pseudobbs

Just another version of Shawn Dobbs

Romney was right on… Sort of

The last few days there’s been a lot of uproar over a leaked tape of Mitt Romney speaking to a crowd in Florida back in May. The controversy surrounds his belief that 47% of voters will almost certainly vote for Obama because 47% of voters don’t pay taxes and thus are unresponsive to Romney’s message of lowering taxes. I believe that Romney’s assumption is correct, but for the wrong reasons.

Obama is also trying to claim that his administration will lower taxes. As it so happens, both candidates are lying, but why would Obama make such a big deal about lowering taxes if that message doesn’t resonate with his voter base?

Romney went on to say that this 47% are “reliant on government and believe they are victims;” that the government has a responsibility to take care of them and provide them with food, shelter, health care, and money. This is obviously untrue; that figure says more about the inherent flaws in our tax code than it does about the attitudes and beliefs of half our country. Although, in Romney’s defense, a large portion of our population does indeed feel that way, and that portion will almost certainly vote for Obama.

But the crux of the controversy comes when Romney says it is not his job as president to worry about those people. One woman’s response to this statement was that it made her ‘sick to her stomach.’ What has people so enraged is that Romney is telling the truth.

As mentioned earlier, 47% of voters do not pay taxes. The number of people who are truly dependent on government for their livelihood and believe it is the responsibility of the government to take care of them is significantly less than this 47%, but the truth is it is not the President’s responsibility to worry about them. The United States has one of the most expensive and extravagant welfare programs on earth, and our system does more than enough to help those in need, as long as they are willing to put the same effort forth.

For those who demand their livelihood from the government, it doesn’t matter who is in office. No matter the amount of welfare and entitlements we dish out, they will never be satisfied. A person can only do so much for another person before they finally have to give up and let them do it for themselves before both persons sink, and this includes the President. For some people, no amount is great enough, and it is irresponsible and impossible to constantly take into account the desires of those who cannot differentiate between want and need, and who always ‘need’ more.

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The Problem with the Arab Spring

The news was recently released that several European countries have been holding secret talks with the militant group Hamas.  Though no official response has yet come from the White House, we can be fairly certain that the response will be one of displeasure.  However, the United States has yet to determine its Middle Eastern policy since the Arab Spring last year, in which several Mideastern countries overthrew their governments in favor of more hard-line Islamist regimes. 

The failure of our government to develop a concrete policy towards the Middle East is a result of our own short-sightedness in our foreign policy.  There are two major problems with the United States’ attitude toward the Mideast.

Firstly, we are trying in vain to instill a Western style democracy in the area, when our objective should be to spread economic liberalization instead, using China as a model.  With China’s increased economic freedoms has come, out of necessity, a certain degree of political and social reform. 

No matter how much we wish for it, the Middle Eastern countries are, and will remain, a theocracy.  This is most apparent in Egypt, which most in the United States thought would immediately embrace liberal democracy in the wake of their political coup.  However, Egyptians instead went the other direction, choosing to put their support behind the Muslim Brotherhood or the Egyptian military, which is equally fundamentalist.  The other Arab Spring countries have followed suit.

It is becoming clear that citizens of most Middle Eastern countries do not want a Western style democracy, but they do want some of the benefits that the West enjoys.  This leads in to the second major problem in US foreign policy.

Historically the United States has attempted to reward those countries who embrace democratic reforms while sanctioning those who do not.  This has led to many of the problems we face today.  We are in essence flying by the seat of our pants, rewarding countries who take advantage of this short sighted policy.  The countries of the Middle East have no interest in embracing liberal Western democracy, but it is easy enough for them to throw us a bone once in a while in order to get money or some other sort of reward that they want.  Afterwards, they revert to their old ways.

The United States should stop attempting to provide incentives for these countries to liberalize.  We should recognize that because of the theocratic nature of their governments, it will never happen.  Instead, we should end the system of handouts, rewards, and sanctions and adhere to a simpler guideline.  Engage in trade and commerce with those countries who do not abuse human rights or attempt to illegally develop nuclear weapons, and do not do so with those that do.

