Chicago Tribune: Apple’s iPhone rivals can’t compete

“It has been nearly a year since Apple Inc. launched the elegant and easy-to-use iPhone. Since then, our perceptions on how we can use a mobile phone have changed,” Eric Benderoff reports for The Chicago Tribune. “But the essential lesson of the iPhone has yet to be learned: The magic is in the simplicity of using Apple’s software.”

“That became abundantly clear as I wrestled with two new touch-based phones. They have their merits but are no threat to what Apple offers,” Benderoff reports.

“The LG Vu and Verizon’s XV6900 (an, ahem, attention-grabbing name; another missed lesson) are both handsome from a hardware standpoint… But based on usability, they are so far behind what Apple achieved that it seems unfair to even make a comparison,” Benderoff reports.

“Essentially, the one thing these phones have in common with the iPhone is touch. And even that needs work,” Benderoff reports.

MacDailyNews Take: Disappointingly, Benderoff fails to make the distinction between uni-touch (which all fake iPhones employ) and multi-touch (iPhone). That’s a major difference and ignoring it is what the iPhone-fakers rely upon; that’s why you see Verizon ads screaming “touch” in the U.S., but the “touch” they offer is rudimentary at best and, as Benderoff does clearly state, can’t compete with iPhone.

Benderoff continues, “Perhaps the next few efforts at a touch-screen phone, including Sprint’s Instinct, will provide the fun and function Apple got right in its first effort. So far, if someone asked me to suggest a cool touch phone, there’s still only one worth buying.”

MacDailyNews Take: Again, it’s not touch that’s the issue; it’s Multi-Touch that’s helps set iPhone apart (along with obsessive attention to detail throughout the UI and apps vs. competitors’ attention only to making the home screen look as much like an iPhone as possible and ignoring the rest of the user interface and software.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Peter T. in Oak Park” for the heads up.]


  1. Easy MDN
    I bought an iPhone on the second day they were available (sorry I had plans on Friday so I had to wait until Saturday) IMO on a hand held device multi touch is overrated. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE my iPhone.
    However, the reason these ‘iPhone killers’ will fail is NOT because of a lack multi-touch. They will fail because the suck. If the iPhone had ‘mono-touch’ it would still kick the Sh!t out of anything currently offered from others.

  2. Apple’s iPhone rivals can’t compete?

    I fell off my chair when I realized this dope considers the I-Phone competition for anybody. That snore worthy I-Phone arrived with a resounding thud. Because it doesn’t have a tactile keyboard. That brick should never have been released—it is perhaps Apple’s single biggest embarrassment.

    It’s Apple who needs to play catch up. Big time. I don’t see a keyboard on that thing and playing music and videos is for kids. Besides, Windows Mobile v3 had all the same features the current I-Phone has years ago. And one more thing: the ZunePhone is on its way. Think of it as Microsoft’s surface technology in the palm of your hand. Cool.

    Your potential. Our passion.™

  3. I disagree with MDN’s take that one of the key differentiator’s is the iPhone’s multi-touch ability. I’ve had the iPhone from day one and while I appreciate the multi-touch, I don’t think it sets the iPhone that much apart.

    Having said that, I DO think that multi-touch may continue to blossom and be a real game changer in the future.

    To me, the key differentiator is what Apple’s differentiator has always been. Their ability to seamlessly integrate hardware and software that allows users to use multiple functions intuitively and without the need for manuals. THAT give’s Apple an edge that’s going to be hard to compete with.

  4. I miss “StockBoy” the most. Of course, he hasn’t been able to show his face (metaphorically) around here since he adamantly advised everyone to short AAPL almost two years ago, saying it would surely head into the mid- to low 30’s. His like is hard to come by, for such abject stupidity rarely collects in one skinsack.

    Where are you, Mr. StockBoy? Still pushing the large fries?

  5. people like Blue Dream apparently don’t come here often enough to see the humor of ZuneTang and how sarcastic his posts are. I always look forward to what he has to say, it always cracks me up

  6. Another one to agree: multi-touch is essentially pinch and spread feature. The only place this is used is in zooming in and out. Anyone who has played with the iPhone for thirty seconds knows this is not the only (nor is it the most important) feature that sets iPhone apart from other phones. IPhone could lose multi-touch feature completely and still be light-years ahead of others.

    As it has been said above, what sets it apart is the whole widget. Apple has patented many more features in addition to the so-much-hyped multi-touch. The incredible attention to detail for which Apple is famous (and unique in the tech world) is what continues to ensure that iPhone won’t be challenged anytime soon.

  7. I think multi-touch is a two button mouse.

    It’s great, it makes things much easier and you don’t know how to do without it once you’ve tried it. However, strictly speaking, it’s not the core reason the device is so nice to use. It’s just a reason why it’s a little nicer than it could’ve been.

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