Top 10 Reasons the iPhone is Incomparable - Wait-a-Thon!

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[Ed: We're bringing back the Wait-a-Thon and making it regular again. Sorry we dropped it off there for awhile, folks. With all those 3G and iPhone 2.0 rumors flying about these past couple of weeks, it almost felt like the release was already here. In the meantime, comment on any post tagged "Wait-a-Thon" for your chance to win a $100 iTunes Gift Card!]

This is not a response to Crackberry.com's excellent article, Top 10 Reasons Why the iPhone Is NO BlackBerry. Quite frankly, the iPhone doesn't need a response; it's the rest of industry that's so desperately trying to find one to the iPhone.

I don't know about you, but it's getting more than a little tiring hearing everyone compare themselves to -- and constantly try to rip-off -- the iPhone. I can't surf a website or cruise the main without some claw-handed Crackberry addict, neck-bearded Palm artifact, or frazzle-haired WinMob frustrati glaring and frothing with barely-contained envy at the perfectly balanced, seamlessly integrated, lustfully convergent iPhone held ever-so casually in my grip.

They know the iPhone is beyond cool. Sure, they cling to their once innovative, formerly revolutionary (at least in the case of Palm and RIM) devices, the ones overwhelming nostalgia or massive business infrastructure investment won't let them slam to the ground and stomp into the call-dropping, web-mangling, constantly crashing oblivion they so richly deserve.

So the comparisons to the iPhone just won't stop, despite the fact that the iPhone is pretty much incomparable. Don't believe me? I've got ten reasons to back me up. And these aren't minor feature gripes or personal peccadilloes. In proper Apple fashion, these are just 10 simple little words...

10. Communication

It’s right there in the name: iPhone. Steve Jobs said it himself at Macworld 2007: the killer smartphone app is voice. How ironic, then, that so many other smartphones so often kill voice.

Making and receiving calls without my phone freezing or crashing, as my previous device did almost daily, is huge. Unprecedented simplicity in everything from easily finding my way back if I navigate away from the phone app, to elegantly handling call holding, muting, and multiple output sources like Blue Tooth, to effortlessly setting up conference calls is huger still. I can’t remember how often I got lost, couldn’t get calls off my headset, or accidentally hung up on people with the confusing hackjobs that passed for interfaces on my previous smartphones.

The iPhone also introduced desktop-class HTML email rendering and “just the internet”, AJaX powered, standards compliant web browsing, along with interface innovations for SMS, .MAC gallery transfer for photos, and the ability to email YouTube videos, photos, and web links at the tap of a virtual button.

(The browsing is so good, ironically, everyone from Amazon to Facebook to popular blogging plugin makers are providing iPhone-optimized web pages now, lumping every other device into the substandard “mobile” experience or the abortive hell that is WAP).

While some may grumble that this or that power-user feature, or device-specific protocol is missing, Apple has proven they can deliver updates faster and better than anyone in the industry (going from version 1 to 1.1.4, with 2.0 immanent, in less than a year and adding significant capability in the process).

For the user, the interface is the app, and for Apple, their interfaces are remarkably back-end independent. So, if the iPhone needs to improve SMS, or add IM or MMS for now until the differences between desktop and handset protocols evaporate, well Apple’s already got patents pending for that as well.

In the mean time, as most of the iPhone commercials show, having music or video or web pages fade away when your phone rings only to fade right back when your done -- that's truly killer.

Listen up, communication-centric users, especially those who want the internet in their pocket, are all over the iPhone.

9. Media

The iPod is the king of all mobile media, with an over 70% share of the US market. People love them their iPods and Steve Jobs has repeatedly said the iPhone is the best iPod Apple has ever made.

Just look at the stats: up to 16GB of flash storage, a 3.5”, 160dpi wide screen display, and seamless integration with the #1 music and leading downloadable media store in the US, iTunes.

Apple can also extend iPhone media in ways their competitors can only dream. From high-end Final Cut Pro for Hollywood scale video production, to (Mac) desktop Garage Band podcast and ringtone creation, to Apple TV syncing and streaming the same iTunes content to your big screen TV, Apple literally can create, manage, and deploy iPhone media from end-to-end. They can do it easily, and what’s really scary (for the competition) is that this is something the iPhone merely inherited. (Imagine what they might just be preparing for the future...)

No one else, not desktop monopolists, old media stalwarts, or upstart email monsters, even come close.

For media-centric users who don’t want to fill their pockets with a second device just for voice and data, the iPhone's barrier of entry is zero.

8. Gaming

Though not to anywhere near the extent of media, Apple has been integrating gaming into the iPod -- and into iTunes -- for years now, and with the SDK Roadmap event, they’re getting serious about putting it on the iPhone as well.

EA’s Spore and Sega’s Super Monkey Ball (among others, including Apple’s homegrown Touch Fighter) were given the spotlight, taking full advantage of the iPhone’s unique video and audio power, accelerometer, and multi-touch controls. Sega even said they’d so underestimate the iPhone’s potential they had to fly in another developer just to crank up the graphics. Wow.

No other smartphone, even today, can boast the 1 year old iPhone’s raw feature set (chips + sensors + inputs + display). As for gaming handhelds, the Sony PSP can’t fully match it (though their dedicated chipsets and vast software library clearly give them a huge advantage... for now). Only the Nintendo DS, which sports touch and mic, is competitive (massive understatement given they’re the sales leader in mobile gaming).

But here’s the thing: while other smartphone are playing copycat and catchup with 1.0, the iPhone is poised to go to 2.0, and while dedicated gaming kits have undeniable advantages, they can’t make cell phone calls, can’t play iTunes media, and can’t do a host of other things the iPhone delivered on day one.

