More on Apple iPhone yadayada

by Glenn Letham

Just wanted to set something straight.. I got an email from someone asking why I thought the iPhone "blows"(he had read that somewhere) - correction... I never claimed that.. since I've never actually used it it would be a bit tough for me to put that label on it.

What I have been talking about the past week of so was simply why all the hype around iPhone when similar features have been available for sometime now on many Symbian S60 smartphones, particularly those from Nokia (and Sony Ericsson). Case in point, the Nokia Communicator series has been an enterprise user workhorse for years, being widely used in Europe by many power users. The Nokia N series devices like the N75, N80, and most recently the N95 are amazing devices that do most of what you can accomplish with iPhone, although they likely won't integrate with the Apple and with iTunes like the iPhone and they don't come bundled with the funky custom youtube service and innovative keyboard entry system. UIQ devices like the SEw950i are touch screen driven and have n amazing music player, after all they do come with the branded "walkman" tag associated! Finally the N95 has quad band functionality, integrated GPS, web browser, WiFi, Bluetooth, loads of memory, etc... most notably though the S60 devices will run a huge assortment of applications that you can easily find via Handango or the Nokia application shop. Does iPhone blow.. well, you'd have to ask a user. Is the device worth $600 compared to paying something like $200 for a subsidized Nokia N80 that will do pretty much everything else? You be the judge. I see Peter Batty has been using an iPhone and he also has an N95... he'd be a great one to chat with about that.. Peter be sure to drop me a line with your thoughts ;0)

Oh, last thing... clearly this battle is a war of the marketing departments and clearly Apple will likely have an edge... Nokia's lack of penetration in the high-end devices in North America has long been scrutinized and the fact that most people don't know anything about the N-Series devices, what they do, where you can get them etc... is testament that the marketing efforts have really fallen short in North America. Or maybe Nokia simply hasn't been that concerned about North America... until now!

Some related ramblings that I've published on iPhone include:
Nokia N95 Aerial Photography from PictEarth USA

iPhone Update - Weblog for the savvy Apple iPhone user or wanna be user!
Apple iPhone pitfalls - limitations and some things you may want to consider before you buy
Apple iPhone: Implications Beyond the Hype
Apple iPhone VS Nokia N95 - you decide


2007-07-10 17:41:46
Do you really not get it, or are you being deliberately provocative? The "is iPhone worth it when others have phones with the same functionality for much less" question is pretty much irrelevant; indeed it's orthogonal to the main issue. The key *feature* of the iPhone is the way in which this not-uncommon functionality is exposed to the user; ie, the ease of use and the overall accessibility of the software. Of course the shiny hardware doesn't hurt either, but having someone able to pick up the device and be able to use most of the in-built features without even consulting a manual is a clear means of differentiating the iPhone from most of it's feature-superior competition. Why some commentators (I'm looking at you Mr Letham) can't see that this is its most significant advantage is rather mystifying. It's like saying "my programming language (COBOL) is as good as yours (Ruby) 'cos you can do anything in COBOL that you can do in Ruby, both are Turing complete". (Sorry to both COBOLers reading this.) For hard core geeks the difference might not seem relevant or important, but for a lot of potential users it's critical.

2007-07-11 07:33:03
I echo what pjm said - if you can't wrap your head around the fact that a product can come out that doesn't aim to simply just have every possible feature thrown into it, then don't keep writing about it.