This policy allows for consistency while ending the on-again off-again nature of our relationship with the region.  By encouraging trade and free markets, we would, much like China, see a gradual degree of liberalization emerge out of necessity.  We should stop sending humanitarian aid to corrupt governments who do not allow that aid to reach their citizens anyway.

In order to completely disengage from countries that do not meet these simple requirements for a trade relationship with the United States, it is imperative that we curb our dependence on Middle Eastern oil by developing our own resources, investing in renewable energy sources, and increasing trade with Latin America and Canada.  Renewable energy sources hold great promise, but only if we can develop them to the point where they are effective and cost efficient.

A sensible and consistent Middle Eastern policy is essential to our own safety and economic security.  It is important that we end our practice of begging for the Middle East to democratize and dishing out billions in aid to what amounts to nothing more than a half hearted attempt to string us along.

The Keys to Success

Writing.  Passion.  Presentation.

These three qualities were stressed by Scott Deitz, Vice President of Fleishman-Hillard, as the most important qualities necessary for success.  Though Deitz was addressing an audience of young Public Relations students, his message can easily be adapted to nearly any profession.  Upon closer inspection, it’s easy to see why he would praise these qualities.

All three have one important theme in common.  Writing, passion, and presentation all relate to our ability to interact with other people.  Writing is a product of our ability to tell stories, and our personal stories are the building blocks of our friendships and relationships with other people.  Our passion for the things we do is evident in how passionate we are in our relationships with other people and in our passion for the memories we make and the stories we tell.  The way that we present ourselves is a reflection of our self-worth, yet another indicator of our passion.

Writing comes first.  Every person has a story to tell, and if you can tell your story you can relate to one another.  Being able to write the story, however, is a special skill.  Anyone who was there and lived the moment with you knows the story and how special it was.  They know all those minor details that made that one moment something special, worth remembering.  But if they weren’t there, our job as storytellers is to make them feel like they were.  To tell the story so vividly that it comes to life and is able to be lived again and again.

This is true for professionals as well.  Your product represents something- an idea, an emotion, a feeling, a concept, a moment, a lifestyle.  Our job as PR professionals is to make sure that your company is reflecting the original inspiration of your product.  The product tells a story of its creation, and we are the medium through which it is told.

Passion.  Passion leads to inspiration.  Nothing great has ever been created by accident.  The passion with which we begin is directly proportional to the quality of the end result.  There is a story behind every passion, and if the passion is strong enough then the story is worth telling.  Our passions define us, and the things we do and create are the product of years of passion.  Passion is enduring.  Our passions take on a life of their own and dare us to pursue them, through any obstacle.  The realization of our passions becomes the very definition of the success we seek.

It all starts with presentation.  A first impression says everything about a person.  The way someone presents themselves discloses their opinion about themselves, and that is more information than any question in an interview could obtain.  If you don’t feel that you’re worth what you’re asking, no one else will feel that way either.  As Deitz continuously reminded us, the way to secure your success is to dress, act, and feel like you belong.  Dress, act, and feel as if you are already a success, and it will surely come to be.

Time for the classroom to catch up with technology

image courtesy Google images

In today’s high tech world it can be intimidating stepping out into the job market.  Employers regularly use social media and online resources to find qualified candidates to fill positions, and applicants need to be increasingly tech-savvy.  It is the job of educators to prepare our students for this environment, and our job to hold them accountable.

 

Our public schools largely missed the boat when it came to computers.  Computers were pushed to the back burner in high schools and used as a database and a word processor rather than the multi-media learning tool that they had the potential to become.  We are at risk of doing the same thing with tablets.

 

The smartphone market has exploded, and phones have transformed from communication devices into portable personal assistants.  They do everything for us, from tracking calories to managing schedules to sending emails.  Many can’t imagine life before smart phones.  Now tablets are ready to revolutionize the market once again, and it is important that our classrooms move at the same speed as the real world.

