TECH TALK: Apple iPhone: Competition and Need

Walter Mossberg wrote about two alternatives Blackberry’s Curve and the Nokia N95.

The new BlackBerry Curve 8300, sold by AT&T, is sort of a cross between the maker’s low-end consumer-oriented Pearl and its larger, more traditional models like the 8800 series. It costs $199 after rebate, with a two-year contract.

The Nokia N95…[which costs $749]….lacks a full keyboard, physical or virtual and its email is primitive, but that’s not its main purpose. This device is the best combination of a camera and a phone I’ve ever tested, and includes a long list of other media features.

For $749, you could buy the Curve and a very nice digital camera. But the N95 is for photo enthusiasts who want an all-in-one device. The Curve is a more mainstream smart phone that aims for a balance of features at a low price.

Paul Kedrosky wrote in April why he thinks we need the iPhone:

Mobile browers are awful. The Treo isn’t bad, and it’s the best of the above three, but the Samsung and Blackberrry browsers should be outlawed. They are that bad. They are so bad that Blackberry users’ opinions about mobile services, mobile startups, etc. should be summarily dismissed.
iPhone: Browser is reputedly very good.

Touch screens rule. Once you’ve gone touch you’ll never go back. Treo has it, Blackberry doesn’t, and it drives me nuts. Trying to use a thumb wheel to touch a specific screen element is like dancing about architecture. It’s briefly mildly entertaining, but ultimately stupid.
iPhone: Touchscreen. ‘Nuff said.

Big screens rule. The Samsung screen is teensy and irritating. The Blackberry and Treo screens are bigger and better, but I want more. I hate having online real estate so crunched. It feels so … 640×480.
iPhone: Big, bright mofo screen.

Information Week writes about the browsing experience:

Forget the fact that the ultra-high-speed surfing shown on the first crop of iPhone TV commercials is a crock. Forget, too, that the main technical impediment to fast smartphone browsing isn’t software — it’s the carrier networks. (Many of the carriers are putting higher-speed networks in place, though for the iPhone only AT&T is of concern.)

Where Jobs has it right is that we all want an alternative to the excruciatingly slow loads we have to deal with today, on our BlackBerrys and other smartphones. Jobs is correct in implicitly recognizing that lighter, WAP-style Web pages aren’t really what users want. They don’t deliver complete enough content, nor do they do enough of an end-around to the slow-loading issue to matter.

So, notwithstanding all my iPhone bashing, Jobs’s vision that browsing on your mobile device should be no different than it is on your PC is absolutely on target.

Tomorrow: Industry Impact

TECH TALK Apple iPhone+T

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.