3. Other Issues No AirPlay. Apple has the great advantage of selling the $99 AppleTV, which can play almost anything from/through the iOS device with outstanding ease. Price. You can buy a Google Nexus device for as little as $299 unlocked, contract-free. Then you can trek to Walmart and buy unlimited data for as little as $30 per month. So far, Microsoft has only announced contract-based prices (industry-typical, at $199 and a little less), forcing you to pay outrageous monthly fees to carriers. With these, you lose the international flexibility of a SIM-unlocked device. I will never again buy any smartphone that's not SIM-unlocked and not contract-free.
Windows Phone 8 is great for some users but not for most. The computing industry has now arrived at a point of ecosystem lock-in with only a few ways to be multiplatform as a user. In this brave new world, Windows Phone 8 is a strong performer in terms of its basic operating system stability. However, too many apps are still missing, and if you are already knee-deep into the Android and iOS ecosystems, I simply cannot see any compelling reason you would want to switch to Windows Phone 8 except for those mentioned above. The vast majority of smartphone users are better off buying the Nexus 4 directly from Google for $299 (and up) and choosing the cheapest possible month-to-month data for as low as $30, which will save them more than $1,000 over two years, while at the same time giving them a smartphone with more and better apps. For those willing to spend a lot more money, the iPhone 5 is a worthy contender for the smartphone throne as well. At the time of publication, Wahlman was long GOOG, AAPL and MSFT. Follow @antonwahlmanThis article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.