 

The time is long past due for tablets in the classroom.  Imagine the opportunities for an immersive learning experience.  Instead of reading “I Have a Dream” students could watch the speech.  Rather than learning about Franklin Roosevelt’s fireside chats, students could listen to one.  Students learning music could read sheet music and listen to the song being played simultaneously.  Students would have a textbook, dictionary, and thesaurus with them at all times.  In gym class students would be able to track calories burned and have video instruction for weightlifting and exercises. The cost of textbooks and materials would be drastically reduced.

 

Students in India are given the Aakash tablet for a mere $40.  Although the Aakash is certainly no iPad, it is very functional, and the concept is one that should be applied in the US.  The United States has already begun lagging behind other industrialized countries in terms of education, and the fault partly rests with our insistence on going into the 21st century with a 19th century teaching model.

 

Some classrooms have embraced the “flipped” classroom approach, in which students watch tutorials and learn concepts at home and then come to school to practice and hone their skills.  The students log into an education program that gives them sample problems to work through and allows the teacher to track their progress and identify which students are having problems in which areas.  This allows for the teacher to then work with those students individually while the rest of the class continues to learn.  This approach gives struggling students the individual attention they need, and does not hold back students who work at a faster pace.  These programs provide much needed flexibility and individual specialization.  One such program, Khan Academy (a very interesting overview found here), has a free version optimized for the iPad.

 

The possibilities for enhanced learning techniques on tablets are endless, and it is the responsibility of our citizenry to engage in a competitive approach to learning that utilizes the best methods.

New iPad a Letdown

ImageWednesday was Apple’s first product launch since Steve Jobs’ passing, so there was understandably a lot riding on it.  Unfortunately for Apple fans, and the for the company, the new iPad (don’t-call-me-3) was quite a disappointment.

Aside from boasting a new screen resolution 2048×1536 (basically the same resolution as the ASUS Transformer 700 series and a few other high-end Android tabs) and an improved GPU, there’s not much to talk about.  It’s using an updated version of the same old dual-core processor, which has yet to show any performance advantages to Android’s Tegra 3 quad-core chip, or even the Snapdragon S4 dual core chip, despite Apple’s claims.

Apple has finally brought a couple of features to the table that really should have been on the iPad 2 already, so at least they are catching up to the present.  They’ve added 4G connectivity and an updated camera, although the camera is still just a 5mp shooter.

So is it worth another $600 for an iPad 2 with a better display?  Maybe to loyal fanboys, but not to the average consumer.  To be realistic, the iPad 2 already sports 720p video recording and 1080p playback.  This is more than enough for the average user.  The only real advantage to the new iPad is the 4G connectivity which, as usual, does not require a new 2 year contract.  That’s a very nice feature.  The rest, however, leaves quite a bit to be desired.  If Apple can’t deliver on a stellar new product every year, then maybe they shouldn’t release a new product every year.  Or at least don’t price it like it’s a new product when it’s just the same old thing with a couple tweaks.

Restore Omaha

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On Saturday I was lucky enough to attend the Restore Omaha conference as a volunteer and cover the events and speakers.  Restore Omaha is an annual conference centered on restoring older and historical homes, promoting green energy alternatives, and implementing energy efficient renovations to existing homes.

It was an educational experience, to say the least.  The opening address was given by Arnie Breslow, who recently restored the Cornish residence on 10th and William Street in Omaha.  He detailed how, over the last 13 years, he dedicated his weekends and holidays to restoring the French Second Empire-style house, built in 1886.  The Cornish house is just one of several houses that Breslow has restored in the Omaha area.

After the first session was a lunch break followed by the keynote address from Patricia Gay, Executive Director of the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans.  Gay highlighted several similarities, as well as a few differences, between New Orleans and Omaha and their respective preservation and restoration efforts.  She spend a great deal of time focused on federal and state legislation that can aid restoration projects, and how restoration projects can help stem problems of urban blight and actually be a financial boon to a city.

