I wrote the following a couple of weeks ago, shortly after buying my iPhone 4. I decided to wait based on some of the initial reports of issues with the iPhone 4. Following the Apple Press Conference today, I've realized that I let the press's typical bad-news advertising-driven reporting skew my thinking. The following remains the truth, and if you are a business person trying to read through the hype, here's what you need to know:
Which Phone for You?
With everyone interested in the battle of the smartphones, Nielsen released their smartphone analysis. The analysis shows steady growth of smartphones when compared to the overall mobile phone market, with 23% of users carrying smartphones in 1Q10, a 2% increase from 4Q09.
Perhaps more interesting, both RIM's Blackberry market share and Microsoft's various Windows Mobile systems lost 2% market share, and Apple's iPhone and the variety of Google's Android phones picked up 2% each (to 28% and 9%, respectively).
As interesting as numbers geeks might find this, what is the real implication for those trying to make a decision about a smartphone?
Here's the easy version:
- An iPhone is the choice if you are looking for a full-featured handset.
- If you do not like Apple, or since the iPhone is saddled with AT&T in the US and you will not (or can not) use their network, choose an Android phone.
- If you only want to use your smartphone for phone calls and email, a Blackberry may be your best choice. I'd still choose an iPhone for you, though.
...and that's really your answer in a nutshell.
It's hard for most people to remember what phones were like in the first half of 2007 when most of the analysts were talking about how Apple was finally going to make a poor choice and fail as they entered the overcrowded smartphone market. Instead, the iPhone completely changed the face of mobile phones--and the mobile Internet--forever.
As Apple introduces the iPhone 4, they are once again creating a challenge for their competitors. The quality and precision of the device itself sets a new standard for how your phone should feel in your hand. Doing so will make every other phone feel cheap in comparison.
This is simply brilliantly competitive.
In continuing to push for their "intersection of technology and liberal arts" as CEO Steve Jobs has mentioned in two separate keynotes, they are developing technology that is far more natural than its competitors. The fact that Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer said during this year's D8 conference that the iPad is "just another PC" shows just how limited the vision of most technology companies is.
So, unless you hate AT&T--or Apple--the iPhone is your best smartphone choice today.