Re: Google, device manufacturers and developers are all the problem
I agree with almost everything you say except...
"They typically fall in to the cheaper crowd (but not always) given all the free android phones you can get."
The thing is, most blogged reports don't mention Android sale broken down into budget so it's hard to find exact figures. However, I did find something on uSwitch.
The UK current top 10 selling phones (uSwitch) reads as follows...
£540 Apple iPhone 4S 16GB Black
£420 Samsung Galaxy S2
£540 Apple iPhone 4S 16BG White
£384 Nokia Lumina 800
£478 Samsung Galaxy Note
£460 Blackberry Bold 9900
£492 HTV One X
£468 Samsung Galaxy Nexus
£354 Samsung Galaxy S
£430 HTC Sensation XL
I used the clove.co.uk site to get the contract free prices.
Why they thought they needed to mention the same model of iPhone twice is a mystery. Anyway, I'm sure there are a lot of cheap Android phone out there but of the Android phones (with maybe the exception of the old Samsung Galxay S) in that list are high end models.
And whilst I completely agree with you that Google need to buck up their APIs in a load of areas, and may lose market share at the top end to MS if they don't sort things out, I'm pretty sure they'll still command the middle and low end markets for some significant time to come. I think MS may carve themselves out a nice solid area of their own with solid utilitarian apps but I'm doubtful the clever/different apps will make their way onto the platform.
To be honest though, I'm pretty happy with the level of functionality of my HTC Sensation. I don't like playing games on handhelds regardless of make/model, even (PSPs or DS's) I don't watch video on it and the only audio I listen to is audio books. I'm not that bothered about bigger, higher resolution screens. I just want better battery life, a better camera in low light settings, a screen I can read in direct sunlight and louder loudspeaker audio.
I think those iPhone music production apps are amazing but they're pretty niche. Something I would probably download for the demo but not actually pay for. I just need my phone to deal with my communication and informational needs. If a feature or function doesn't improve those, then it's on my B-list. In fact, I think I may actually sit out the next level of upgrades as I don't see I'll get much more benefit out of them. Another year down the line and hopefully the mid level models will be all I need. At present though mid is still too much of a compromise. However, with Android, at least I have that option and can pick and choose what features I want.