Before and after the keynote address were dozens of mini “breakout sessions,” dealing with a more specific topic related to classic homes and homeownership.  I attended classes on electric safety given by a local contractor, Tom Taylor.  I saw a history of the “modernist” movement in architecture, given by Paula Mohr of the Iowa State Preservation Office, and ended the day with a sneak peak of the newly improved reEnergize program, a collaborative effort between Omaha and Lincoln to improve energy efficiency in old homes.

In between there were plenty of opportunities to meet local merchants and enthusiasts, and lots of networking opportunities.  I happened to meet the son of a UNO alumni who ran the UNO Gateway for many years, and a number of other interesting people.

I spent over seven hours at the convention and it flew by.  I look forward to it next year, and encourage anyone who plans on owning a home or currently owns a home to attend as well.

“I Inherited this Mess”

When attempting to make a case for why the public should even consider reelecting a man who has failed to keep nearly every promise he made prior to swindling- I mean, winning- office (http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/rulings/promise-broken/) there is one fallback that the President would most certainly not use this time around, although it would actually be the truth.

“We inherited this economic mess.”  (Or one of a million versions of that statement oft repeated)

We’ve heard this line before, of course.  It has been used by Team Obama for four years to explain why his administration can’t seem to do anything with the economy (or anything else).  In fact, this line has been repeated so often the mainstream media has taken it as fact, and seems to have completely forgotten about that pesky little housing bubble that was the catalyst for it all.  No, now it was all George Bush and the GOP that caused the recession.  Never mind that subprime mortgage practices were introduced and encouraged by President Carter’s “Community Reinvestment Act” over 30 years ago (http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2008/09/28/franks_fingerprints_are_all_over_the_financial_fiasco/).

The Clinton administration and Andrew Cuomo (Director of FHA at the time) only exacerbated this problem (http://www.openmarket.org/2008/09/16/clinton-pressure-to-promote-affordable-housing-led-to-mortgage-meltdown/).  Weak attempts were made during the Bush administration to reform lending standards as well as Fannie and Freddy, but these were half-hearted attempts at best.

But to rely on actual facts would mean that nothing was inherited from the previous administration, and someone in this administration would have to assume responsibility.  Perhaps the President?  Not a chance. Ms. Clinton?  Not likely.  Maybe the first lady?  It would seem not.  Eric Holder?  Nope.  Nancy Pelosi?  Harry Reid?  Any Democrat in Congress?  No, no, and no.

Lucky for Obama, come November this year, the previous administration will be his own, and then he can accurately blame “the previous administration” all he wants.  It might just be the first time I would take this President at his word.

Warren Buffett Should Not Be a Role Model

Warren Buffett Should Not Be a Role Model

 

“The soul…can’t be ruled.  It must be broken.  Drive a wedge in, get your fingers on it- and the man is yours.  You won’t need a whip-he’ll bring it to you and ask to be whipped.  Set him in reverse- and his own mechanism will do your work for you.

Make man feel small.  Make him feel guilty.  Kill his aspiration and his integrity…Kill integrity by internal corruption.  Use it against itself.  Direct it toward a goal destructive of all integrity.  Preach selflessness.  Tell man that he must live for others.  Tell men that altruism is the ideal.  Not a single one of them has ever achieved it and not a single one ever will.  His every living instinct screams against it…Man realizes that he’s incapable of what he’s accepted as the noblest virtue- and it gives him a sense of guilt, of sin, of his own basic unworthiness.  Since the supreme ideal is beyond his grasp, he gives up eventually all ideals, all aspiration, all sense of his personal value.”

-Ayn Rand; The Fountainhead

For a perfect example of this principle in action, you don’t have to look far.  Well, you probably don’t even have to look outside of the room you’re in or the street you’re on; most people have come to accept some version of this attitude and live by it.  But for an obvious, screaming, can’t-be-ignored living example of this, look no further than 3555 Harney Street, at the offices of Warren E. Buffett.

Warren Buffett has experienced tremendous success through his ability to foresee outcomes and recognize greatness and integrity in others.  Some say Buffett got rich through luck, or through no work of his own, but that’s simply untrue.  While Buffett does maintain a team of investors today that do the majority of his work for him, he accumulated his first millions through long hours of dedicated labor.

