For one Norwich student, who owns neither the iPhone nor an Android, he said he is tired of hearing people always whining and comparing the two phones.

"You hear students all over campus bickering all the time 'well my iPhone does this, well my Android does that,' said Geoff Dargan. "Students don't seem to get that it's a matter of preference, and if people took the time to learn the products better, students wouldn't bicker in the first place, " said Dargan, a 22-year-old mechanical engineer major from Dover, N.H.

He said he has a Windows Messaging phone that comes with internet, text messaging, calls but it doesn't allow you to download apps like both the iPhone and the Android.

"I don't believe I need either an iPhone or Android because I work mostly on my computer, and I don't believe it's any easier than carrying around my laptop," said Dargan. "I just believe it varies by person whether they believe a smart phone is really necessary."

"I always used to tell all my friends that the Android was better because it had all your necessities: a camera, calendar, games and you could make phone calls," said Banks. "I didn't realize that the iPhone had all these features too, and was 10 times easier to use."

Banks said she uses her iPhone for personal use as well as professional use. Not only does she play games on her iPhone, but she uses it also for work, scheduling appointments and even emailing clients.

It's hard to underestimate how useful smartphones are in running a business. Kailey Lozier, a business owner from Barre, Vt., graduated from high school in 2007 and wanted to pursue her dream of starting her own day care for kids. Her first step in starting the business was to have a reliable resource to allow her to keep in touch with clients by phone and by email.

"Not all my clients are from an area where they have cell phone service, some clients will reach me by email to let me know their child isn't coming to day care," Lozier said. "Without the use of a smartphone, I wouldn't be able to constantly know who is coming to day care and who is not."

The 22-year-old Lozier said she was never into having the latest cell phone, but when her business, Little Sprouts Childcare, started rolling, Lozier had to make sure she had access to the internet for email, an app for scheduling activities for the day care, and a way to be available when a parent called about their child.

"I didn't know what the term smartphone meant two years ago when I got the iPhone 3 and I still really don't know what it means today," Lozier said. "If I had to guess what the definition for smartphone was, I would assume it was a phone that had access to internet and do things an older cell phone couldn't. All I know is it has really helped me stay on top of things for my business."

"I did struggle a bit when I first got my smartphone, I wasn't sure how to run it and the feeling of owning a phone that was completely touchscreen was new to me," Lozier said. But after only a few short days, Lozier was using her iPhone frequently throughout the day.

Lozier uses her iPhone on a day-to-day basis, allowing her to keep in contact with her clients, and the children use her phone for lessons on the alphabet. The applications for the iPhone help her take her business to the next level, she says.

Getting used to his iPhone 4 wasn't a challenge, said Thomas Carson, a 19-year-old sophomore communications major from Winthrop, Maine. He owns a MacBook Pro and has owned many iPod Touches in the past. He feels that the iPhone is set up simply, and is easy to use overall.

"I've never owned an Android phone, I have nothing against them, I just am more comfortable with the iPhone and find the iPhone easy to use," Carson said, "It's not that I have anything against Androids, I just own all Apple products and find them to last a long time. I hear Androids have had many glitches with their phone software."

While Carson said he believes that many people are attracted to the ease of use of the iPhone and the fact that the advertisements are everywhere, one person said he believes that the Android phones are just as easy to use, appealing, and also less expensive.

"I just got my Android phone a couple months ago and I love everything about it," said Eric Chaloux, who is from nearby Williamstown, Vt. "Regardless of what iPhone users say, the Android is just great and less expensive," he said.

Chaloux said he uses his phone for mostly personal use: checking sport scores on his ESPN app, checking the weather, surfing the web, checking his bank account and keeping up with his friends.

"I do love my Android, but I know I would have gone with the iPhone 4S if the price had been more appealing, but it's too pricey" said Chaloux.

Banks said she agrees that the iPhone is expensive and the price never seems to go down until the new iPhone is released, but she has no complaints and hasn't had any iPhone issues.

"I recommend people try out both phones, go to your cell phone provider store and ask questions, and play around with both of them," said Banks. "I don't want to talk badly about the Android, but personally, I just had good luck and love my iPhone."

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