For anyone who wants to game and doesn’t want to carry around a second, dedicated box to go with their media-savvy phone, June will score for the iPhone as well.

7. Business

Make no mistake, the aforementioned iPhone SDK event didn’t only reach out to gamers, it offered a firm handshake to business as well. Exchange ActiveSync (not to be confused with the confusingly named desktop Windows ActiveSync), 802.1x, Cisco VPN, remote wipe, Enterprise “App Stores”, and a host of other features were released as part of the iPhone 2.0 beta.

What’s more, unlike RIM's technology, which uses a single Network Operations Center (NOC) to handle all Blackberry data transactions -- making the service infamously prone to failures and terrifyingly susceptible to security compromises, state-sponsored and otherwise, ActiveSync offers a direct connection between enterprise server and user client. No Chinese or Singaporean RIM-supplied proxy snoopers, no Indian data disconnections. With ActiveSync, each individual business' server would have to be individually compromised or blocked, a vastly more difficult task.

For Microsoft users worried about a “premiere” experience, having an Apple client may just redefine their concept of "premiere". And for open-source advocates, Apple’s been their from the beginning, with full support for standards like IMAP, and community-friendly initiatives like CalDAV.

Bottom line, the iPhone is in a unique position to appeal to almost all business-centric users who don’t want to lug around an second or third device just to watch a movie or play a game on the flight home, or call their loved ones when they land.

6. Convergence

Communication, media, gaming, and business. In one or two of these areas, other devices currently have an edge. That is, if you’re happy with the idea of carrying around a feature phone, iPod Touch, Nintendo DS, and Blackberry all strapped to your utility belt (I’ve been there and it wasn’t pretty!).

Convergence, however, doesn’t begin or end with just the iPhone. As we touched on before, Apple is the first, and so far only company to truly deploy spherical integration across their product line.

Apple designs its own hardware (iPhone handset), engineers its own operating system (OS X) and software (built in apps like MobileSafari Touch and the Google Maps client), creates its own accessories (docks, media cables, headsets, etc.), offers its own ecosystem (from Macs to the Apple TV, from iLife to Leopard Server), sells them all in their own retail Apple Stores (which bested Tiffanies last year in earnings per square foot), handles their own carrier activation via iTunes, provides value-added services (iPhoto books), runs its own cloud services (.Mac) and ties into other cloud service providers (Google search, Yahoo! weather), offers the #1 music marketplace in the US (iTunes), which also provides TV, movies, and a staggering amount of free audio and video podcasts, iTunes University, and other free content, and is about to be joined by the App Store, which may just do for 3rd party App sales what iTunes did for music.

Verizon commercials like to show a virtual network of technicians following its users around everywhere they go. Just imagine that commercial with Apple’s 360 degrees of integration backing up every iPhone user.

When it comes to convergence, nothing else matches the current iPhone’s capabilities, never mind its next-generation potential. Anyone looking for the “one device to rule them all” will find it all elegantly wrapped up in only one package: the iPhone.

5. Development

Okay, numbers 8 and 7 -- and thus 6 -- are still in beta. Fair enough. But what’s driving that beta is an SDK the likes of which has never been seen before in the mobile space.

Sure, some platforms use Sun’s “Compile once... er... often.. run anywhere” Java language/interpreter, or Microsoft’s Windows-in-name only kit, and others delve deep to the metal on Palm’s sold and bought-back and locked-in-stasis OS.

Apple, much as they miraculously managed to cram a UNIX-based OS, BSD networking, Open GL, and other desktop class systems into the iPhone, also delivered a remarkably mature, surprisingly polished SDK based entirely on their existing Mac Objective C and Cocoa (dubbed Cocoa Touch for the iPhone) architectures.

Far from the afterthought or hurried response partisan pundits paint it, thanks to Steve Jobs’ legacy from NeXTStep, its frameworks, and its processor independence (it’s run on PowerPC, x86, and now Arm), Mac developers instantly gained the ability to dive right into the system, while those familiar with other flavors of C quickly ramped up thanks to powerful tools like X-Code and Interface Builder.

(It was stated repeatedly during the SDK event that demoes were produced in just two weeks, mostly by developers who’d never touched Objective C before in their lives. Amazing.)

A desktop-class OS with desktop-class development tools leads to something no other smartphone maker has ever been able to deliver to consumers before: desktop class mobile Apps.

Even a cursory look at who’s announced development plans for the iPhone reveals an impressive list of real companies making real apps... maybe even Microsoft and RIM.

Combine all this with a serious attitude towards security, ensuring the platform doesn’t become unstable or an easy target for malware, along with an unprecedented delivery system in App Store -- which will put every App in front of every iPhone user, including free Apps for free, and numbers 8, 7, and 6 might actually underestimate the iPhone’s ultimate appeal.

Basically, anyone who wants to run anything on the next great platform wants an iPhone.

4. Design

While software may sell systems, when electronics became mainstream consumers began to shop not only with their brains but with their senses and their tastes.

And if there’s one thing Apple has plenty of, it’s taste.

From the translucent berry-colored iMac and clamshell iBook that re-ignited Apple’s consumer push, to the iconic brushed-aluminum, rounded-rectangular slab that all but makes the computer disappear inside the ultra-thin current iMac, MacBook Air, and iPhone, Apple (or more specifically, the team led by perennial design award winner, Jonathan Ive) seems to hold the magic formula to modern, drool-inducing, industrial design.

Indeed, Apple has not only shaped this electronic generation, it’s shaped the design path of many of it’s copiers... er... competitors as well.

