Apple, I never thought I’d say it …

Originally posted on The Really Mobile Project.

I never thought I’d say it but I much prefer my iPhone to my Nokia E63. I’ve played with the iPhone on a number of occasions and always been impressed by the user experience but felt it was lacking in a number of areas, for example the ability to customise it in the way you can with a S60 device and the lack of a ‘proper’ keypad. I also resented the ‘Apple tax’ and the closed nature of the way Apple operates, for example offering the device through one UK operator (who incidentally has the weakest 3G coverage, we learned this week) on expensive tariffs.

However all that changed when I received an iPhone (not the 3GS sadly) for business purposes. Using the iPhone every day made me realise just what a game changer it is. Much as I love the qwerty keypad on my E63, the iPhone makes Nokia’s S60 interface seem so dated by comparison. The App Store ecosystem changed the mobile marketplace forever and when compared to the Ovi Store … well let’s not even go there. From a business perspective, the Exchange integration for mail, contacts and calendar is excellent and very easy to set up.

I’ve been a staunch Nokia user, supporter and campaigner since 1994 when Orange launched in the UK and Nokia still produces some great devices in the E and N Series. However the user experience is in drastic need of an overhaul. Although I’ve yet to try the N97, Nokia’s latest flagship device, nothing I’ve read so far leads me to believe I’d change my mind about Nokia.

Where the iPhone really scores is in simplicity for the user. I’ve already mentioned the App Store with its wealth of compelling applications but other areas like WiFi with pre-configured hotspot coverage, SMS message threading, hardware switch to silence the device, to name a few, just make it easy for users. Not everyone is a mobile geek!

The iPhone certainly has some drawbacks. The battery life is rubbish – I don’t even get a day with a bit of use but maybe that will improve in the next firmware release. The inability to remove and replace the battery is ridiculous, unless you’re Apple who makes money out of it! The camera resolution, even on the 3GS, is low, although the photos are surprisingly good for the resolution. No option to expand the memory via a memory card is a limitation for some users. But on balance I can work round these issues.

Everyone has their own personal preferences but for me the iPhone has changed the way I see my handset. Over to you Nokia – surprise me!

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