Anyone with a sense of self-worth and personal integrity would be proud of these achievements.  The man of self-worth would show through example how to achieve success, and attempt to inspire others to reach the same heights as he.  Instead, Buffett preaches the injustice of his success, viewing it as a damnable offense to society.

“While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks.”

“[The wealthy] have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress.  It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.”

Besides showing an ignorance of and disdain for our armed forces, typical of liberal plutocrats, these statements reveal Buffett’s “sense of guilt, of sin, of his own basic unworthiness.”  Only those who believe in the unworthiness of all of us “get serious about shared sacrifice.”  Those of us who believe in the principled spirit of mankind, the spirit that gave us the power to fly, the power to walk on water, the power to create the wonders of the world, the towers, the symphonies, the sculptures; the power to be prophets and shapers of our own destinies and futures, those of us who understand that THIS is the essence of mankind, would never preach the value of “shared sacrifice.”  We would preach the value of shared success, of our human ability to elevate ourselves out of a pitiable position and into one of honor and fulfillment, such as Mr. Buffett.  A man with integrity would be proud of an achievement such as Mr. Buffett has achieved.

Rather than pitying those who are “below” him, Buffett should encourage and teach.  Rather than giving away his integrity (his money-the tangibility of his ethic and success) to various charities and others he pities and berating Mitch McConnell for not doing the same, Buffett should seek to use his wealth to give the foundation and structure of his success to others who are capable yet have not the opportunity.  Rather than pity, a man of integrity should feel exalted and optimistic that if he can achieve this kind of success, so can others.  Pity is the most disrespectful feeling one man can have for another.

“…pity- this complete awareness of a man without worth or hope, this sense of finality, of the not to be redeemed.  There was shame in this feeling- his own shame that he should have to pronounce such judgment upon a man, that he should know an emotion which contained no shred of respect.

This is pity, he thought, and he lifted his head in wonder.  He thought that there must be something terribly wrong with a world in which this monstrous feeling is called a virtue.”

-Ayn Rand; The Fountainhead

Habitat

“The economics of Jesus.”

Words that would be public suicide for any of today’s politicians, but this is how Mary Barrett, founder of the Omaha chapter of Habitat for Humanity, describes the Habitat philosophy.

“It’s a biblical business model.”

“We don’t work for the poor.  We work with the poor.  We don’t want to lose that focus.”

This is how Jesus would have run a business in today’s world.  That’s not to say that Mary sees herself as Christ-like; far from it.  Mary is one of the most honest, sincere, humble women I have ever met.

So how exactly would Jesus run a business in the modern economy?  If it were a housing business, he would first house the poor, the homeless, and the helpless.  He would have those who he helped repay him by doing the same kindness for another, and building more homes for the homeless.  By paying it forward, he would soon have amassed a volunteer base that could build not just one house, but a whole neighborhood, and much much more.  Instead of sheltering profits, he would shelter people.  And he would call it Habitat for Humanity.

This idea of people helping people at the most basic level, with no interest in profit, is what motivated Mary to found Habitat for Humanity in Omaha.  On a visit to Georgia in 1984, the same year that Jimmy Carter discovered Habitat for Humanity, Mary saw the Habitat organization and what they were doing, and how it got to the root of the problem.  She had worked with her church and other organizations at homeless shelters and charitable foundations before, and had seen the revolving door of the same faces coming in time after time with the same problems, stuck in the same rut.  Habitat for Humanity was a different sort of project, one that aimed to empower people and give them a foundation on which to build their own futures.

Mary came back to Omaha with the idea to help the communities in her hometown that needed the help most.  After receiving little initial support, she invested $1,000 of her own money into the project, and when that ran out, she invested another $1,000.  Her initial investment fed the organization hand-to-mouth until enough support was garnered to interest donors and grants.  Once the project was underway, it became completely self-sustaining; the money gained by mortgaging the houses is directly channeled into building more houses, with no profit to the organization.  The homes are mortgaged at 0% interest.