Let’s face it, for a long time garish gray or neon paint over chintzy plastic bodies that looked at though they were assembled from old lego parts with build quality straight out of the Soviet salvage committee were all consumers had to choose from. And, as the saying goes, while consumers don’t always notice good design, they sure do notice it’s absence. Apple knows this, just like they know for good design to be great, it has to be functional.

See, it’s not that Apple “just works”, it’s that Apple designs things, from first transistor to final trim, to “just work.”

Why else, at this very moment, would Jonathan Ive be jetting between NASA and Shenzhen finalizing some futuristic, light and yet durable stealth-like composite that will form the outer shell of the next most lusted-after consumer electronic device -- the iPhone 3G?

So that when consumers see, touch, and use it, it'll be just like the first iPhone -- what they want.

3. Usability

I have a two-and-half-year old godson who, first time he picked up the iPhone, figured out how to navigate in and between photos, effortlessly type his ABCs and 123s on the soft keyboard, play with his numbers on the calculator, tap to show and hide video controls, use the camera, flick through the weather, and transition between them all with the solitary hard button on the device face. And not only that, he enjoyed it so much he wants to do it again and again (and again!) every time I see him. (If Apple would just add dial-by-photo, I swear he could call me on his own already).

Give him any other smartphone and you know what he could figure out? How to use it as a building block or a projectile (and with my luck, the latter). A quick search of YouTube will show he's not the only infant interfacing with the iPhone either.

We've seen a lot of iClone skins and sku's, attempts to duplicate the most superficial aspects of the iPhone, but what few competitors understand is that its not the gradients and transparencies, not the special effects and animation that make the iPhone's software revolutionary -- it's the user experience.

Sure, I could lecture on about how animation hides transition, allows for error recovery, lends analog comfort, taps into intuitive understanding, and makes use of precious space in truly Tog-worthy fashion, but what’s the point?

Apple has made the smartphone so elegant and easy that a two-and-half year old not only can use, but really wants to. And they've done the same thing for adult consumers.

2. Brand

The little forbidden fruit with a bite out of it ranks up there with Superman's S and the Golden McArches as one of the most recognized brands in the world.

Apple brought the first consumer computers to market with the Apple II, the first consumer GUI machines to market with the Mac, the first consumer MP3 (AAC if you want to get technical) players to market with the iPod, the first consumer music download service to market with iTunes. And in so doing, they’ve earned a reputation for cutting-edge, consumer-driven innovation.

Sure, Blackberries have their addicts, but the cult of apple is legendary and, as outlined before, far wider reaching than just the smartphone space. You can't buy that kind of brand projection, trust, or loyalty (just ask Microsoft).

When Apple negotiates innovative features like Visual Voice-Mail, pressures carryings to lower data rates, gets Starbucks and AT&T to stop gouging and start giving away free WiFi at their hotspots, their brand is leveraged to benefit consumers.

When Apple Care or the Apple Store swaps out a 8GB iPhone with one dead pixel for a 16GB replacement, or instantly commands a managerial intervention for any unsatisfied email response, their brand is being protected to consumer advantage.

Other smartphone makers, who worry less about their lesser brands often abandon you the moment your credit card clears, or dump you to outsourced OEM ping-pong at the first sign of trouble. Is it any wonder the iPhone continually tops user satisfaction surveys?

1. Leadership

Apple is far from the sales leader in the smartphone space, yet they’ve instantly become the de facto market leader. When every other company is racing to copy Apple’s hardware and interface, and all competitive product releases are tripping over each other to proclaim themselves the iPhone (or Apple) Killer, they can’t be doing anything else but following.

Palm almost patented Zen with their original Treo, but then they got comfortable and stayed there, with the original Treo, long after the world -- and technology -- moved on. Blackberry made mobile email so addictive it's likened to a drug (and for the record, please don't drop and drive), but buried their head so far up their email they seemingly forgot about everything else. And Microsoft... well, if Zen has an opposite, it's Windows Mobile, an OS whose power is matched only by its legacy handicaps and user impenetrability.

So now Palm is raiding Apple talent. RIM either wants to be the iPhone or just on it. And even die-hard Windows Mobile pundits have given up on Microsoft's ability to deliver on even their most realistic of vaporwares.

That leaves Apple, alone atop innovation mountain. And luckily, that’s just where one Steven P. Jobs likes to meditate.

It’s impossible to discuss Apple’s leadership without discussing its leader. If any one factor encompasses Apple’s (and the iPhone’s) current success, it’s the CEO. Perfectly melding unsurpassed customer savvy with unequalled industry prescience, his singular focus and uncanny aesthetic have not only brought Apple back from the brink, but made it the greatest second act in tech history.

It's largely due to Steve Jobs that no one else has, or can come close to the iPhone. Who else besides Jobs or Apple could sit on something like the iPhone for close to 3 years without so much as a peak or a peep. Who else could ditch the floppy one generation (iMac) and the optical disk the next (MacBook Air)?

Every great artist (like Johnny Ive’s design team) needs a patron and every benevolent dictatorship (like Apple Inc.) needs its guiding mind. As long as Apple has Steve Jobs, the competition can try to copy iPhone 1.0 all they want. Jobs is already putting the final, tiny touches on 2.0 and has his sites firmly set on 3.0 and 4.0. And that's fine because Apple -- as it proved when it killed the iPod Mini and replaced it with the Nano -- is really the only one who can compete with Apple anyway.

Jobs has always said Apple makes the devices they themselves want to use. Well, they make the devices an ever increasing amount of consumers want to use as well.

Conclusion

So, there they are. The top ten reasons that every other smartphone maker on the planet keeps comparing themselves to the incomparable iPhone. Come WWDC in June, the official SDK release, and -- dare we guess? -- iPhone 3G debut, it's only going to get worse (and harder!)

