The Beeb tries to equate ‘smartphones’ with Apple’s iPhone

“Most people would agree that the iPod rejuvenated the digital music market and, by the by, restored the fortunes of Apple,” Mark Ward writes for BBC News.

“With the launch of the iPhone, Apple is looking to do the same again – set the trends, corner the market and leave everyone else looking like also-rans,” Ward writes. “But selling phones to people is very different to selling them a portable music player.”

“To begin with, most people already have a mobile phone. In the UK, upwards of 80% of households have one. Worldwide, more than one billion handsets were shipped in 2006. By comparison Apple, which has a more than a 70% share of the mobile music player market, sold 39 million iPods in 2006,” Ward writes. “And with the iPhone, Apple will not be creating a market, it will be muscling in on a lot of very established companies.”

MacDailyNews Take: The iPhone certainly will be muscling in; take that prediction to the bank.

Ward then spends a lot of time trying to convince the reader that Nokia, Samsung, SonyEricsson, LG and others have devices that resemble, share features, and/or some looks with Apple’s iPhone.

MacDailyNews Take: More nonsense from The Beeb. Actor John Goodman resembles, shares feature, and/or looks somewhat like Babe Ruth, but Goodman couldn’t hit a major league fastball out of the park if his life depended on it. Apple’s iPhone is The Babe, the others are pretenders or worse: they have a laundry list of “features,” but none of the usability of Apple’s iPhone. This is iPod redux. People who don’t use or who are competing with Apple products make this mistake routinely: only comparing feature lists and ignoring the usability (UI) of the device. The iPhone hits home runs; the others hope that by looking like they can go yard, people will think they actually can. They can’t and they know it.

Ward continues, “Gilles Oriol, product marketing manager for Western Europe at SonyEricsson, declined the opportunity to talk directly about Apple’s iPhone. ‘We do not comment on rival products,’ he said. But, he told the BBC News website, that he ‘doubted’ that SonyEricsson would ever make a phone that only had a touchscreen. ‘It must remain a good telephone first,’ he said, ‘consumers are more willing to dial a number with the keyboard than they are to do it with a touchscreen.'”

MacDailyNews Take: The iPhone is a “good telephone” and where’s the proof that consumers are “more willing” to use plastic keys over a touchscreen? There is none.

Ward continues, “‘Also,’ [Oriol] added, ‘the point about a touchscreen is that it affects battery time. You need a powerful battery because to use the touchscreen means it remains on all the time.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s iPhone battery offers up to 5 hours of Talk/Video/Browsing and up to 16 hours of Audio playback. iPhone’s proximity sensor detects when you lift iPhone to your ear and immediately turns off the display to save power and prevent inadvertent touches until iPhone is moved away. iPhone’s ambient light sensor automatically adjusts the display’s brightness to the appropriate level for the current ambient light, thereby enhancing the user experience and saving power at the same time. Oriol has no point.

Full article here.
Comparing feature lists is not the best way to compare products. People make this mistake, unintentionally or not, all the time. A Windows PC has icons, folders, menus, etc., but it cannot compare to the Mac’s user experience. A Yugo has wheels, an engine, a steering wheel, etc., but it cannot compare to actually driving a BMW. A plow horse has hooves, a mane, eats oats, and can be ridden, but it will never win the Derby. Apple’s soon-to-be iPhone victims have nothing else with which to try to sell their suddenly-antiquated devices, so they can be excused for blowing smoke, but witless reporters that go along with it are doing their readership a disservice.

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42 Comments

  1. “And with the iPhone, Apple will not be creating a market, it will be muscling in on a lot of very established companies.”

    Neither did the iPod. If you look at it as an mp3 player, it was not first and if you look at it as a portable music player, it was definitely not first! However, it still out sells all other mp3 players, as well as tape and CF based walkmans, etc.

  2. As much an Apple fanboy that I am, I find user experience features in Windows that I do not find OS X. I’ll cite one example: Select text and choose “Print Selection”. Not in Apple applications. OK, yes in Firefox, but this is built in to Windows. I personally don’t care, but when I attempt to “switch” people to OS X, and they get angry and say “I used that feature alot”, and I just start stumbling… “well, it is a better OS”… it hurts my credibility and the overall notion that OS X is easier to use.

  3. Computers on phones IS the future

    Apple should control it, at least own the most profitable portion of it.

    Will I get a iPhone? Well I don’t know the standby time and I certainly can’t put one in my jeans pocket like my Razor.

    I’m worried about the screen getting scratched. I’ll have to buy a pouch for it.

    I would like to have a iPhone for the features when I’m out and about, but the cost of another phone and Cingular’s internet access is a bit much. $75 a month now for just 20 calls a month and a few games/internet access.

    I think it’s still better to access the internet on my large iMac because my eyes are not getting any better.

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