I am a computer scientist working in a complex cross platform environment. Therefore, for the last fifteen years I've used Mac, Windows, Linux, and Unix.
Being a very serious mobile communications and computing enthusiast, and traveling internationally for work, I've always carried two phones on my person and three or four more in my laptop bag. (Am I sick or what?
I've had every iPhone made from day one. I've had such a ridiculous number of other unlocked, unbranded phones from all over the world it's almost embarrassing. So my only point being I have some experience with several mobile Operating Systems, iOS, Android, Symbian, and OpenMoko just to name a few.
One of the daily carries is an iPhone the Other is one of my many Androids. Personally I prefer the Android, but do not declare ANY phone the best, because we all have different likes and dislikes. l have no reason or desire to bash any phone or manufacturer.
For me the choices are exciting and I get to learn a tremendous amount. It's inevitable for people to compare the iPhone to Android, simply because they are both phones. Where the problems come in is that too many people expect them to be the same and get lazy, refusing to spend time learning the Android Operating System.
Most of you know this but for those who do not, the one major distinction is that Android is Linux based, it's a real hand held computer with an accessible file system just like your laptop or desktop. So as a result there is more to learn.
iPhones are a bit simpler and do not have a file system to learn. They are basically iPods with phones included. They have apps in place of real programs like Androids do. And even though they are both called apps there is quite a difference in the protocols used to create them.
Due to the exceptional marketing done by Apple, and the cult like following they have developed, their sales volume is huge. The advantage in that thus far is the number of apps that are available. However those of you who follow tech news know that Android is closing in fast and soon will have even more.
At the end of the day they are both good phones, it's really a matter of personal preference.
Being an engineer in this business, I naturally prefer the flexibility and openness of Android. It allows me to do things with my phones that are totally impossible on an iPhone, even if jail-broken. I have each and everyone of mine setup just a bit different for fun and productivity.
My suggestion to those who are new, and if you have some patience and desire, read all you can both on this forum and by using Google. It will increase your awareness of all that is available for you to do even if your not a programmer or work in the tech field.
Good luck to all!