iPhone myths propagated by US bloggers

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iphone3gsThe American blogosphere has been pursuing a campaign of untruths in the area of mobility for a couple of years now. While one tries to ignore most of it, because they stem from ignorance rather than an intent to deceive, it is still appalling some of the myths that are being propagated by mainstream blogs from the USA.

Unfortunately, because US-based blogs are dominant on the web, the untruths go round and after a while, people assume they are true. Here are a few of the iPhone-centric myths that keep making the rounds of US-based blogs.

Myth: the “real internet” started with the iPhone
I read one US-based blogger who submitted that the “real internet” – the capability to access desktop format sites on mobile phones – started with the iPhone and Safari combining the power of a Webkit browser and a mobile phone for the first time, and later adopted by Nokia and Google among others.

Hello! Nokia’s E-series and N-series devices had been combining the power of a webkit browser and a mobile phone for over three years before the iPhone showed up. Check out any Symbian S60 smartphone since Nokia’s E and N series have beeen around. You’ll find one powerful WebKit browser in those phones. It just isn’t true.

To put things right, it started with Nokia and was later adopted by the iPhone, and then Android, and now BlackBerry – all of them years after Nokia had implemented it on a wide range of devices.

Millions of users (myself inclusive) had been accessing the “real internet” – true desktop browsing – on their smartphones for donkey years before the iPhone showed up. The Nokia 9210i, 9500, 9300, E61, E61i, E90, and several models by Sony Ericsson, HTC and others are clear examples of devices that offered true desktop web browsing in the dinosaur era.

I owned and used all the above-named Nokias extensively, and they worked well for full desktop browsing. I didn’t have to tweak or hack them to be able to do this. They just worked out of the box.

Of course, the problem is that America was years behind the rest of the world in the world of mobiles. To the average American, an example of a great phone was the Motorola Razr – a phone that was so limited in just about everything except bling. Now, its those Razr-loving people who want to re-write the history of mobile.

The iPhone made the browsing more pleasant, but sorry – true desktop web browsing has been available on mobile devices since Adam. And when I say “real internet”, I mean really advanced things. Like accessing a VPN, Cpanel, or WebHostManager.

Myth: the iPhone’s Safari browser is the most widely-used mobile browser
That’s another lie sold by the American blogging community. One outstanding US-based blogger who shows a better understanding of the situation than the average is Dennis Bournique who runs WapReview. He addressed this in part in his recent article Why Do Mobile Web Designers Ignore Opera Mini? I highly recommend that article, as it shows the rank ignorance (or sense of self-importance) that pervades the US mobile web landscape.

Opera Mini’s global usage is waaaay bigger than the iPhone’s estimated installed base of about 34 million devices (assuming that all existing iPhones are used regularly by their owners for web browsing, which I doubt). Yet, the US media and blogging machine keeps on about how the iPhone made web browsing on phones popular. Fact: Opera Mini did – with millions of users worldwide who far beyond the number of iPhone users.

We do not need to speak of the mass of millions of Symbian devices (more than the iPhone can hold a candle to) many of which are used to access the internet daily outside of the US. But of course, the American blogging community gets its statistics of mobile web usage from US-centric ad networks. Admob anyone? What do you expect?

Dennis also references another insightful article by Peter-Paul Koch titled The iPhone obsession. While the article contains lots of expletives (reader discretion advised), I recommend it for its pointed exposition of the foolishness that has become the order of the day with Americans and the iPhone.

Be sure of it: the iPhone’s Safari is not the most widely used mobile browser. That honour belongs to Opera Mini.

Myth: the iPhone is a threat to Nokia/Symbian
This one is laughable, really, if not outrightly silly. The iPhone has never been a threat to Nokia/Symbian, and is not about to be.

As at end of 2009, the iPhone had only 2.2% of the global mobile handset market share. Nokia had 38%. Let’s put it in a table for clarity:

Global Top 10 Handset Makers
1 – Nokia . . . . . . . 432 Million 38 %
2 – Samsung . . . . 227 Million 20 %
3 – LG . . . . . . . . . . 117 Million 10 %
4 – SonyEricsson . . . 57 Million 5 %
5 – Motorola . . . . . . 55 Million 5 %
6 – ZTE . . . . . . . . . 50 Million 4.5%
7 – Kyocera . . . . . . 45 Million 4 %
8 – RIM . . . . . . . . . 35 Million 3.5%
9 – Sharp . . . . . . . . 29 Million 2.6 %
10 – Apple . . . . . . .. 25 Million 2.2 %
Others . . . . . . . . . . 56 Million 5%
TOTAL . . . . . . . .. 1,130 Million (1.13 Billion)
Source (really recommended reading)

In perspective, Nokia is as big as the next three biggest handset makers all put together. And the iPhone (Apple) is waaaay down at number ten. Okay, so the iPhone is an immediate threat to Sharp phones (number 9) – but when was the last time you saw one of those? That is how far down the iPhone is.

Samsung is the real threat to Nokia (look at all those amazing phones that Samsung have been putting out). Samsung have been aggressively growing their marketshare year after year, chasing after Nokia. The American community are not talking about that; are they? Why – almost no-one is mentioning it at all!

Apple has got Sharp, RIM, Kyocera, ZTE, Motorola (as bad as they’ve been doing recently), Sony Ericsson, LG, and then Samsung to deal with first – in that order. After catching up with Samsung, Apple will then have to sell three times as much phones as Samsung currently does in order to catch up with what Nokia currently holds. Get the true picture?

In terms of smartphone marketshare, Symbian has 45% and Apple has 15%. Contrary to those who shout the death of Symbian (yes; Symbian has issues and thankfully they are addressing those; but no; symbian ain’t dying), the platform experienced a growth in marketshare in the last quarter of 2009. Growth.

