“Ever since my January keynote on handset design at the big annual 3G event in Tokyo I’ve mentioned the iPhone in every public presentation. And almost every time I’ve made the point that June 2007 marks a watershed moment in time. Much like the Western calendar marks time from before and after Jesus Christ, and how the computer world changed totally by the Macintosh – remembering that Windows is Microsoft’s copy of the Mac operating system – I am certain that the mobile telecoms world will count its time in two Eras. The Era BI: time Before the iPhone, and the ERA AI: time After the iPhone,” Tomi T. Ahonen blogs for Communities Dominate Brands.

“What will change? Pretty much everything,” Ahonen writes.

“Lets start with the obvious. From June all handset makers will get their first tests of the iPhone. Then Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, SonyEricsson, LG, and the dozens of second and third tier manufacturers will all see what they are up against. Not the outwardly form factor – yes, the iPhone is cool and slick and sexy – but the more important internal software. How do they make it so user-friendly? This is Apple’s strong suit. More so than even stunning outwardly design, is the internal software on user interface. The iPhone for most of its parts will definitely be the best phone out there. Yes, it probably will not be perfect at all, not the very first version (although it might be that too) but certainly in most major features, making calls, listening to voice mail, sending and receiving most messages, accessing the web, consuming music and videos – the iPhone will be supreme,” Ahonen writes.

“So from June all reviewers around the world will compare all new high-end phones with the iPhone. How near do they arrive in being ‘almost as good as the iPhone.’ This is the phrase we will see in most reviews of smartphones. And the yardstick in usability will from now on – and my prediction is that for the fore-seeable future of mobile phones – the latest iPhone. A clear watershed moment in the industry. For the first time a major handset device which was designed from the start to be both a multipurpose smartphone and yet easy to use,” Ahonen writes.

Full article, with much, much more – very highly recommended – here.