FIRST world problem: when getting a new smartphone, which operating system should you choose?

The big four are iOS (Apple’s iPhones), Android (created by Google and dominated by Samsung’s handsets), Windows Phone (Microsoft, primarily on Nokia devices, in a desperate attempt by two former giants to reclaim some territory) and BlackBerry.

The answer is simple. You should choose Android. Thank you and goodnight. This column has been easier to write than usual this week.

Okay, perhaps I’m a little biased as an Android owner myself. The iPhone has a dedicated bunch of followers, and clearly there’s a reason for that (I’m ignoring the possibility that they’re all idiots, for politeness’ sake).

Apple’s interfaces are smooth, simple and beautiful, and let’s not forget that it was arguably the iPhone that kicked off the touchscreen smartphone revolution, popularising the format that is now standard.

When developers create apps, it is usually with the iPhone in mind first, and some of the best apps and games are only available on iOS.

This is despite the fact that Android is now considerably more popular than iOS, accounting for about 70 per cent of the market, compared to Apple’s 20 per cent.

The reason for this is that Apple users are more willing to pay; Android’s hundreds of millions of users are a stingy bunch who prefer to get their kicks for free.

There are very few things that you can’t do with an Android phone, however, and Apple’s handsets tend to be more expensive as well, which is the price you pay for that fancy interface, reliability and simplicity.

Apple also maintains a tight control on what apps are available in the app store, while the Android marketplace is more like a Mos Eisley-style free-for-all, allowing for more, er, subversive options, shall we say.

Windows is, to be fair, a good system, similar in many ways to Android, but with an intuitive tile-based interface that has obviously been well thought out.

However, coming late to the table, there is a severe shortage of apps available compared to its two bigger neighbours.

BlackBerry, equipped with the popular BBM chat service, has transformed, over the last few years, from the choice of the businessman to the choice of the school playground. Cheap, innit?