WSJ: Apple dominates smartphone market because it supports old phones and no-one wants low-end Android models

That is because they decided that it was better to have an OS policy that slowed down the phone instead of it unexpectedly shutting off when the battery couldn’t provide enough power. Their mistake was not communicating that with the customers and allowing an opt-out from the start, which earned them a persistent “bad guy” tag.


I was checking over my 13 year-old Motorola Milestone (Droid in US). Nothing is broken on the phone, but little works.

The main problems seem due to the accumulation of security problems over the years. There was turn-over in the top-level signing authorities, and changes in the protocols for HTTPS, etc. Most sites insist on HTTPS now, so browsing is out. Plus, I think the Javascript is too old. It didn’t work with my local test sites, but I didn’t investigate why.

The Play Store app doesn’t work, probably encryption failure, or Google shut the door on Android 2.2.1.

Email still works, but I might have had to tell Google to open its walled garden a bit. I forget.

Camera still works, and the apps that are already installed, if they don’t depend on Internet access. (I can manually load books into the reader app.)

It uses a full sized SIM card, which could be tricky, and the phone networks might need updating. It might still be able to make emergency calls, but I’m not going to test that.

I’m not even going to try the Check for updates feature.


I don’t know what it costs now, but when I finished the job on my iPhone 4S that someone else had started (it was off-business-lease) Apple charged me CDN$35 for the replacement. I booked an appointment, had to turn off Find My and do a backup, then showed up at the Eaton Centre. Half-an-hour later I had my phone back.

Edit: Somehow managed to type 14S instead of 4S

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I was a mobile developer for 15 years, and let me tell you- supporting a range of Android phones is a goddam nightmare.

The problem is the structure of the Android ecosystem. Unlike Apple, which is vertically integrated and controls everything well, Android is a train wreck.

New OS updates are pushed out by the carriers, not Google. They have no incentive to bother because they already have your subscription. Support for hardware is left to the hardware makers, but they don’t care because they already have your money.

The result is things like a major rendering bug in Samsung’s Adreno GPU driver that persisted for a decade. Or Motorola’s BTLE implementation being completely out of spec, but was never fixed. Samsung had a major BTLE bug that prevented most accessories from working that they fixed but half the carriers refused to push the patch to devices. So code would work on a Verizon Galaxy Note 8, but not a T-Mobile Galaxy Note 8.

What all this means for a developer is you have to write a thousand special cases for everything. If you’re on a Samsung device with the Adreno GPU made between this year and that year, disable specular reflection effects because they won’t render properly. That sort of thing. Multiply that by one thousand and you need an army of QA people with a matrix of hundreds of phones testing every combination of carrier, OS version, and device.

On iOS, for the most part, you write it once and it just works everywhere. There are a few oddities, like handling the home bar on iPhone X, but it’s all pretty transparent and it will keep working from then on with every device.

Don’t even get me started on security. After seeing the insides of both platforms for many years, I’ll never own an Android. They are a disaster under the hood.


Other features beyond that have been changed for the worse through OS updates, in my opinion. For one example, I used to have the option of attaching photos to emails as attachments rather than being embedded in the email. And there used to be better options for compressing and sending video clips. The fact that we have no choice in these OS updates is pretty frustrating to me.

Also, in addition to the ever-larger OS itself, a huge fraction of my phone’s storage is now taken up by files labeled as “other” that can’t be removed by deleting apps and photos or clearing the cache. So the phone is becoming less useful in that regard.

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One of the first phones with USB-C charging and one of the last with a removable battery. I’d still be using mine today if I hadn’t dropped it in water. And the only issue with the water was that it fried the sound chip- everything else about it is fine.

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And here I am complaining they don’t last long enough. My iPhone 6 is stuck on iOS 12.5.7 and can’t make use of most new apps. The battery is going but it’s not worth putting a new one in.

For example, I tried to load up Nintendo’s Pikmin Bloom yesterday, but while it will download older software - it just crashes.

Surprised this wasn’t brought up, and it’s about damn time.

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That is weird. My hunch would be to try making a full backup, wiping the iPhone, and then a restore from backup… which is basically the last option in this article discussing what “other” data might be.

Apple has always had great customer service in my experience. Stellar, really. Honestly, the iPhone kind of ruined Apple+ which used to be cheap and applied to a crazy number of peripherals. I bought it for my first-from-Apple iMac for $129 (I think?) and ended up getting over $750 worth of parts and service work done on it.

Same here except… I had an iPhone 6S with a funky button. Apple replaced it, but when I went to upgrade to my current 11 Pro, I found out that the 6S I was replacing was considered “refurbished”, which disqualified me from getting a free iPad from Verizon (does anyone get those premiums IRL?). Kind of annoying.

Wow, that’s crazy. I guess they feel that they’ve got the system secured enough to mitigate any risks, but the whole point of the walled garden is to prevent the creep of crappy and nefarious actors into the system per @VeronicaConnor’s post. I’m all for the walled garden (as long as they’re nice ones) as I don’t really want to fidget and fuss with every minor detail, I want to turn it on and have it work 100% of the time. Dog bless those that do, but I am happier the less I have to do to keep the damn thing on the road.

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How’s that working out for them? They like to peddle the myth that their users are safe under their watchful eye, but plenty of malicious apps by bad actors manage to get in through the gates.


I think that really depends on the store. A power supply might have been damaged, and we wanted it checked out. Their “solution” was to plug it into the computer and check. We brought it in precisely because we didn’t want to do that. We ended up writing that power supply off just to be safe.

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No system is perfect, but Android suffers from countless deep structural flaws that I could write books about. The two OSes are not even close in terms of overall robustness.

Regarding your examples, the first requires that a user use TestFlight. That’s a (now obsolete) public beta service that requires sharing and installing certificates manually. It’s not something that can just happen to an unsuspecting user.

The other apps were ones that did a real thing, but ran invisible banner ads for free revenue. Hardly the security scandal of the century. You should see the shit that Android apps can do without your knowledge or consent.

I’m not interested in yet another OS flame war, so if that’s where this is headed, I’ll just concede now. You win. Apple sucks.


The way phones are typically put together, either the front or the back panel comes off easily, but the other panel is essentially part of the housing, and so replacing it requires completely disassembling and reassembling the entire device.

Apple has made progress on this, though: the latest model iPhones are, according to iFixit, the only phones on the market where both the front and back panels can be easily replaced.

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I’m motoralaing right now. Two year old phone, seems fast and does what I expect, haven’t had an issues (knock wood).

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Australia prefers Apple: Australia: mobile device vendors market share 2022 | Statista

Yeah, I guess it would. I’ve never lived close enough to an Apple Store to make it worth it and always just dealt with online or phone support. I kind of tend to avoid retail employees for this sort of thing. They’re great for simple transactions like a swap-out, but anything more technically challenging like my old Airport router going sideways I want real tech support.

I sit on the other side of the fence, or, rather, the radio waves.
Supporting an almost infinite range of UEs (user equipments = phones) is a nightmare on this side too.
Apple’s UEs are as much a headache as the others.

Disclaimer: that was some years ago, somehow I don’t expect it to have improved much.

Ehi! I need some more time for that! (but it’s of course in the works).

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Sorry, I meant 5G. I got the new phone when my carrier stopped supporting 4G.

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