Mossberg: Verizon’s new LG Voyager looks like Apple iPhone, but software is primitive, inferior

“I’ve been testing a black-and-silver cellphone featuring a large touch screen populated with an array of colorful icons against a black background. Tapping the icons launches functions like a music player, Web browser and text-messaging program,” Walter S. Mossberg reports for The Wall Street Journal. “That may sound like Apple’s heavily publicized iPhone, which runs on the AT&T wireless network, but it’s not. This phone is called the Voyager, and it’s made by LG and runs on the rival Verizon Wireless network.”

“Despite their superficial similarities, the two devices are very, very different… Voyager is bulkier than the sleek iPhone — about 50% thicker and 40% larger overall — even though it’s a tad lighter. And it lacks the iPhone’s ability to use Wi-Fi hot spots and home networks, which are often faster than Verizon’s 3G network. It also has only about half the battery life; a smaller, lower-resolution screen, and just a fraction of the Apple’s internal memory,” Mossberg reports.

“Most importantly, the Voyager suffers badly in the area where Apple’s phone shines: software. Whether Verizon considers it a direct iPhone competitor or not, the LG product tries to do many of the same things, and it generally falls short,” Mossberg reports.

“This is the true challenge that the iPhone poses to established phone makers like LG. Apple has managed to build into its phone a real PC-grade operating system with a breakthrough user interface and elegant programs, something that has eluded the major cellphone makers,” Mossberg reports. “As with so many of the new feature-packed mobile phones, the Voyager’s user interface is clumsy and confusing, requiring too many steps to perform simple tasks. And its applications, such as the photo organizer, music player, Web browser and email program, are primitive compared with the iPhone’s.”

Full review here.

“We think it’ll be the best phone … this year. It will kill the iPhone.” – Mike Lanman, Verizon Wireless Chief Marketing Officer, October 03, 2007


  1. Good Apple… now please do the same in other countries all around the world.

    Also, please bring iPhone down to Canada + all your movies to iTunes Canada, and elsewhere too.

    The world is larger than NY.

  2. If Mossberg sees the problem is software, then there’s a simple solution. My understanding is the Lucky Goldstar Voyager doesn’t use Windows Mobile. Pretty much all you need to do is marry Windows Mobile with a touchscreen and you’ll have an I-Phone killer.

    Your potential. Our passion.™

  3. It will kill the iPhone?… Well we promise it will not be as bad as it is now, after we fix it up… This is like going to buy a new car and the dealer attempting to sell you the oldest junkiest used car on the lot by tell you, if you buy it they’ll fix-it-up and make it a new car at some point in time after you’ve driven it off the lot.

    ((Voyager + Verison promise) – your money) = sucker

  4. Sadly for most, if not all, forthcoming so called “iPhone Killers” the real KISS OF DEATH” will be these few words… “THE software is primitive and inferior”!

    Which is exactly the point of having a iPhone!

  5. Walt gets it. The Voyager is another cargo cult design intended to mimic only the most superficial aspects of the iPhone. Without a real OS — Symbian and Windows Mobile are a crippled, old fashioned embedded device real time operating systems (RTOS) — there is no way that the rich software capability of the iPhone can be achieved. And remember, Apple has patented much of the multi touch gestures and behaviors. SJ clearly said Apple will defend those patents.

    The competition is screwed. They have no moves that can catch up in less than half a decade, even if they understand their dilemma and vigorously act to catch up. And legally, they have no way to implement the gesture behaviors without infringing on Apple’s patents even if they did catch up.

    What they — the competitors’ executives — will most likely do is lie, fake it and drain as much money out of their stockholders with shenanigans like stock buy backs. These executives will take care of themselves first and leave their investors — aka, suckers — with burned out corporate husks.

    It’s game over man, game over.

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