We have to give apple credit for actually introducing a touch screen device to the mass market. In the pre-iphone era you could primarily find either geeks or business users working with touchscreen/stylus devices. There wasn’t any average mobile phone user interested in that kind of devices.
But apple did the seemingly impossible: they developed a really innovative product, which shaked the smartphone market and ultimately succeeded in entering the mass market.
Even though there were a lot of standard features missing compared to other smartphones (Copy&Paste, MMS, Push Mail) we have to acknowledge that there were also some unbelievable innovative ideas. The biggest one being the User Interface, which showed other OS provider how a touch screen based UI has to be like. At that time the display of the iphone was very impressive with its high resolution and capacitive touchscreen. This was also the first time that users experienced how great it is to have a very sensitive touchscreen technology, which means: really just touch the screen instead of pressing it.
Back then nearly all windows mobile phones sported the regular 320*240 resolution, except some rather exotic devices like the Glofiish X800 which nobody in europe really got to know since no provider listed them.
After the iphone launch all other manufacturers realised what kind of potential a touch screen can have for the user interface experience. And we could witness the birth of several htc windows mobile devices introducing the TouchFLO technology. The latest iteration of TouchFLO3d being announced just recently with the HTC Touch Diamond2 and Touch Pro2 devices.
So we all know apple did a lot of stuff right and still does a lot of things right for their platform.
But i still have some problems with the iphone which prevented me from jumping on the apple bandwagon.
First and foremost apples politics of giving exclusive right to a single carrier in each country is something which is a real drawback. I will never sign an overexpensive tmobile contract just to get the iphone. As long as it’s not my own decision to choose a provider, i will not get an iphone. And i know that there are all kinds of jailbreaks out there which will give me that freedom, but this issue is a matter of principle to me. I hope apple will someday realize that they can grasp a much larger part of the market if they get away from this whole exclusivity deal.
It’s basically the same issue with 3rd party applications: I want to install my applications without depending on any apple software or app store. I want to get my music on my device without being dictated that i need to use itunes for this matter.
All those points don’t really bother the average user who just wants an easy UI and quick learning curves, but they will bother anybody which wants to get the most out of their device.
Therefore i’m still at the point that i would prefer a good windows mobile device (Touch Diamond2 comes to mind) or an android device to the iphone any day.