Corvida from ReadWriteWeb writes:
The launch of the 3G iPhone is a little over a week away. With all the promotion that Apple and AT&T are getting, other carriers and mobile handset developers have been releasing touchscreen phones like crazy. From Blackberry to LG, there are tons of touchscreen handsets that will hit the market this year in order to take ground from the iPhone. However, they’re missing something very important. It’s not about the touchscreen guys, it’s mainly about the mobile apps.
When the App Store launches, there will be a huge number of available applications and the rumour goes that more and more will be accepted over the next 6 months, due to an alleged backlog in processing of accounts which means there will be more and more new applications as time goes by.
Competitors are scrabbling to release ‘iPhone killers’ which is affording the iPhone a position of ascendancy already, despite having less than 10% of the smartphone market and a miniscule percentage of the mobile phone market as a whole. The lack of wisdom and foresight in the mobile manufacturer markets is turning to Apple’s favour just like the MP3 market did before them – competing on paper, in terms of technical specifications and not bringing anything new to the table is just foolish.
In terms of real competitors we have Windows Mobile and RIM’s BlackBerry. Both of them have a unified platform for application distribution and an installed base. Symbian, while having a massive installed base is somewhat hobbled by their manufacturers who have fragmented the code base by diverging into their own proprietary versions. Nokia’s recent acquisition of Symbian and creation of the Symbian Foundation highlight that Nokia and SonyEricsson are obviously aware of the issue there. Add Android into the mix (and possibly the obscure LiMo) and you’ve got a whole smorgasbord of activity happening in this space.
In recent experience with ‘new’ phones, the interface is still where they need to work the most. Working with the Nokia N95 8 GB and the SonyEricsson K960i – the UI is sluggish, the browser isn’t bad but it’s centuries behind the iPhone. And Samsung’s Instinct? Watch the videos – while it may be able to download the pages quickly enough, the responsiveness of the UI is just woeful. There’s a pregnant pause every time you launch an application which contrasts most roughly with the iPhone. And everything they’ve done to beat the iPhone will likely be defeated in 10 days time. Fantastic guys, way to move the industry forward!
This sluggishness is important. A phone is not like a desktop computer. It’s limited in resources in ways the desktop never is. Applications are not launched and left to run for days on end. Every application is started and quit several times a day in the life of a smartphone. And of course, during the 2008 WWDC Keynote a lot was made of the Windows method of managing performance.
Ridiculous no matter what way you look at it. And this is a third party application that costs $7.95. How’s that for value?
Stop trying to create an iPhone killer. Just try to make an insanely great phone. Seriously.