Generative V Locked Platforms

The duopoly of Android and Apple now controls 96% of the smart phone operating system market. One key difference between the two systems is that Android is much more popular with an 81.5% market share, compared with Apple IOS (14.8% ) . Another, more fundamental difference between the two operating systems is that Apple IOS is a tyrannical, walled garden system, whereas Android is the worlds first free, open source mobile platform that any coder can write for.

The meme displayed above attempts to illustrate the enormous differences between the to operating systems by employing the ‘red pill, blue pill’ theme from 1999 film, The Matrix. The comparison is made with the intention of suggesting that the differences between the open source Android system and the closed Apple system are so great that the competing operating systems may as well exist in different realities. The meme also aims to suggest that by choosing the Red pill (Android device) a person may experience the true vastness of the mobile Internet as opposed to the Blue pill (Iphone) which exists in what former Google employee Tim Bray calls “a sterile Disneyfied walled garden”.


16 thoughts on “Generative V Locked Platforms

  1. I’m really impressed with how effectively this meme makes a comparison between both Apple and Android. I would have never thought to use a Matrix reference in regards to this topic but it does illustrate the difference between open and closed platforms, so great work! I personally am an Apple user (although I wouldn’t regard myself as one of the cult followers they have) and find that despite Apple’s user limitations, this ‘walled garden’ does have its benefits. I don’t have to worry about downloading potentially damaging third party apps and I found the IOS software relatively user friendly, however reviews of the new Apple watch appear to be less positive
    It is really interesting to think that both Apple and Android own 96% of the smartphone market, however this has left me wondering who the other 4% is. This raises an interesting question, do you believe any other smartphone developer could have measurable success with both Apple and Android to compete with? Or is this a two horse race?
    Great work again!


    1. Hi Jess,

      Thanks for your kind words and thanks for the link to that interesting article about the Apple watch. It certainly seems that consumers aren’t quite ready to embrace the Smart watch yet.

      With regards to your comments about the advantages of IOS software, i do agree with you, to an extent. The walled garden IOS system does aim to filter out potentially damaging software, however, harmful bugs can still sometimes get past the walls. The software is quite user friendly too.. really aesthetically pleasing I think.. I always tell myself that if Android is open source then it can potentially do anything an IOS device can do, and more.. I just need to figure out how to do it!

      And yeah I personally don’t like the idea of any sort of two horse race situations, regardless of the product, service or industry however it seems that Apple and Google are just too powerful to compete with at the moment.

      thanks again for your kind and thought provoking comments Jess 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great meme and very effective in explaining the difference in the two phones as well as their popularity. I have tried using an Andriod phone and for me it was a little overwhelming. I’m not a huge technical person and really was not able to work out of to use it properly. I find that Apple is far simpler even if it is so controlled. Also I trust Apple apps as they have to go through such a strict screening process I assume (and hope) that they will not have any bugs that can destroy my phone. However in saying this apple phones are annoying hard to fix if broken and very expensive! I have become rather used to having a smashed screen.

    Very interesting blog and very informative


    1. Thanks Pinky.

      Another Apple user hey! Well i must admit I also use an IOS device (although I don’t like admitting it) however I think the current Iphone 5c will be my last IOS.

      I can totally relate to you finding Android overwhelming. It takes a while to get your head around but there is loads of really great tutorials on Youtube that can run you through many different aspects of Android technology if you do ever decide to make the switch.

      Or alternatively you could just buy an Android device with the same tech specs as an IOS device and pay someone to help customise it to your needs.. It would still end up being cheaper than an IPhone.

      IPhone’s look really cool too I think!


      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, YouTube is great for all that stuff. The only other reason I stick to Apple at the moment is I’ve got the vast majority of my photos, including all my kids photos, on the cloud and I’ve not worked out how to save them elsewhere lol

        I think after the 6 I might switch to an android phone and see how I go. Maybe by then they will have made them slightly easier for those of us that are not so tech savvy!


