iPhone VS Android: Just a difference in marketing?

I recently switched from the iPhone to Android, largely because Virgin Mobile's smartphone plan is ludicrously good for bootstrapped entrepreneurs such as myself. I was expected to be thrown back to the middle-ages of smart-phone experiences. I was surprised - Android has some neat features and, in my view, is a comparable - yet different - experience to iPhone. It occurred to me that the difference between these two is, more than anything else, their marketing.

The biggest difference between Android and iPhone is the user experience. While the iPhone has only one button - a Home button - Android has four. One of these is the Home button that we're familiar with on the iPhone. However, the most interesting button is the Back button. In every android app, you can use this button to move back to the previous screen -- and it's incredibly useful. Most apps are just a series of screens with menus, os it makes great sense to have a universal way to navigate backwards on these. I use the button so much, I almost don't know how the iPhone manages to get away without having it.

A second universal feature is the notifications bar. At the top of the screen is a bar that updates with statues of applications, e.g. if new mail arrives etc. You can pull this bar down to access the notification. It's an order of magnitude better than those frustrating iPhone pop-ups that jump out at you, for example, when you arrive at a new place with wi-fi networks available. In fact, it looks like iOS 5 will incorporate this feature.

This leads me to big 'ah-ha!' - Apple is marketing the notifications bar as though this is something they've invented. When iOS 5 is released, there will be massive chatter on the social networks and cult-like enthusiasm. Yet this little innovation - and many of the innovations emerging from the Apple garage - aren't breakthroughs. They are just marketed as such.

The difference between iPhone and Android is just the marketing.

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