Challengers to the iPhone

Challengers to the iPhone

There are few good ways to decease, but King Henry VIII’s was particularly unpleasant. Essentially, he ate himself to death.

When the original iPhone launched, there seemed to be a danger that Apple might be inflicting a similar fate on its first ever mobile offering.

The manufacturer was accused of unforgivable greed when it priced the device at £269 and set sky-high tariffs. As a result, early take-up for the most hyped phone of all time was disappointing.  

However, that problem has since been rectified, and the masses showed their appreciation at the price reduction on the iconic device by turning out in huge numbers for the launch of the 3G version.

The day turned out to be one of mixed fortunes for iPhone followers. Successful customers went home ecstatic, while others were left furious when a lack of stock prevented them from purchasing their dream device.

And that launch day perfectly illustrated why the iPhone is the king of mobiles. It has the power to delight and disappoint in almost equal measure - and no other is able to play with consumers’ emotions in such a way. But a strong pack of competitors are plotting to dethrone the king…

Nokia N96
Its predecessor, the N95, seemed to have it all, but its success was undermined by software reliability problems. However, Nokia has managed to iron these out and a flawless experience is expected this time around.

Out Q3 this year
Key specs Symbian OS 9.3, five-megapixel camera, 16GB of expandable internal memory, GPS

If the N96 was a member of the Royal Family…
Prince Charles
An established player who is extremely well positioned to take the throne. However, Charles lacks the slickness and charisma of sons Will and Harry, and he is likely to find that the public overlooks him in favour of the younger generation.

LG ‘Viewty 2’
We’re fairly sure this device is coming – but there’s no official word yet. The Viewty was LG’s best handset yet, so expectations are high. Let’s hope the manufacturer gets more creative on the name than we have.

Out N/A
Possible specs Probably an eight-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, and maybe an optical zoom
Verdict Too early to say. Over to you, LG

If the ‘Viewty 2’ was a member of the Royal Family… Prince Harry
After a somewhat troubled youth that saw his reputation take a hammering, the maturing process is going well. A willingness to break the mould has noticeably increased his popularity, especially among young people. An increasingly favourable option.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X1
Sony Ericsson has produced some decent devices recently, but few have been genuine flagship handsets to make rivals look nervously over their shoulders. The ultra-slick X1 looks set to change that, and could well be the most exciting release since the 3G iPhone. 

Out Q4 this year
Key specs Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1 professional, built-in GPS, 3.2-megapixel camera, QWERTY keyboard, Pocket Office

If the Xperia X1 was a member of the Royal Family…Prince William
No experience of life at the top of the hierarchy, but there’s an over-riding feeling that this one could be the real deal.

Samsung Omnia i900
The Omnia i900 looks like the Tocco’s brainier older brother, with Samsung, as ever, remaining committed to style. Looking at the specs, there’s plenty of substance behind it too. Samsung isn’t known for smartphones, but this could be the start of a more business-like approach.

Out August/September
Key specs Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1 professional, five-megapixel camera, built-in GPS, up to 8GB of memory, Pocket Office
If the Omnia i900 was a member of the Royal Family… Kate Middleton

A bit of an outsider who has been presented with the challenge of overcoming snobbery from the establishment. While the chic image has always been there, royal pedigree remains unproven. However, a combination of brains and beauty shouldn’t be underestimated. looks set to change that, and could well be the most exciting release since the 3G iPhone.

HTC Touch Diamond
The only one of our featured devices already on the market, although it would be more apt if this handset was called ‘Rough Diamond’, as there are too many imperfections. Most significant is the slow and unresponsive touch-screen, making it a non-starter in comparison to the ultra user-friendly 3G iPhone.

Out Now
Key specs Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, TouchFLO 3D finger swipe navigation, built-in GPS, Pocket Office, 3.15-megapixel camera.

If the Touch Diamond was a member of the Royal Family… Camilla Parker-Bowles
It shouldn’t get anywhere near the throne based on the lack of pedigree - but there’s a lot to be said for shrewd networking skills. HTC is suspected to be the first manufacturer behind Google’s rumoured ‘G-Phone’, so just like Camilla, it could achieve the desired iconic status by ‘marrying in’.

Written by Mobile Today
Mobile Today


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