Is Android the Next Amiga?

Posted by Michael Pinto on Aug 17, 2010 in Tech |

Is Android the Next Amiga?

In the 80s the Amiga was eons ahead of everyone else in the PC market: They had everything from the ability to play full color animations to multitasking. However this amazing platform just never took off. Why? Because the user base took advantage of the first generation of floppy disks and BBSs to pirate pretty much every last bit of software that was written for the platform. Because of this Microsoft never created a version of Word for the Amiga and WordPerfect lost a great deal of money thanks to cheap users. In fact the only winner that came away from the Amiga was the NewTek Video Toaster which was pretty much dongle protected due to the hardware aspect of the product.

And so you may ask what this has to do with Android? Well history is repeating itself:

“Google has made great strides with Android, and a ton of developers have flocked to the growing mobile platform. Not everything is rosy, though. One major concern among developers is that piracy levels are very high on the platform.”

Price points on the Amiga vs PC and Macs: Cheap is cheap!

The above article defers the piracy issue to an unwillingness for users to pay for apps, but the same thing could be said about Amiga users. If you have a culture surrounding a platform that expects everything for free you can’t really change it. Unlike Blackberry users who have their phone paid for by corporations, Android users are regular consumers. And like most consumers they really don’t want to pay for anything that they could get for free.

Thanks to iTunes Apple has trained their consumers to expect to pay for things: Be it music, video, an app or an ebook. However Google lacks this experience, in fact you could say that Amazon has a much shoot at monetizing mobile users than Google ever will. Google does know how to sell ads which may help them give some money to their developers, but the stark reality is that major media players and videogame companies just won’t get excited about getting a few AdSense dollars.

What this means is that anyone with a major consumer brand would be foolish to spend much time with Android: And what that means is that most of the apps for Android will feel like shareware. Add to this the fact that the battery life won’t be as good and you could see consumers noticing the difference. Frankly the quality of the apps is just as important the quantity: If you look at history that’s one of the main reasons that Palm killed the Apple Newton back in the day.

The biggest problem for Google may be that once you let the genie out of the bottle you can’t put him back…

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