What do you think?

[Ed- Digg link...]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Top 10 Reasons the iPhone is Incomparable - Wait-a-Thon!

62 Comments

That leaves Apple, alone atop innovation mountain. And luckily, that’s just where one Steven P. Jobs likes to meditate.
LOLLERSKATES!

A combination of #s 10,6, and 3 are why I switched from Windows Mobile. As a hobbyist I really enjoyed Windows Mobile stand-alone PDAs circa 2003-4, but I've never found a converged WM device I could live with on a day-to-day basis as my phone and daily driver. I also feel like hardware on WM PDAs haven't improved since 2003-4 (same CPU speed, same amount of RAM, same screen sizes and resolution) and in many cases have gotten worse (2.8" screens, 64 MB RAM, 200 and 400 MHz processors, etc, etc). iPhone has its share of quirks, to be sure, but I've had little problem making it my phone and daily driver ... and I'm finally in love with my handheld again. (As a geek, I like to have a device that's good enough to love. For me the iPhone fits the bill at present.) My wife loves her and she would never touch a WM device (although she has a Blackberry for work). And our toddler son loves looking at photos and videos of himself (not to mention playing music) and can sort of operate our iPhones himself. No way that would happen with a WM device.
6 months in and finger swiping through photos still hasn't gotten old. Trying to view photos on my WM devices (2 of which actually have better 640x480 screens) and browse through them is what seems old. And 480x320 H.264 videos at 1.5Mbps look phenomenally better than 640x480 DivX or H.264 video on WM (which can maybe handle 900 kbps except on my HTC (dis)Advantage which can't even handle 500 kbps video without faltering).

eeeegaddzz... for it not being a response to the Top 10 Reasons the iPhone is NO BlackBerry, I'd say it's a pretty well-written/thought out response. Nice Work.
Just since your title includes the word "Incomparable" I'll toss in some comparisons into the comments. People love comparisons. :-)
I think when it comes to the comparison of the Addicts to the Artsies (for lack of a better term - but seems fitting as Apple would choose looks over function), I guess it's like comparing Apples to Berries. They're just different.
Apple approach is Consumers will use what we tell them to use. And we build good stuff for the most part so people will mainly like it or even love it. But it is a gadget dictatorship.
RIM approach is to give users lots of form factor options - as not one style of device will suit everybody. But RIM figured out a few years ago the secret formula to turn a smartphone into an addiction: a) a prominent notification light b) one-handed ease of use c) long battery life (which hopefully won't be sacrificed with newer models) d) instant communication (push email, BlackBerry Messenger). RIM also goes with the notion of course that a physical keyboard is better, but I won't go there.
With RIM now developing a touchscreen phone, it shows yet again that RIM has it's customer's wants in mind. Gadget Democracy. I don't think RIM "wants" to build a touchscreen phone, as it immediately sacrifices on the "addictive" factors listed above, but they're going to do it anyways as Apple has sold a lot of people on sexiness and RIM is keen enough to give the people what they "Think" they want (as told by the dictators).
I don't think there is an easy winner here. Jump into the CrackBerry forums and you'll find a ton of people who we're BlackBerry users, jumped onto the iPhone bandwagon and jumped off after a week. There are also some BlackBerry users who have switched to the iPhone and love it. And what you're also finding is a lot of smartphone uses who now sport a BlackBerry AND an iPhone - which shows they are Berries and Apples. Even if iPhone goes 2.0 or 3.0 or 10.0, it's still going to lack that BlackBerry factor that millions have come to love. It also shows RIM they have some work to do - on sexiness, on web browsing, on media capabilities. I like to think that there is a Perfect Device out there, but I think that might be a pipe dream... there's always a trade off somewhere.
Gotta jet... my Red light is blinking. I've developed CrackBerry A.D.D. and I now have a 3.5 minute attention span max :-)

Oh yeah... #10.
If the killer smartphone app is voice, why would Jobs not make an additional button on the iPhone that immediately took you into the phone app. Why do you have to click to the home screen, then enter it from there?! It's not an iPhone. It's an iGadget.
They should change that up on the next iPhone, but then Jobs would have to admit they made a mistake on the first one! :-)

It looks like the iPhone in the picture must be the left handed model as the volume buttons are on the right side. :) glad to see the wait-a-thon back.

I guess with traffic ratings dropping, it was time for another flamebait article, wasn't it.
BTW, Phonedifferent did not chart at all on that second traffic rankings graph. With a traffic ranking of 260 000 its no surprise.
Surur

Hey Kevin,
Not to stray from the sensational, but we're incredibly blessed to live in a time and place where we can enjoy so many options, and get as close as possible to something that suits each and every one of our individual requirements and tastes.
I could never really use the hard keyboard on small devices, and used to carry a smartphone and an iPod, which was the only option I used to have. Apple's now given me an alternative that better fits what I want to do, and made a keyboard I happen to find far more usable.
We're all winning, and getting to poke a little at each other on the internet (likely from our devices of choice!) is just cake.
Thanks much for the comment!

LOL@Surur,
Any Microsoft Forum that provides support for Microsoft's dodgy, crash-prone, nigh unusable technology will always be far more frequently trafficked than Apple related sites for products that "just work".
People with iPhones are busy using them. People with WinVIstaMob are howling their frustrations out on forums. Huge surprise.
Next thing you'll be quoting Microsoft Knowledge base hits vs. Apple...

@Burnsaa,
That configuration is necessary for the iTerminator to allow smooth, and cool-looking, iShotgun action. Nothing says d'oh more than spinning to load the next round and accidentally hitting your vibrate switch...

