Custom Search

Monday, July 23, 2007

the obligatory iPhone post: winners and losers

Yes, here is the obligatory iPhone post. To get this out of the way - It's great, I love it. It is truly evolutionary in that now phones are walking on two legs, and truly revolutionary in that you can forget everything you used to know about mobile phones, and wait for everyone to start riffing off Apple's designs yet again. Apple and AT&T are the big winners. But who is the big loser? Nokia, that's who.

Nokia has been trying for years to nail down usability on a mobile phone, and Apple on their first release blows everything Nokia has ever done out of the water.

First, network connections aside, the iPhone UI is the fastest, most responsive OS I have ever seen on a phone. As recently as a month ago, I bought a Nokia N75 with the latest version of S60 on it, and it's horrible. Horribly slow. The kind of responsiveness where every keypress is met with "did that take?" followed by a second keypress that now takes you to the wrong place. Granted, S60 has a few different goals, such as allowing the user to install third party apps (not to be discounted) but how can they put out such a bad user experience to the mass market?

Second, the usability of the iPhone itself is beyond compare. This feels like a finished product. Safari has crashed a couple of times, but it's usually been when browsing some site that I know even on the PC has ill-behaved JavaScript . Again, a recent model S60 phone is barely usable to make a phone call. Try finding where to turn Bluetooth on and off. Let's see, is that in Connections , Tools, or Settings? I keep forgetting. Seems like a Connection to me, but it's not there. I'm sure there's a way to add a shortcut. Anyway, iPhone is a version 1.

Third, this is the device you walk around the house with using wi-fi, not the Nokia N800. I have had wi-fi on a lot of phones before (like the Nokia E61), but I have rarely ever used it. The drain on the battery just was never worth the speed, especially when I'm sticking to mobile optimized sites. Nokia has been pushing those linux based tablets for quite some time to fill this niche of full featured browsing away from the PC, but the iPhone does nicely and it fits right into your pocket.

Now, I don't want to be too harsh on Nokia; they've sold a few phones. However, they got leapfrogged, plain and simple. Apple took a look at everything that was wrong with Nokia (and Motorola and Sony Ericsson) phones and fixed it by starting from scratch. That's awesome, and just what the doctor ordered.

If this is version 1, I can't wait for version 2.


Related Posts with Thumbnails