Friday, April 11, 2008
Nokia's iPhone Killer - NOT!
Despite saying that the iPhone was in no way a threat to Nokia, or any of the other big boys of cellular, it is amusing to see just how these "iPhone trash talking" companies seem to bending over backwards to come up with an iPhone killer themselves. Interesting too is how these iPhone killers all seem to resemble the same basic form, style and function of the iPhone.
So, just how much of a threat are these iPhone wannabe's to Apple's original anyway? Well, some of them are pathetic, especially those unbelievably Chinese direct knock offs, but others are certainly much more interesting, as is the case with Nokia's so called killer codenamed the "Tube".
Off the bat, the "Tube," for one, has a full haptic touch screen, which gives one the allusion of using a regular keyboard to the touch. Touching a letter, for example, gives a mild electrical shock that gives the impression, through the sense of touch, it's a real keypad. This a very nice touch and one that I hope Apple will quickly copy in some form or another. Nokia's so called iPhone killer also has much more going for it connectivity wise. It comes with WiFi, HSDPA, Bluetooth and Edge support, and if that's not all, there is real GPS capability built right into the unit as well. Way to go Nokia!
So again, is the Tube, or any of the other's copy cats, really a threat to the iPhone? Well, I guess that would be who you talk to, but for me, I think it is something that Apple has to keep it's eyes on, as they do with the rest of the competition. Nokia's Tube, or what ever it ends up being called, uses Nokia's Symbian Series 60 platform, which is nice, but not as nice as Apple's OS X based iPhone. The iPhone uses a real and proven computer OS in which to operate the phone and, as such, it allows the iPhone the luxury of doing pretty much what any laptop or desktop can do: run lots and lots of software. It's secure and from some of the software that I have seen running on the iPhone, both before the SDK, and after it was released, it is nothing short of spectacular! The real iPhone is more about software than hardware , and as such even the oldest iPhone can become a new one simply by downloading a patch, or firmware update!
So far, in a very short period, the iPhone has done extremely well and it has to be remembered that it's only Apple's very first model and it's very first attempt as a cell phone provider. Already Palm has taken a direct hit because of the iPhone, but as others point out, it also has a lot to do with Palm itself - it hasn't released a new operating system in over five years - an eternity in the world of electronics!
As you can see in the above photo, the "Tube" looks like the iPhone, so much so, in fact, that if you quickly glance at it, you would have thought it was the real thing. The screen on the "Tube" is actually a little larger than the iPhone, where as the phone itself is a little bit smaller, a real plus in my book.
One thing interesting, that Symbianfreak.com points out, is this little gem:
"One more thing, NO, there is no multi touch and YES there is tactility feedback!"
Now this is interesting, as some sites on the web give you the impression that the "Tube" is a multi-touch device - but it's not! So, this is a big, big drawback for the "Tube", or any other phone that wishes to go up against the iPhone! The tactility, or haptic feedback feature, however, is a major win for Nokia. I'm surprised that Apple never thought of that one before.
So, in conclusion, will the competition, Nokia or otherwise, kill off the iPhone? Nope, not from what I have seen thus far, but it's deserves repeating that all of these worthy competitors need watching. These are all capable companies with huge R&D budgets and competent engineers who only have to watch what Apple does first, for inspiration, to know what to do second.
The Nokia "Tube" will sell well, as will many of the other iPhone wannabe's, and partly in part, because of people who want an iPhone, but, for what ever reason, such as Apple's high prices, etc., can not actually acquire one. Some of these iPhone killers are equal to it, and in a few areas, actually better than the iPhone, but, in the end, the iPhone's interface and features surpasses them all because of it's usability - it's so easy, so intuitive, convenient and fun to use, that it will be hard, very hard, for anyone to kill off the iPhone anytime soon.
And that's my 2 cents 4 this last post of the week, Friday, April 11, 2008.
Photo credit: Symbianfreak.com
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