LOL@Surur,
Any Microsoft Forum that provides support for Microsoft's dodgy, crash-prone, nigh unusable technology will always be far more frequently trafficked than Apple related sites for products that "just work".
People with iPhones are busy using them. People with WinVIstaMob are howling their frustrations out on forums. Huge surprise.
Next thing you'll be quoting Microsoft Knowledge base hits vs. Apple...
http://www.macfixit.com/
Surur

It comes down to 2 words: IT'S FUN.
I will finally make the jump from WinMob to iPhone when the 2nd gen device comes out and software 2.0 with Exchange ActiveSync is available. I currently have the 1st generation Samsung Blackjack and it is completely awesome. There's no real reason for me to make the jump beyond those 2 simple words: IT'S FUN.

. . . I like to think that there is a Perfect Device out there, but I think that might be a pipe dream... there's always a trade off somewhere. . .
Well there is a perfect device: It's the Nokia N95 8gb, or maybe it's successor, the N96 (16gb).
However, thats not why I wanted to post a comment. Let me just start by saying I am a Mac user. Always have been always will. But the iPhone is the biggest flop ever. Apple could have made it so much more. Who makes a big deal about an OS update that allows you to send texts to multiple people. All those free crapy samsungs, that everyones network has, have been able to do that since their inception in the dark ages. Apple deprives it's users of basic must have features, and then tells them you should get excited that we have now added it. Think of it as cars. All other car companies sell you cars with wheels. Apple car company doesn't. And because it's a Mac, there are no tires available for it. Because Apple locked 'em. Also though, because its a hot sleek looking mac, for some reason you tolerate this. So when Apple announces we will now be including tires, they announce it as a revolutionary device. Yet again. Everyone else already gets tires. Another thing this article did for me was to remind me why all my pc friends hate me. You would almost think the article was written by some sort of Mac politician. It's so one sided. And all it can do is say what's amazing about the iPhone and bad about all the rest of the devices. It's so cult like, so insanely lop sided it makes me want to stop using my MacBook and get a Dell. Because only apple users walk around with such big heads.

I sure hope none of these people bashing Apple and the iPhone win the Wait-A-thon... that would be sad.

Amen to that Rene - this kind of discussion just brings me back to the Round Robin we held back in November...every device had strong points and things going for it (well..maybe not the Treo 650..haha j/k), and it all comes down to how you'll actually fit the device into your lifestyle.
But you're right..it's all good..so many choices and the devices just keep getting better. I can't wait till my phones a laptop. It can just project screen on a wall and infrared keyboard onto the desk and you can have full power in the palm of your hand. we just need nuclear batteries (back to the sensational!) :-)

I guess with traffic ratings dropping, it was time for another flamebait article, wasn't it.
I might suggest that talking trash about traffic numbers might itself qualify as "flamebait," but I'll just say that Phone different is not as old as WME and faces a slightly more competitive blogosphere.
Fret not, we plan on making PD's traffic numbers as good as WME's. :D
back on topic:
The key thing for me is that the iPhone is going to be where it's at, development-wise, for the foreseeable future. I fully expect the number and quality of iPhone apps to be just incredible. More to the point -- I expect these apps to be relatively higher-profile than your average app for basically any other platform. The App Store too.. mmm. Best way to deliver apps ever.

The key thing for me is that the iPhone is going to be where it's at, development-wise, for the foreseeable future. I fully expect the number and quality of iPhone apps to be just incredible. More to the point -- I expect these apps to be relatively higher-profile than your average app for basically any other platform. The App Store too.. mmm. Best way to deliver apps ever.
Thats because every app which the other platforms had for ages would be met with wonderment and fanfare on the iPhone platform.
When a GPS app comes along, it would be like people could find themselves for the first time (just like people thought google maps was amazing when it was already present on the other platforms).
When they finally get VOIP, the blogs and analysts will announce the end of the telcom business model.
Everything old is new again. Its rather pathetic.
And re traffic ranking - maybe posting about VGA screens is more interesting to readers that the colour of the back of new iPhone.
Surur

Thats because every app which the other platforms had for ages would be met with wonderment and fanfare on the iPhone platform.
When a GPS app comes along, it would be like people could find themselves for the first time (just like people thought google maps was amazing when it was already present on the other platforms).
When they finally get VOIP, the blogs and analysts will announce the end of the telcom business model.
Everything old is new again. Its rather pathetic.
And re traffic ranking - maybe posting about VGA screens is more interesting to readers that the colour of the back of new iPhone.
Surur
No, it's because:
1) the development environment and SDK are superior in many respects to any other mobile SDK (maybe not symbian - i know nothing about that one) including easy support for multimedia, animation, GPS, sql, xml, web, etc. Whatever you want to believe about WM, its api's are nowhere near this feature rich. (and don't give me your backgrounding apps stock answer; there will be backgrounding apps).
2) the device has a unique combination of sensors for input, and a display that is among the best available on such a device.
3) iphone has HIGs that, in combination with the fact that many iphone developers are mac developers, will lead to well thought out user experiences.
If Apple finally sees the light and opens up the dock connector and bluetooth, it will be all over for everyone else, at least as far as app quality goes.

If Apple finally sees the light and opens up the dock connector and bluetooth, it will be all over for everyone else, at least as far as app quality goes.
So no quality apps for anyone else?
Do you really believe old "1% of the market" iPhone is going to make it "all over for everyone else"?
Surur

"all over for everyone else" means:
1) WM development will, in a few years, be where palm development is now
2) I assume we agree on where palm development will be
3) again, i know nothing about symbian
4) misc. linux-based phones will have gotten nowhere due to too much fragmentation
5) android: big question mark. Depends on what they do as far as push email, etc.
6) RIM: again, depends on whether they adapt; they still have time to do so, and have shown signs of doing so, but their java-based environment won't cut it long term.
Platforms die. SDK's die. Languages die. It's the way of things. Palm is done. WM is next. MS has shown no sign yet that it even understands why it's in trouble, though they give lipservice to the general idea that they need to make improvements.

