Apple’s first-generation iPhone started a revolution 10 years ago today. It seems like just yesterday that late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs walked out on stage at the Macworld conference in January 2007 and put an end to years of rumors and speculation. More importantly, Apple put an end to overcomplicated smartphones like Symbian phones and BlackBerry handsets, shifting the industry toward a much more intuitive user experience. Smartphones were once a necessary evil that professionals had to endure. Today, smartphones are the center of our digital lives and most people can’t imagine spending even a moment without one.
Of course Apple isn’t the only company that enjoyed success as a result of the iPhone’s introduction. Google, which had been developing Android as a BlackBerry clone, completely changed the direction of the platform ahead of launch thanks to the iPhone. Samsung grew to become the top handset maker in the world thanks in large part to copying Apple’s iPhone. But there’s still only one original, and Apple’s iPhone continues to draw users away from rival platforms to this day.
With a combined global user base currently in the billions, Google’s Android platform and Apple’s iOS platform see plenty of switchers flow between platforms. Some people ditch Android and switch to iOS, others ditch iOS and switch to Android, and plenty of people move from one platform to the other and then switch back. Today, however, a big discussion over on Reddit draws focus to the flow of users in one particular direction: From Android to the iPhone.
Reddit user “Chondrule” received an iPhone 7 Plus as a gift during the holidays, but he had been an Android user since his first smartphone. As he tried to decide whether or not to dump his Android phone and make the leap to iOS, he took to the Apple subreddit and asked former Android users to explain what made them jump ship and switch to an iPhone.
Ironically, the user ultimately decided that he was going to stick with Android and not switch to the new iPhone 7 Plus he was gifted. But the Reddit thread he started had nearly 500 comments at the time of this writing, and it gives a terrific insight into the many reasons people have decided to switch from Android devices to the iPhone.
Not surprisingly, platform updates are a huge draw for iOS and the iPhone, and many people listed this as the main reason for leaving Android behind. Because Apple controls both the hardware and software experiences on the iPhone, and because the company used its early momentum to force carriers’ hands, Apple is able to push out software updates to all of its smartphones at once. Meanwhile, Android users have to wait several months — at least — before new versions of Android are available for their handsets.
Many people also noted that Apple supports its older iPhone models for much longer than Android vendors, which means they continue to receive software updates even years after their initial release.
Another top reason listed in the thread is customer support; Apple is famous for industry leading customer service, offering post-sale support that no other company can match. Other popular reasons mentioned on Reddit include a general degradation of the Android user experience over time, battery life, and service lock-in thanks to features like iMessage and Continuity.