So I got an iPhone 3G last Friday. Initial thoughts:
- The screen is absolutely gorgeous.
- The Exchange integration works as advertised. I’m now getting my work emails / calendar events pushed to my phone. The challenge now is not to become a slave of my email.
- You quickly take the GPS functionality for granted. Got a meeting at a client’s site? Search for the address, tap “get directions” and “from current location”.
- SMS listed by conversation. The way it should be.
- It doesn’t take very long to get used to the on screen keyboard.
- It does not take very long to fill up the iPhone with 8GB of content. Go for the 16GB model.
- Polish through and through. This stuff is years ahead of the Symbian/UIQ stack that came with my previous smartphone.
- Twitterrific gets my vote for the best app so far in the app store. I just need something like Adium for the phone and I’ll be set.
- The remote app gets my vote for the second best application in the app store.
- Playing with this device makes me want to build software for it.
Apple make gorgeous hardware, but their main strength is that they understand software, and how to build great systems (the plumbing) and applications (user-facing). They see themselves as a software company that happens to build hardware too. Contrast with HTC who make very good smartphones, but who ultimately rely on Microsoft and the WinMo stack.
The importance of iTunes cannot be underestimated. No one had an answer to it in the PMP market. Now mobile phone manufacturers may find that building a better phone than the iPhone is not enough. Building a better OS than the iPhone OS may not be enough either. On the other side of the equation lies iTunes, which is more than just a syncing app. iTunes is about content distribution (music, movies, TV shows, audio books, applications, and whatever else Apple decides to get into really).
And how about MobileMe? Can you see another phone manufacturer getting into… web 2.0?
So it’s about:
- The hardware
- The software
- The content
- The services
No one else is offering a stack like this.