"all over for everyone else" means:
1) WM development will, in a few years, be where palm development is now
2) I assume we agree on where palm development will be
3) again, i know nothing about symbian
4) misc. linux-based phones will have gotten nowhere due to too much fragmentation
5) android: big question mark. Depends on what they do as far as push email, etc.
6) RIM: again, depends on whether they adapt; they still have time to do so, and have shown signs of doing so, but their java-based environment won't cut it long term.
Platforms die. SDK's die. Languages die. It's the way of things. Palm is done. WM is next. MS has shown no sign yet that it even understands why it's in trouble, though they give lipservice to the general idea that they need to make improvements.
Channelling Archie, are you? Unlike Garnet, WM is not a static platform, and is well supported by many companies who plan to make a lot of money of it, e.g. Asus who said they expect to make 10% of their revenue of WM phones in a few years, or Sony Erricson who turned to WM to increase their market share.
Do you really expect these companies to just roll over and die, especially when they cant just take part in the iPhone market by licensing the OS?
HTC's new phones, with slim design, VGA screens, graphic accelerators and accelerometers show they are not just going to sit there and let "unique combination of sensors for input, and a display that is among the best available on such a device" steal their market share.
Surur

WM is not a static platform, but it's a giant pile of cruft at this point. It needs to be ripped up and redone from scratch.
As for roll over and die, yes. I do expect it. Just like Palm did. I expect HTC and others will switch over to android or to whatever the next big thing is. These companies aren't married to MS. Sony used to be a palm licensee. So did samsung. Things change. Companies act in their own self-interest, not in microsoft's.
I agree that VGA is better (assuming good brightness, contrast, etc.) No argument there. However I've yet to see a phone where the accelerometer API is as complete and flexible as it is on the iphone. Apparently the iphone also has exclusive access to a unique graphic accelerator from Samsung, though I know little beyond what the press reported yesterday. In any event, OpenGL is built in to iphone, and I haven't seen anything quite that nice on WM.

HTC's new phones, with slim design, VGA screens, graphic accelerators and accelerometers show they are not just going to sit there and let "unique combination of sensors for input, and a display that is among the best available on such a device" steal their market share.
Nope, they're gonna try and copy iPhone 1.0 like everyone else. Where was that device 2 years ago? Oh, that's right, being finalized by Jobs and Ive's. The industry should really pay Apple licensing fees for their taste.
And Namaste to you, si, for the awesome visual of Microsoft and HTC both desperately trying to build separate sides of a bridge to iPhone competitiveness, blissfully unaware that never shall the two meet properly in the middle. Still, beta by 2010, RM by 2013, and Service Pack 1 by 2015. Given 17 years, and iPhone 1.0 will be in for a heap 'o trouble!
(Hopefully 16-bit legacy API's will be phased out by then -- in different ways by every department, 'natch -- lucky developers!)

I haven't seen anything quite that nice on WM
Direct X 8 for WinVistaZuneMob will be announced at CES 2009. And 2010. (Will go without mention in 2011 and end up Cairo-esque footnote in Wikipedia thereafter).

WM is not a static platform, but it's a giant pile of cruft at this point. It needs to be ripped up and redone from scratch.
Funny you say that, as the next WM is going to be built on the Win CE 6 kernel, which is a full rewrite and already out in the market.
As for roll over and die, yes. I do expect it. Just like Palm did. I expect HTC and others will switch over to android or to whatever the next big thing is. These companies aren't married to MS. Sony used to be a palm licensee. So did samsung. Things change. Companies act in their own self-interest, not in microsoft's.
You are quite missing the point, which is that these companies do not quite share your view of the future of WM? Maybe you are very very wrong?
I agree that VGA is better (assuming good brightness, contrast, etc.) No argument there. However I've yet to see a phone where the accelerometer API is as complete and flexible as it is on the iphone. Apparently the iphone also has exclusive access to a unique graphic accelerator from Samsung, though I know little beyond what the press reported yesterday. In any event, OpenGL is built in to iphone, and I haven't seen anything quite that nice on WM.
I have not seen anything revolutionary suggested for the iPhone accelerometer which has not already been implemented on the Nokia N95, without an API. Maybe your perfect OSX API is not as important as you think, and not really essential for turning your $600 phone into a pedometer or light saber.
When talking about your fantasy iPhone future, maybe you should stop comparing it to last years WM devices.
Surur

WM is lots of fun to program. Call a function once to find out how big a buffer you need to allocate. Call it again and pass it the pointer to the buffer you allocate. Remember to free the buffer.
Except that sometimes you just pass it a pointer and it allocates it.
Except that sometimes you don't have to pass it a pointer.
It's fun, really.
ps: Surur, it still behaves this way in WM6, so don't give me your "rewrite" nonsense. Until they get rid of all the crappy old sdks and move to the 21st century, it's a heaping pile of crap.

