Now the iPhone has been around for a while and it is apparent that it’s changed the game. It’s changed what people expect from a mobile phone. The key behind its success being that it’s more than just a mobile phone; it’s a mobile platform, a platform that has evolved over time.
Figure 1 iPhone 3GS The latest iteration of the iPhone platform.
Looking at the iPhone’s hardware specs, there’s really nothing that we haven’t seen on other devices. It has the usual features that are found in other smart-phones, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, large display, plenty of memory, a plethora of sensors and more recently GPS, 3G, compass and many other goodies. So what sets the iPhone apart? Others may argue that it is the App Store that sets the iPhone apart but it is not. The App Store is merely peripheral; it is the result of that which sets the iPhone apart.
Figure 2 Lots of great mobile devices out there. From left the iPhone, Nokia n97, HTC Hero, Palm Pre, Samsung i8910 and the Sony Ericsson Satio
I’m by no means an iPhone fan boy, in fact, I’m almost a hater. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like to follow the crowd and I’ve chosen other phones over the iPhone twice so far; big mistakes. But I’m likely to do it again next time aroundJ. So what is it about the iPhone that’s made the world fall in love with it? This is something that most people overlook when they look at the iPhone or any other phone for that matter; support.
The effort that Apple puts into the iPhone is what sets it apart. They put their heart and soul into it. They listen to what people say and they make significant changes that have significant effects. The original iPhone was launched about 2 years ago and it is still evolving with the same momentum it had from the beginning. Apple has remained passionate and persistent with the iPhone even after it’s been around for so long. Other manufacturers, such as Samsung, tend to back away from their products just after they let them out the door. It’s almost as if any complaints made by users land on deaf ears.
Initially the iPhone had no applications at all, just promises. Samsung had the same, lots of promises with the i8910 Omnia HD. After a while, some web apps popped up for the iPhone and before long the SDK came out and a lot of new innovative applications followed it. A lot of changes were also made with the user interface, more functionality and more features were added. The iPhone evolved into what it is today with no change in the hardware in the case of the original iPhone which has the same firmware version as the iPhone 3GS. There are of course a few differences to accommodate the newer hardware and features of the 3GS.
Software-wise and support-wise, the original iPhone launched 2 years ago is better than the Samsung i8910 Omnia HD. With support and actual progress made being the most important factors for a mobile phone, this makes the original iPhone better the Omnia HD overall. Despite the significantly superior hardware, a powerful operating system and a massive head start, the Omnia HD falls short compared to the iPhone in many ways. I’ve already gone through the problems with the Omnia HD in my report and it is really disheartening.
Figure 3 Legendary iPhone next to the i8910, a ‘potential’ monster of a phone
Others still may argue that these are early days but they’re really not. We’ve seen the same pattern from Samsung with the G810 and more recently the i8510 Innov8 just a year ago. They were released with a lot of promise, a lot of hope and a lot of potential but were abandoned almost as soon as they were released.
Now don’t get me wrong, the iPhone is not perfect. It has its flaws, users have their fair share of issues, but Apple seems to make a real effort to address them. For instance with cut, copy and paste. This is a feature users requested from the get go and Apple delivered. It’s a pretty big feature and engineers had to really work to get it up and running. Another thing is portrait keyboard for notes/mail app. A small request, but guess what? Apple delivered. These are just a few examples. Of the things users want from their i8910, Samsung hasn’t delivered a single significant update to date!
Despite all that, all is not lost. There is still hope that Samsung will pull up their socks and get their act together before it’s too late. As with any other phone, since the iPhone came out (and before), people expect their voices to be heard, people expect changes to be made when overwhelming numbers voice concerns. We do not expect the i8910 Omnia HD to evolve as much as the iPhone has but we expect the existing problems to be resolved. The petition that I started has been progressing quite slowly but clearly a lot of people agree with my views.
Now, this is not the first time a mobile phone company has failed to deliver. HTC failed to deliver graphics drivers for the TyTN II resulting in the website http://www.htcclassaction.org/ with the tag “Because HTC dropped the ball, and it’s about time they pick it up!”. This was for graphics drivers only! Samsung raised the bar with the i8910 Omnia HD. They completely walked off the pitch with this one! Wake up Samsung.