The real iPhone

Though a pretender tried to steal the branding, Apple have now released or at least launched their iPhone. As a long time PDA and smartphone user, this could be really interesting. The question is: “How interesting?”

Apple seem to be trying to undertake a minor transformation in the way that we use smartphones. To me, they’ve essentially packaged together little more than the state-of-the-art equipment set in a pretty (and probably user-friendly) box. This is a good thing in principle – though it’s really not that much of a revolution.

My Motorola A1000 isn’t a great system. It’s small enough, is 3G, and has space for a TransFlash (now microSD) memory card for a gigabyte or two of memory. It uses the clunky Symbian operating system. And it’s not quite as sexy-looking as the iPhone. But it’s mostly the same. The W950 has 4Gb of ram (same as the iPhone) if you’re really after a walkman with phone functionality. The large touch-screen is probably a little better than my A1000 (or the A920 that I had before), but it’s still just a big touchscreen with the same resolution (320×480) as the Tungsten T3 that I bought four years ago or so. Sure, it has WiFi and Bluetooth… but there’s nothing revolutionary there.

Maybe the design teams at Dopod might just need to tweak a few things, and we’ll have a great challenger on style, and I’m sure at a fraction of the price.

But to give Apple their due, they’ve done something that I really admire. They’ve focused. They haven’t produced a whole swag of versions, just two (only different in memory quantity). And while they haven’t done anything too revolutionary, they’re taken everything that’s available and (from first glance) put it together in a single, simple, satisifying parcel. Great work to the fast follower!