The Taxi Uncle’s Samsung Galaxy S3

Disclaimer: The view in this article is no way representative of what all consumers think (obviously), but it does show us one perspective of consumer’s views on Android and iOS. Throughout this conversation, I made sure to not offer any of my opinion on the subject, or reveal what I do.

I personally love to find out about how consumers make gadget purchasing decisions to learn how to provide more accurate advice, so when I noticed my taxi driver’s Samsung Galaxy S3 as he was driving me home, I couldn’t help but ask.

Me: “You’re using Android?”

Him: “Yea. Don’t get Android, it’s not good.”

Me: “How come?”

He went on to explain to me that he used to own an iPhone 4, and when his contract expired, he decided to get the S3. Unfortunately, most of the features he are used to on his iPhone 4, made possible by apps, aren’t available. He cited a few examples:

  1. On his iPhone, he can easily print an A4 document with a wireless printer, but on Android, it somehow kept making him print two pages in landscape. When he found an app to do it properly, it didn’t work. 
  2. He downloaded an office client, and it didn’t work.
  3. He tried to get kids apps for his grand children, and those didn’t work neither.

Another thing he mentioned about his life before and after S3 was very interesting:

“My iPhone 4 was jailbroken, so most of my apps were free. But on Android, even when I paid money to buy the apps I needed, they refused to work properly.”

So I naturally I asked:

“So why did you get an Android phone?”

“You see, people are like that. Other people say ‘good’, then you believe them and buy it. But although it looks good on paper, when you really start to use it, it becomes very different. My friend recommended it to me, said the S3 is very good. I went back to scold him after that! A lot of my friends got Android for the same reason, and now they’re also not happy with it. I just don’t think Android is for me.”

He then went to offer his perspective on iOS and the S3:

“The good thing about the S3 is that it’s very pretty, lets you use SD cards, and lets you swap the battery yourself. The iPhone doesn’t let you do all that. You can’t change the battery, and after about 2 years, you’ll definetly run out of space, which is about the right time you need to change it. The iPhone is a selfish phone, but even then, it is still worth buying because it does what you need it to do.”

(Most amusing quote:) “At the end of the day, imitation will never be as good as the original. Samsung needs more time.”

“The other day my friend, whose contract is ending soon, said he wanted to get the S3. I told him to get the iPhone 5, then I’ll give him S$100 to swap the iPhone for my relatively new S3! He was shocked and I asked if I had too much money!”

To test my theory about what makes Android popular among the other people, I further asked:

“Do you watch videos on it?”

“Ah, videos, Android is very good. But the thing is I don’t watch videos, so that doesn’t benefit me. Android just isn’t for me. If you like to play games and watch videos, then you can get Android. If not, iPhone is better.”

At the end of the day, it further proves that we need to stop telling people that one device is better than the other. That’s because the truth is, everyone is different, and so are the devices. We tend to leave out 2 very importand words at the end of our sentence: “The iPhone is better for me“. These two words make a huge difference when we advice others.

I liked that the taxi uncle, while pouring out his Android grieviences, made sure he said “Android just isn’t for me“.

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