I was reading about a fake Afghanistan Apple store. What struck me was how clearly the store owner characterized why people want to buy Apple products. He squarely states that trendiness is really the main reason people choose Apple. Although the US is not Afghanistan I believe many people are influenced by this same reason. Which means it is hitting squarely on the personal choice side of this decision. But for small business owners it is both a personal choice and a business choice.
From Small Business View
I began to think about this from a business-only perspective. Does it make sense to buy an iPhone? As I have shared before there are really only two choices for business owners; Apple(iOS/ iPhone) and Google(Android phones.) It’s important to note that you are not really just buying a piece of hardware. You are buying an ecosystem and that is what is important to the user experience. But how do we determine which ecosystem best addresses business needs?
The Consumer Choice
Both systems have their merits but what becomes clear as you look at functions and accessibility, in the case of Apple, it is centered around the consumer. That means it’s systems are for individuals, people who focus on their personal life, their personal device. Google’s Android is also growing its personal use systems and integrations. The rise of Google+ and Google Now where your experience spans computers, browsers, tablets and phones is a good step in that direction. At the moment I might give Apple the edge for the consumer. They were first and they are integrated, however, there is a caution. Apple leans heavily toward a closed system, which means that you have to go to Apple for everything to get access to any particular item. That is not a concern for you as long as Apple grows all functions in all areas, something that is hard to maintain as online services grow around the world.
The Small Business Choice
Google on the other hand shines in collaboration. It designs its products around security access and sharing that span all its products. As a small business owner you keep your personal and business finances separate. Similarly you should keep your business and personal emails, calendars separate but they should all be integrated on your device so you are not constantly switching to see everything. This ability along with the open nature of its tools to integrate with 3rd party applications and, my favorite, free and low-cost apps compared to Apple make it the hands down winner for small business.
Most small business owners will need at least two emails and calendars. File repositories, read cloud accounts. If you are paying attention to online marketing you may need access to more accounts and to communicate as a specific persona(like the many hats you wear in your business.)
So make your decision balancing your personal and business life and remember that as you move forward in your business flexibility and access will lower your costs and get you running quickly.