The competition is heating up and the last numbers I read as recently as yesterday indicate that Apple has officially surpassed RIM in world smartphone market share. The mobile horizon is not what it was even a few months ago with Android devices popping up faster than you can name them, the iPhone and iPad selling like Hot cakes, Windows Phone 7 getting some more than decent reviews, and Nokia trying its best at the touch screen game.
If you have been paying attention, you surely know by now that the competition between the major mobile players will be won by the player who offers the best software experience. I have written about this on many occasions, so I will not go into it again, but let’s just say that razer thin does not matter anymore, what matters is user experience, operating system, and most importantly quantity and quality of available apps.
One of the few disadvantages of the mobile advancements we are making is that consumers get bored of their mobile device after a very short period of time, or when the newer model comes out, whichever happens first. This is true for a lot of people I know, and it is true for me as well. On the flip side, when I get a new phone, I generally spend the first week or two getting to know the phone, and it is usually accompanied by excitement and enthusiasm about my new device.
Job hunting has kept me pretty busy as of late, but I have already decided that since my last job only gave me a CDMA option for my company phone (so I could not buy a phone and insert the company SIM), as soon as I finally find my next job, one of my first purchases is going to be a phone. Now the big question is, which one?
Well, let me start with what I was considering as of three days ago, and I will conclude with the phones I have narrowed it down to. Remember, I am talking here about my favorite phones, forget for a second the fact that I would never really buy half these phones due to their exorbitant prices. So here are the phones I was considering (in totally random order):
- HTC Touch HD: OK I know it is $800 or $1300 if you buy it is Israel, but a man can still dream, no?
- Nokia 5800 XpressMusic or Tube: Seems like a pretty sweet phone and with a name like Nokia backing it, how can you go wrong, right?
- Blackberry Storm: You gotta love RIM’s attempt at the touchscreen market.
- iPhone: Honestly? With its lack of MMS, video camera, and A2DP, this was not an option for me, until I used my new iPod Touch. With that interface and App store, I am willing to use email to send pictures, bring along an additional camera for taking video, and even use wired headsets to listen to my music. Yes, it is THAT good.
So, these were my options as of a few days ago, but as we all know, a few days in the cellular industry is like a lifetime to normal people.
So here is what I am thinking today:
- HTC Touch HD: With the $800 price tag combined with the fact that it runs Windows, this is just not the phone for me. Yes, it is no doubt the nicest phone on earth, but the headache of installing apps over Windows (compared to the experience I have had with the iPod Touch of course), the lack of a camera flash, along with the normal bugs associated with anything Microsoft, even a 4″ screen would not get me to buy it.
- Nokia 5800 XpressMusic or Tube: I am not saying a definate NO to this yet, I know I like the price, but Mobile Burn’s review of this toy, did not excite me. I call it a toy because that it what it looks and feels like compared to other handsets.
- Blackberry Storm: Well, contrary to the Tube, this one is a definate no go for me. Engadget’s review of the Storm left me very dissapointed, especially the whole press down the screen thing. If I wanted to press down on the screen and not just touch it, I would buy a standard Blackberry, not a touch screen one. Is it just me or does that just make simple sense?
- iPhone: Well, I would have to say that at the risk of being boring and unoriginal, this is currently my best option. I just cannot get over how great of a job Apple did with the interface, the App store, and the all around feel of the iPhone. The battery life with push mail activated scares me a bit, but we all gotta make sacrifices sometimes, right?
Bottom line? I am going to have to choose between Apple’s iPhone and Nokia’s Tube. Watch the below video of the Tube, and tell me what you think.
Looks like the economic situation did not affect the cellular world as hard as it did other sectors. The smartphone market is booming and we have Apple to thank for that.
Cnet reports that Apple sold 6.9 million iPhones in this quarter (did I understand that right? Sounds a little high to me), grabbing 17.3% of the market. RIM did not do so badly either increasing their market share by 5 points and Blackberry shipments by 83%.
Nokia remains number one, which actually kinda surprises me, I mean how many E71s could they possibly have sold? Microsoft did not have a bad quarter either increasing the number of Windows Mobile handsets shipped by 42% (what do you expect when you partner up with a giant like HTC?). However, a very interesting and amazing stat; Apple shipped more iPhones during the quarter than all the Windows Mobile devices shipped worldwide by Microsoft’s partners.
When it comes to mobile operating systems, big surprise, Nokia’s Symbian is the market leader followed by Apple then RIM.
If you ask me, I personally believe this is all about to change. With phones like the HD becoming available and the amazing Storm hitting shelves, I think Microsoft and RIM are going to be getting a significant boost, whereas iPhone sales are on their way down. That is of course, unless Apple has another trick up their sleeve, which would not surprise me.
Sorry for the corny title, but Engadget already used every other play on the word storm. The new Blackberry Storm was recently announced and will be hitting shelves pretty soon. It is definitely a very attractive handset with some even more attractive specs.
The Storm is RIM’s very first touchscreen phone, mounting a 3.26-inch 480 x 360 glass display on a unique clickable surface so that the entire thing can be pressed downwards just like a real button for tactile feedback when making selections (hmm, seems like a good idea to me). It includes a full HTML browser, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint editing capabilities, Bluetooth 2.0, 1GB of on-board storage (1GB?) with an 8GB microSD card bundled in the box (OK, not too shabby), 3.5mm headphone jack (take that, G1), automatic orientation and ambient lighting sensors, and a 3.2-megapixel autofocus cam with dedicated flash.
Did you notice something missing among those specs? Why, oh why, RIM, would you leave Wifi out of such a phone? I just don’t get it. Anyway, another thing that makes this phone attractive to yours truly, is the fact that there is a CDMA version of it, the 9530 (yes, I am sorry to say, I am still on CDMA).
Although many handsets being introduced today claim they support push mail, none of them do it (as far as I know) as smoothly and flawlessly as the original Blackberry technology. I am saying this, after I was just told by an iPhone 3G user, that with push mail activated, the battery lasts 1.5 hours. Na, we can’t have that.
I have to conclude by saying that with the advantage of real push mail, this could have been a real HD killer (have you not heard? The term “iPhone killer” is no more, ever since the HTC Touch HD filled those shoes. We are now on the lookout for an HD Killer. I think I am officially coining the term “HD Killer”). But with the lack of Wifi, I think the HD will stay on its thrown for now.