Google wants you to switch freely from iOS. Apple wants to bribe you

As Google quietly launched its Switch to Android iPhone app, I took a look at how each of the rivals tried to entice customers away.
Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributing Writer

It's so easy to switch. Perhaps.

I can't remember the last time I knew anyone who switched from iOS to Android.

Or vice-versa.

I can't remember the last time a carrier store employee told me they'd met anyone who wanted to switch.

It's as if we choose operating systems like football teams. We decide whom we love, and we stick with it.

Still, Apple and Google aren't giving up hope that you'll switch and come over to their side.

Last week, for example, Google quietly launched its Switch to Android iOS app. Can you believe Apple has allowed such a thing?

It must be something to do with worrying about anti-trust legislation, I hear you grunt.

What, though, might you imagine Google says to encourage you to switch over? So, I went over to Google's Switch to Android website and then to Apple's equivalent. Just to see how different they might -- or might not -- be.

Oh, just move your stuff.

Google's is an oddly simplistic affair. It tries less to persuade and more to assume it's what you want to do.

"Move your stuff from iOS," the headline declares. And then it offers barbs. Or what seems like barbs.

Sample: "With Android, you get the right help when you need it." You mean with Apple, you get no help whatsoever, especially when you need it?

I must go to the Android store at my local mall and let them know.

Google's other teases: "Around the clock security and new privacy tools. And Google apps that work smarter together."

Some might suggest Google selling security and privacy is like British Prime Minister Boris Johnson apparently selling honesty and propriety.

Still, Google insists it's all easy and walks you through the relatively few steps. You get Google Drive, you back up your stuff, and you turn off iMessage.

Lordy, Apple must love hearing that in its app store.

Finally, you sign in on your new phone.

From there, Google wants you to say 'hullo' to Android, enjoy Google's Assistant and, oh, find Digital Wellbeing tools.

Does Google consider that you may undergo some trauma by leaving Apple behind?

Finally, the page concludes with features that make the world more accessible and a declaration that your Android phone will surely have a battery that "works smarter and longer" than the iPhone dungheap you're leaving behind.

That's it. That's the sell. That's the sell that's not quite the same as Apple's.

It's easy. It just works. It's worth a few dollars.

Cupertino, naturally, begins with a superlative: It's So Easy To Switch to iPhone."

Notice, too, that Apple can't bear to even mention that Android exists. Well, not in the headline.

Soon, though, comes a very different enticement. Where Google tries to show a few simple steps, Apple appeals to one of its -- and it assumes your -- favorite places. Your bank account.

Yes, there's the obligatory: "Coming from an Android phone? You'll see how easy it is to switch from the moment you turn on your new iPhone. There's a walk-through to get you started and an app that transfers your photos, contacts, and more."

But then there's this: "You can even trade-in your old smartphone for credit."

You think people don't know this, Apple? Oh, I get it. You just think people are always motivated by the prospect of cash.

Apple's steps, then, are a touch different from Google's.

They begin with "Transfer your photos and contacts in a few simple steps."

But scroll beyond that, and you instantly get: "You can get up to $160 for your Android smartphone."

Really, Apple? You think the glorious, revolutionary human compatibility of the iPhone isn't enough? You have to filth up your pitch with lucre?

Please hold on, there's more. Apple offers support via call, chat or tweet. But then we're back to: "Buy in-store or online." Together with a tease that Apple "can set up your carrier and plan, too."

Whoa there, Cooklets. I thought this was about persuasion, not selling.

Only after all this selling do you get some product enticements. For next comes: "If you want a phone that will last, this is it."

Subliminal thought: "Android phones are flimsy fakery. They won't endure."

Privacy? Yeah, alright. But what about the money?

Here is what an English tabloid might call the shocker. Only after considerable scrolling does Apple come to its signature theme: privacy.

How odd that Google had privacy far earlier in its persuasive arsenal than does Apple.

Unlike Google, too, Apple just won't stop. Keep scrolling, and you get "Everything just works," together with "Earth won't wait. Neither will we."

But we've had to wait a very, very long time for this message.

I thought this page was to show me how easy it is to switch, Apple. Yet you're at risk of going on and on and on till the Earth melts and wilts.

"Yes," replies Apple. "But don't forget our cameras are great."

No, that's not a quote. It's just a lead-in to the next segment. Goodness, I've spent less time in an Apple store buying a phone than it takes to get through this switching page.

This isn't just the greatest hits, it's the whole catalogue. Next, come Apple's new chips, FaceTime and messages, the App store and even a suggestion you should instantly choose which iPhone you want. Buy now.

And that's not all.

Finally -- I prayed -- were more commercial enticements: The Trade-In again and an Upgrade Program sell.

"Still have questions? Just ask," says Apple at the very end.

I have just one: "Why?"

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