Now, 25 years later, Mary is still involved heavily with Habitat in Omaha.  Though not officially a staff or board member any longer, she often visits Habitat sites and continues to lend a helping hand.

For more information on the Omaha chapter of Habitat for Humanity and the organization in general, visit habitatomaha.org

Why Androids Eat Apples for Breakfast

Often, I am asked by my friends to come with them to help pick out their new cell phones.  It’s usually been almost two years since their last phone, and a lot has changed in two years.  Partly because I am mobile-technology savvy and partly because I’m just a big nerd who takes great pains to stay up to date in that department, I can usually be of service.  The first thing I tell anyone who asks (because it is always the first thing I am asked) is NOT to get an iPhone.  I’ve been asked so many times and had to explain so many times that it seems more prudent to just write it down for all to see.

Before the criticism begins, allow me to give credit where credit is due.  The iPhone is a good product.  In terms of functionality, user-friendliness, vision, and implementation, the iPhone (especially the iPhone 4S) is ideal for many people.  But, as Samsung has recently tried to point out through their Galaxy ad campaign, it is by no means the only thing out there.  In fact, the biggest reason that Apple is such a powerhouse today is only because they were first out of the gate, releasing the first iPhone in July 2007, over a year before the first Android device (HTC’s G1) was released.  Since the G1 it’s been an ugly battle, with both companies viciously competing for market share and driving the technology in the field to dizzying new heights.

Despite Apple’s significant lead (a year is a lifetime in the smartphone industry), Android has taken massive strides to catch up and surpass Apple in almost every respect.  So before you run out the door to buy your new iPhone, consider a few things first.

OPEN SOURCE

As mobile technology advances more quickly than any other industry and Apple had such a huge head start, how is it that in just over three years Android has been able to overtake Apple in such a significant way?  Within the answer lies what is the most crucial difference between Android and Apple, and also why the iPhone will eventually cease to be a viable product.  That reason is “open source.”

Put simply, anyone can do anything with their Android phone.  In contrast, the user can’t even take the battery out of the iPhone.  This represents a stark contrast in company philosophy.  Android is an open source code.  The developer codes for Android software are available for free to anyone who cares to mess with it.  You can “unlock” your Android phone and rewrite the very code that it runs on to make it do what you want it to.  This is far more advanced than the average user is capable of, but there are plenty of people out there who love doing exactly this, and they make the results of their work available for free to the rest of us on the Android platform.  Apple, on the other hand, charges $99/year for access to their code, and developers can do only one thing with it: create apps for the Apple AppStore.  Any attempt to rewrite the iPhone code would be immediately rejected, and those caught modifying and distributing modified codes would be prosecuted.  In the long run, it is this philosophy that will be the death knell for iPhone.  There is an active community of thousands of Android enthusiasts working tirelessly to make the platform the very best that it can be.  The open source nature of Android encourages this.  Apple retains such tight control over every aspect of its product that it simply cannot utilize the resources of the developer community in the same way that Android can.  This point is perfectly represented by the graph below, comparing the number of iPhones shipped to the number of Android phones shipped.

APPS, APPS, APPS

Now that the techy part is over, it’s time to discuss what everyone with a smartphone really cares about- apps!

While true that the Apple AppStore still contains more apps than the Android Marketplace (459,000 to 319,000 as of October 2011) there are three things to keep in mind here.

(1) Apple has a 16-month head start on Android.  Considering that in just the last three months of 2011 there were over 100,000 apps added to each platform, 16 months is a tremendous lead, and for Android to close the gap this quickly is an impressive feat.

(2) Android is catching up fast.  October’s numbers were the latest exact figures available, but Android boasts on its website that the Marketplace now contains over 400,000 apps, and Apple claims to have over 500,000.  Regardless of claims and speculations, one thing is clear- Android is catching up.  Also keep in mind that because of the open source nature of Android, apps can be downloaded from other sources as well, including the Amazon AppStore, the AppBrain market, AppPlanet, and countless others.  Including these third party sources, Android far surpasses Apple in sheer numbers of apps.

