If something doesn’t need to be there, it’s not there.

Jonathan Ive on Apple’s philosophy, from a MacBook Pro promotional video.

So much of why Apple’s products don’t ship with every feature imaginable – from a replaceable battery on the iPhone to a camera on the iPad – can be understood with this single sentence.

Everything Android gets right are things the iPhone got right first and still does better. Every “unique to Android” feature seems, at best, a technological demo.

Best I can explain it, Android is how an iPhone would work if Google designed it.

When you don’t lock down the hardware it’s very hard to make the UI perfect. Which is why Apple’s Macs, with locked down hardware, have always been a better experience than the hugely hardware-flexible Windows operating system.

Android Team “Laser Focused” On The User Experience For Next Release

This is exactly why I think it will be very, very difficult for Google to avoid having the Android user experience ever be anything more than mediocre, just like it’s very hard for Microsoft to make the Windows user experience anything more than mediocre.

Yes, Apple has rejected some apps for seemingly arbtrary or selfish reasons and imposed aggressive controls on developers. But the iPhone also paved the way for Android and a new wave of handset development. The people griping about Apple’s “closed system” are generally people who are new to the industry and didn’t realize how bad it was before.