@Crackberry Kevin:
Drool. Nuclear projector uber-device will make espresso too!
Apple pushing RIM pushing Apple is also the best thing for consumers. Before Blackberry, business development was stagnant. Before Apple, UE and media was going nowhere. Now everyone is upping their game, from WinVistaMob 7 to Palm Nova to Android.
I'm not stuck on any brand. If another company out-innovates Apple to better fit my needs, Apple has only until my next buying cycle to respond. Loyalty needs to flow from corp to consumer, not the other way around. We pay (and pay!) them, after all. They're not paying us.
Here's to an embarrassment of next-gen riches!

ps: Surur, it still behaves this way in WM6, so don't give me your "rewrite" nonsense. Until they get rid of all the crappy old sdks and move to the 21st century, it's a heaping pile of crap.
Win CE 6. Know what you are talking about.
Surur

Call it whatever you want. According to the docs on my msdn disk, the sdk still has all the same goofy and inconsistent calling conventions. The new additions may be consistent with each other, but they differ from the old stuff. (and a lot of old stuff is still there)
Update: i just spent a few minutes poking around the API's. Other than adding more new and inconsistent stuff, most of the changes were apparently in the kernel (or, at least, below the user layer). All the same old junk seems to be there.

Call it whatever you want. According to the docs on my msdn disk, the sdk still has all the same goofy and inconsistent calling conventions. The new additions may be consistent with each other, but they differ from the old stuff. (and a lot of old stuff is still there)
But does it matter? You are making a rather large thing of something which has not stopped the platform from being considered to be very easy to develop for, and has had a plethora of software firsts, such as SlingBox and Skype.
Even Google Gears came to WM first.
Surur

People develop for it because it has market share, not because it is easy. They can also leverage a certain amount of their understanding of windows programming.
Now iphone (and we'll see about android) have new, modern, consistent API's that make it very simple to write high-quality code that results in programs with amazing functionality and good looks. They also (we'll see about android) have decent marketshare and, in iphone's case, a low-barrier-to-entry distribution model. Some of the most talented developers will move over to iphone. Some people who never bothered to write code for mobiles are moving over too. Over time, the trickle becomes a flood.
You act like it never happened before, and that current success assures future success. Palm used to own the market, and had far more software, much nicer, than WM (or Win CE or PalmPC or PocketPC or whatever you want to call that family of stuff).
At first WM had no market share, but lots of developers (including me) moved over because we could accomplish more with less effort. The snowball kept rolling down hill and it became ginormous.
Once a few "killer apps" show up on iphone, the floodgates break open. And in 5-10 years, if apple doesn't keep up, it will be someone else.
And you make my point for me: slingbox on palm was a royal pain to write because palm offers essentially no support for encryption, video, and only crappy outdated support for networking. WM is much better at all three of these things. Hence it arrived first.
Iphone's SDK makes WM's SDK look like palm's SDK.

I think the fact that apple came out with a device to compete against the BB is great. I myself use a BB...but I am not opposed to using an iphone...I just have not as of yet. It is nice that there is a company that will keep RIM competitive and drive the market to better and better products...use what you like!

People develop for it because it has market share, not because it is easy. They can also leverage a certain amount of their understanding of windows programming.
Symbian has by far the biggest market share. Maybe people develop based on the willingness of the market to buy 3rd party software.
in iphone's case, a low-barrier-to-entry distribution model.
You are joking, right? The iPhone has the biggest barrier of any mobile OS. Did you actually say that with a straight face.
And you make my point for me: slingbox on palm was a royal pain to write because palm offers essentially no support for encryption, video, and only crappy outdated support for networking. WM is much better at all three of these things. Hence it arrived first.
Iphone's SDK makes WM's SDK look like palm's SDK.
You speak as if destiny has spoken. Do you hear voices?
Surur

Symbian has by far the biggest market share. Maybe people develop based on the willingness of the market to buy 3rd party software.
You are joking, right? The iPhone has the biggest barrier of any mobile OS. Did you actually say that with a straight face.
You speak as if destiny has spoken. Do you hear voices?
Surur
The barrier to entry is by far the lowest. Yeah, I have to pay $99 and a cut, but I don't have to package the stuff up, go find a distributor or set up my own web site and pay for bandwidth, handle licensing issues, etc. A lot of people who wouldn't even know where to start in terms of selling WM or palm software will fork over $99 and click a button and be in business.

The barrier to entry is by far the lowest. Yeah, I have to pay $99 and a cut, but I don't have to package the stuff up, go find a distributor or set up my own web site and pay for bandwidth, handle licensing issues, etc. A lot of people who wouldn't even know where to start in terms of selling WM or palm software will fork over $99 and click a button and be in business.
You seem to have forgotten about having to meet Apple's capricious criteria for acceptability.
Conveniently forgotten that is.
Surur

Oh stop it. No one knows how that will actually work. So far, it seems that if the code compiles and links without linking against the private frameworks, they'll accept it. (That is, for the stuff they won't allow, they have provided no API).
If the appstore goes live and they won't accept the 6 programs I have ready to go, then i'll join you with the torches and pitchforks. Hell, I was even accepted to the developer program, which proves they aren't too choosy :-)

Oh stop it. No one knows how that will actually work.
What you cant read? The criteria are clear, and the restrictions real. Pretending this huge flaw is not real is pretty disingenuous.
Surur

Hey, what does this mean? No GPS navigation software, except authorised by Apple?
Applications may not be designed or marketed for real time route guidance; automatic or autonomous control of vehicles, aircraft, or other mechanical devices; dispatch or fleet management; or emergency or life-saving purposes.
I just love living under fascists. At least the trains are on time.
Surur

LOL@Surur,
Any Microsoft Forum that provides support for Microsoft's dodgy, crash-prone, nigh unusable technology will always be far more frequently trafficked than Apple related sites for products that "just work".
People with iPhones are busy using them. People with WinVIstaMob are howling their frustrations out on forums. Huge surprise.
Hmmm...assumptions can be very dangerous:
Where People Go on WMExperts.com
[LIST]
[*]wmexperts.com (frontpage) - 56%
[*]discussion.wmexperts.com - 22%
[*]store.wmexperts.com - 22%
[/LIST]
Seems as if people just like reading our articles that details all the new devices, new software, tricks, etc. than "howling ...in the forums".