(3) Android offers far more free apps than Apple.  In fact, 70% of Android apps are free, compared with a mere 35% of Apple apps.  From a developer standpoint, this could be a disappointment, but for the end user it is extremely satisfying to know that you got the same app for free that your iPhone carrying friends coughed up anywhere from $3-$5 or even more.

HARDWARE & SOFTWARE- WHAT’S INSIDE

There is one final, crucial aspect to consider when purchasing your new phone, and that is the hardware and software it is running.  In this area, Apple at least gets kudos for keeping things simple and reliable.  There is only one iPhone every year, and it comes straight from Apple.  Every new iPhone is guaranteed to feature significant improvements over the previous generation of iPhone.  Not so with Android.

Android manufacturers have recently stated that beginning this year they will focus on quality rather than quantity and most all agree this is a welcome trend.  For the last two years Android handsets have been flooding the market faster than anyone could keep up with them.  The high-end and some mid-range Android phones have always been superior to iPhone (and any other phone on the market), but the low-end and certain other mid-range phones have tarnished the platform and left many consumers feeling that deciding which Android phone to get is just too much trouble.  Many simply believe all Android devices are the same.

In order to give an accurate comparison, we will focus only on the high-end phones (generally called “flagship devices”) of the various carriers, which represent the best of Android, and compare them to the iPhone 4S, the best of Apple.

Motorola uses the slogan “Droid Does” in their marketing campaigns.  This accurately sums up the difference between Android and Apple devices.  Android does, and Apple does not.  What does Apple not do?  Several things, including but not limited to- NFC chips (Near Field Communication, used for such services as mobile banking), AM/FM radio; widgets (extensions of apps that update automatically on the phone’s home screen), 4G network speeds (that’s right- the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S are NOT 4G phones), and memory cards/SD cards/SIM cards.

Despite lacking several software features found in nearly every Android phone, the iPhone 4S falls short in the hardware department too.  Without getting overly technical, the biggest problem with the iPhone’s hardware is that it is outdated and overpriced.  The just-released iPhone 4S is powered by a 1Ghz dual-core processor, the Apple A5.  The Apple A5 chip is based on Cortex 9 technology, which is almost three years old.  Samsung has been able to use Cortex 9 technology to produce 1.5Ghz processors, so the question remains why Apple chose not to utilize the technology to its full capability.  Even the upcoming iPhone 5 with an updated Apple A6 processor is based on Cortex 9 and expected to run at only around 1.2Ghz, while Samsung’s highly anticipated Galaxy S3 is expected to be running on Cortex 15 technology, boosting performance to 2Ghz and providing up to 75% more speed and power than Cortex 9-based chips.  Even with inferior hardware, the iPhone 4S retails at $400, and that is WITH a 2 year contract.  In contrast, flagship devices from LG, Motorola, Samsung, and HTC (the major Android manufacturers) have never topped $299, and most go for $199.

The other major disappointment is that the iPhone 5 will not be a quad-core device, meaning Apple users will have to wait at least another full year before they can hope to see a quad-core iPhone.  For those who don’t know, dual core devices were introduced for the first time last year (making their debut on Android, incidentally) and provided twice the speed, computing, and processing power of any handset released prior.  Dual core has now become the industry standard.  Quad core devices take it still further, promising a 5x performance improvement over dual core, essentially making mobile devices capable of running at speeds equal to or faster than a desktop PC with high-speed internet access.  Quad core technology is already in use in some Android tablets, and at the Mobile World Congress at the end of February, quad core phones will be premiered for the first time, yet again exclusively on Android.

In the last three years, Android has come from being the dark horse of the mobile arena to the fore runner.  In the coming years Android’s expertise and superiority will only become more pronounced as they continue to deliver cutting edge technology with the best hardware and software at the best prices on the market.  Unfortunately for Apple, their reign of smartphone dominance is already on the decline, and they will continue to be outpaced and outdone as Android delivers what consumers expect out of their products.

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