      2. Its certainly a hard decision.. they both offer pretty good products! I still don’t know which is better myself as I haven’t tried Android, but if we do make the switch I’ll be happy to share any tips I can with you 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I really enjoyed your reference to the matrix! I personally would not have even thought that there was a link between the Matrix and phone devices, but it does highlight the difference between open and closed platforms really well. I was actually quite shocked with your statistic for Apple at only 14.8% – I would have thought it would be a much larger percentage. I too agree with Jesse’s above question, who is the other 4%? It just suggest that perhaps there is room on the market for another brand, however how successful they are would be questionable, as well as whether it would be an open or closed platform. I would be interested to hear which phone brand you prefer and why, as I am finding that each person likes either Apple or android for different reasons.


    1. Hey Charlotte (and Jess again)

      Thanks for the comment charlotte, Im stoked that you liked the matrix reference.

      If you would like to know more about the other 4% of smartphone OS’s then click on the 96% hyperlink in the text part of my post. That link will explain the stats you are after!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, really good work with the Matrix meme.
    The fact that Android has makes up 81.5% of the market share still amazes me given how popular iPhones seem, I swear almost every second person has an iPhone.
    Personally I have an Android phone which I bought mostly for hardware related reasons, and I love the customisation options it has. It’s so much easier than having to jailbreak your device. Not sure if I could ever go back to Apple’s walled garden after this to be honest.


    1. Thanks Mathew, good to know! The reason everyone seems to have an IPhone is because Australia loves the IPhone. If you went to China or Europe for example, it would be a very different story.


  5. What a great analogy to the blue and red pill from the matrix!

    There are pros and cons to both systems, and I don’t think there is a ‘better’ system. I think it’s safe to say it’s all up to personal preference. There will always be people like @matthewjrobinson who have interests in delving into the technical/customisable aspects of phones (jailbreaking, developing codes). There will always be people like @thepinkprotaganist and @jessemax who like simplicity, user friendly-devices, who don’t want to download malware, and prefer to have apps that have gone through a quality screening process.

    Reading Giverny’s post on this matter ( I discovered about the android app ‘adult player’ and how it was a scam of an app, where users thought it was a means of accessing pornography, but really the developers were secretly hacking into the user’s front-facing camera, ultimately scamming the users into paying a ransom or else threatening to release the information caught on the camera.

    Open-source devices may allow users to see just how deep the ‘matrix’ of mobile phones goes, but could this mean the risk of abuse, malware and scams?


  6. Hi There,

    This is a really awesome Meme – it perfectly portrays the notion of what closed and open networks are, using a popular culture example so that it resonates and is understood by your readers. If I could make any suggestions, I would recommend perhaps some of the pros and cons of each network, as you have sort of framed this blog as a ‘Closed network is bad, Open network is good’ sort of way and I don’t think that is necessarily the case. It all comes down to what you want to do, and get out of the network. I found a really interesting online article called ‘A Month Inside Apple’s Walled Garden; It’s Not as Bad as You’d Think’ which is written by an Android user who has both positive and negative things to say about the Closed Network – I think this might be an interesting perspective for you:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did not state that the closed network is bad or the open network is better. I suggested that choosing the Android system enables users to experience the true vastness of the mobile Internet, when compared to the walled garden Apple OS. I never aimed to suggest that one is better than the other, just that the Android system is more open.. which is inarguably is.

      I appreciate what you are saying but i feel that you may have missed my point slightly . I don’t have an opinion on which OS is better and i agree that both have their advantages/ disadvantages. I was simply suggesting that Android is more open and therefore has a greater range of affordances..

      Thanks for the link though. I agree that the walled garden system has its benefits.. i myself use Apple products…


  7. Short and to the point blog post with a great addition in the Matrix referenced meme, props for that! I enjoyed the comparison you made between Apple and Android and open and closed platforms, though perhaps would have liked to see a bit more of a detailed exploration of what makes each brand good or bad for mere consumers versus produsers. I also think you would have been better served articulating these points rather than relying on the hyperlinks you included to do the talking for you in regards to getting further information on the topic and sources mentioned.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The DIGC SO stipulated that the post should be <150 words, as this one is. There are an adequate number of hyperlinks which serve the purpose of helping you source further readings if you require them. I don't see the point of copy pasting someone else's work into my blog post when hyper linking can show you exactly where you can find what you are looking for. Other than that I appreciate your comment.


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