Cost of Switching Platforms

Sections: Mobile, Smartphones

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I was reading an article today on All Things D about how there won’t be a native Instagram app for Blackberry 10. Sorry, Blackberry users.

The article got me to thinking about platform switching and the costs associated with it. A few months ago, I decided to replace my iPhone 4. I decided to get an iPhone 4S instead of a 5, in part because I didn’t want to go through the hassle of replacing all my accessories. I have a Sena belt clip case I really like, and it would have been expensive to replace.

But imagine if I had gone for a different platform? Cases, cables, etc. And apps. Going Android wouldn’t have been too bad. I used to have an old Nook Color, rooted to run Gingerbread. I bought a lot of apps for it, and I still own them. (They are now happily residing on my Nexus 7.) Switching to Windows or now, to Blackberry, would have involved replacing all my must-have apps. Assuming they, or their equivalents were available.

There’s already a great deal of app fragmentation in the mobile world. Right now it only looks like its going to get worse. Lots of people are buying smartphones and tablets, which I think is a good thing. But switching infrastructure involves a lot more now than just “Ooh, neat hardware and specs! Let me get it.”

So what about you? Do you switch platforms to follow the latest and greatest? Or do you find something you like and stick with it? Are cost and app availability a factor for you?

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