@Malatesta,
LOL, I wasn't assuming anything -- I had no expectation of correctness. This is the internet, man! And quite frankly, your intruding reality into my @Surur posts is like me trying to leverage a reasonable data rate from Rogers by quoting a Bell plan. (Topical metaphor humor is a challenge!)
If could, I would lock Surur in the Octagon with Dilger and Stallman, may the least worst extremist win. Absent that, I have a little fun with the @Surur posts in some attempt to restore Karmic balance in face of his obsessive trolling.
And I don't doubt your stats. After all, you're not a Blackberry site where homepage hits would just suggest people keep coming back for news on the next regularly scheduled outage... ;)
(Ducks and drags Malatesta between me and a charging Kevin...)

@Malatesta,
LOL, I wasn't assuming anything -- I had no expectation of correctness. This is the internet, man! And quite frankly, your intruding reality into my @Surur posts is like me trying to leverage a reasonable data rate from Rogers by quoting a Bell plan. (Topical metaphor humor is a challenge!)
If could, I would lock Surur in the Octagon with Dilger and Stallman, may the least worst extremist win. Absent that, I have a little fun with the @Surur posts in some attempt to restore Karmic balance in face of his obsessive trolling.
And I don't doubt your stats. After all, you're not a Blackberry site where homepage hits would just suggest people keep coming back for news on the next regularly scheduled outage... ;)
(Ducks and drags Malatesta between me and a charging Kevin...)
Thats why I, in general, dont respond to your mindless posts. I now know its on purpose, whereas before I just assumed you could not manage anything better.
Surur

@Surur,
Fascists generally both enforce their will and prevent you leaving the zone in which that will is enforced. Apple is likely ecstatic for you (sl.) to stick with WinVistaZuneMob -- move over to Android or OpenMoko should you feel any pressing need for authenticity -- if you don't like their current offering.
Apple doesn't currently offer the iPhone as a computer platform, it offers it like something closer to a console (much as Nintendo does with their machines). That will appeal to some devs and some users, and not others. Every model has benefits and limitations, and every dev and user will weigh them against their own needs.
Installing a very popular voice recorder on my Treo killed it dead (and installing other very popular software routinely made it crashy as hell). I'm willing to sacrifice that level of "open" hardware access for a working phone. Apple is betting others may be as well.

@Surur,
Fascists generally both enforce their will and prevent you leaving the zone in which that will is enforced. Apple is likely ecstatic for you (sl.) to stick with WinVistaZuneMob -- move over to Android or OpenMoko should you feel any pressing need for authenticity -- if you don't like their current offering.
Haven't you heard all the other companies are going to roll over and die. We will all be under the benevolent rule of his Jobsness, at least for the next 5 years.
I better start protesting now.
Surur

It's not like MS has a history of getting products to become fairly standard and used widespread even if they completely suck or anything like that...
Definitely not when it comes to OSes...

I concur! I just hope businesses start picking up on them more... I find the iPhone so much more user friendly than the blackberry...

Will elitist Mac cultists still use a handset that gets "popular" with stodgy Blackberry crackberrians or -- horror of horrors -- PC users?!
"Dangit, I touched a button and it didn't blue screen, what's wrong with this phone? How can I avoid work now?!"

Will elitist Mac cultists still use a handset that gets "popular" with stodgy Blackberry crackberrians or -- horror of horrors -- PC users?!
"Dangit, I touched a button and it didn't blue screen, what's wrong with this phone? How can I avoid work now?!"
You do mac snobs proud.
Surur

when will the iphone get native tasks that sync w/Exchange? none of this "oh I just make a calendar event crap", i need a true tasks program. also, how about being able to quickly find the contact I want to dial without flicking the screen for 20 seconds trying to get it just right? try doing that walking through an airport whe you have one hand pulling your roller board...

So is Exchang ActiveSync, appointments, and a host of other nifty features mentioned in the article...
Yes, I'm aware of all of these features, I forgot about the contact search however. Exchange AS is great, but missing tasks is missing 25% of the functionality I need. Otherwise, I am excited for the iPhone 2, and will likely get one. The one thing that WM devices excel at is the Today/Home Screens. The level of customization and handiness of having your PIM information on one screen along with other information is great.

Agreed. After switching from WinMob to PalmI spent months trying out diffrent Today replacements and never found one I liked. Since getting an iPhone I've never even thought about it... Hmmm... Might be just the way the general interface works.
I'm sure we'll see tasks with 2.0, if not full on GTD apps and maybe even something from the MS Mac BU...

I've long said that instead of a background image on the "slide to unlock" screen, there should at least be an option to show tasks/messages on that screen.

I've long said that instead of a background image on the "slide to unlock" screen, there should at least be an option to show tasks/messages on that screen.
Fantastic idea.

I can't even get a straight answer!
So many articles/posts here are sad. Apple vs. PC... pathetic. Both companies have their strengths and weaknesses. I have a MacBook for my computer that I'm tying from right now and I have a BlackBerry Storm. I had an iPhone and the even though I liked the phone the AT&T service is SOOOOO HORRRIBLE that I couldn't take it and actually had to return the phone and switch back to Verizon. The author of this article is un-Godly biased and has written a horrible article.
I just hope no one uses this article to make their decision on which one to buy.

Yep the iphone just wins hands down for me, although they could do with making it easier to text - the keypad on blackberries is probably the one thing that is better