Open or Closed: The Choice is Yours


(via Tech Week Europe)

Haven’t I already made a post about this… anyway.

As you can imagine with using Apple (more specifically iOS) and Android systems as examples of open and closed sources, the debate often turns to which group thinks they’re the best.  As Ted mentioned in his lecture, this is such a great example because of the clarity and real world applications of these opposing ‘philosophies’.

Apple as you may already know operates its products in a closed system.  By closed we mean that there’s next to nothing that you can modify and tweak on their devices outside of this network.  This is unless you know how, of course.  But what it does mean is that Apple sees very high profit margins as they have no competition within their system.  For Apple the user experience for consumers is paramount, hence we see a lack of consumer driven innovation and flexibility.

However, Android devices operate in an open source system.  Users can experience near limitless customisability on their devices.  This open and free source model means that there are many Android compatible devices on the market, and at a variety of price points.  This large array also means that Android devices are subject to the ‘long-tail’, with some phones like Samsung’s S range being quite popular, while a large amount don’t experience such great sales.

In the end, the choice between platform types and functions is purely down to a user’s preferences.  What does a user want in their device/ product?  Uniformity and consistency across devices, or the freedom to make a device truly their own through flexible customisation.

I have always wondered whether our choice between the platforms says something more about our personalities, or who we are.  Are we just following trends we see within our own societies, or do our choices of these open/ closed sources carry deeper meanings.

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2 thoughts on “Open or Closed: The Choice is Yours

  1. Interesting point you make about whether the choice of software says more about our personalities. Usually I’d think that most people would sway towards customisation more, but I find myself really like the closed software of Apple and iOS, and I’m not entirely sure why. Overall, a well written post, perhaps a meme or prezi (or something to accompany this post) would’ve enhanced it but otherwise well done!

  2. Great post! I really do think that our choice between open and closed devices tells a lot about one’s personality. Many people purchase a device because their family, friends or role models own it, whether they admit to it or not. Many do not know the difference between android and Apple in regards to how one is open and the other closed. I know I had no idea about this until studying it in this degree. So maybe more information and education surrounding what open and closed actually means before one purchases these products is needed. I agree that a meme or prezi comparing the two different devices would be great but otherwise a fantastic, informative post.

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