So you get the picture here too, Symbian is as big as the next four smartphone contenders (BlackBerry, iPhone, Windowsphone, and Android) all put together. Ponder on that a bit.

Another often unstated fact: RIM (with 20% of the global smartphone market) is ahead of Apple and has been growing steadily too year after year. RIM understands the game. When they focussed on the small North American market (NAM), they stayed small. A few years ago, they got smart, realising that a love relationship with the NAM is a recipe for staying in the backwaters.

If you really think that America is that vibrant as a mobile market, show me one manufacturer who has largely focused their energy on the North American market and made it big. This is the mistake that Palm made with the older Palm OS. It is the same mistake that they are still making with WebOS. And Apple is walking that same line. But the NAM is the backwaters of the mobile industry. At least for now.

The problem with Americans is that they think that the world revolves around them. In many other different areas; Yes. But in mobile and mobility, an outstanding No. This is one turf they need to wipe the smugness off their faces. It is the same reason why the US blogging community are obsessed with Palm and WebOS, as well as Google and Android. Its an American thing!

Yes; Apple wowed everyone with the iPhone’s user interface. But everyone and their dog now have a fancy user interface – Nokia/Symbian (see a demo of Symbian^3 showing up on phones later this year), LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, HTC, et al.

Now, it is the iPhone that is under pressure. The iPhone’s unique selling point is not so unique any longer. Its market appears to have plateaued as well. As things are right now, the iPhone’s marketshare will grow a little more and then stop. This is the time for Apple to change strategies or be content with the small marketshare it currently holds.

But I don’t think that Apple will shift. Its just not their thing. Mac PCs still hold a small PC marketshare till date and are basically US-centric too. That’s Apple. Mostly great products; mostly limited marketshare. That cannot be a company that can actually threaten Nokia’s dominance. Full stop.

Last Line
I am not a Nokia fanboy. As a matter of fact, current Nokia/Symbian devices do not meet my needs. I buy and use devices from any manufacturer and on any platform so long as my current needs are met. Perhaps tomorrow, I may buy a Nokia. Or an iPhone. Who knows?

But truth is sacred. Facts must not be distorted for any reason.

I like the iPhone for what it represents. I am not bashing it. But if we don’t set records straight, we’ll keep living in the Matrix – a world of distorted reality cooked up by Apple and the uninformed American blogging community.

The iPhone is an outstanding device. But basically, it is a device that costs an arm and a leg but with limited functionality and limited availability primarilly in a country that makes up a small percentage of the world’s mobile market, as well as being a country that does not reflect the realities of the rest of the world’s mobile market.

No; the iPhone has never been a threat and is so, so not going to be a threat to Nokia or Symbian. At least, not unless Apple changes its current strategy for something better. Or – God forbid – Nokia decides to abandon the mobile phone business.

The American mainstream media and blogging community – and everyone who is blindly following them – need to pull out their heads out of the sand and face reality. ‘Nuf said.

PS: By the way, I have nothing against the US or Americans. I have American contacts and acquaintances that I deeply treasure, so if you are American, please don’t take this the wrong way.

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27 comments

  1. Have you given a thought to why anything the Americans say or recommend is assumed to be the ultimate? Its because the major medium lnformation are owned by them. That is why they get to say anything (good or bad) about other nations/cultures and get away with it.

    I come across blogs that praise the iphone to high heaven always on the internet. They like us to believe that anything American is the best for the whole universe.

    This article is actually a magnification of what has been on my mind for long…..Thanks for setting the records straight!

  2. @Alireta

    All praises go to Yom for being bold enough to come out and say these things. Many people just swallow the rubbish being fed to them by the vocal minorities and fail to look beyond their noses. You have hit the nail on the head with this article and you should expect lots of counter opinions from the iphone fanatics. YOU ARE STEPPING ON TOES.

    One of my friends was a Steve Jobs worshiper till the launch of the iPad. The overwhelming inadequacies of this device made him to start having a re-think. Now he has seen the light, repented and gone back to his former faith.

    Good job alireta. We rely on your balanced reporting and reviews.

  3. very interesting and factual as i can say that the average American is less mobile phone savy than the average NIgerian mobile user and I also think the iphone has been overhyped as well.

  4. This article is an example of why i don’t joke with my mobility nigeria rss update; i get to back my arguments with links (facebook) to ‘solid’ articles written by confirmed authorities in the mobile tech community in the country.

    Thumbs up.

  5. The iPhone has indeed been hyped, but the truth is that it’s way much ahead of much Symbian phones I came across. I currently use an iPhone-3g and really liked it, but I would not recommend it to anybody that is afraid of a little hacking of his device.

    Apple has made a great device but tried to lock the owner so much to their services. That is something common with almost all apple products but the fan boys never see that. If you want to enjoy your iPhone then Jailbreak it now.

    So for the list of iPhone annoyances (as of 3g)

    -For proper bluetooth need a 3rd party app.
    -To send MMS you need a 3rd party app
    -You need to use iTunes to load your media files for playing with the default media player. (I recommend 3rd party players)
    -No push e-mail
    -Video recorder is only available in 3gS else you use a 3rd party app.
    And the big one
    -No Java runtime.

    Despite that it’s still way ahead of the Symbian based Nokia phones cos it’s super flexible to hack or customize with 3rd party apps. I think the Nokia phones that can kill the iPhone are the maemo based ones, but the form factor is their problem. I want a phone that is solid (no sliding, flipping e.t.c).

  6. IG,

    You mentioned that your iPhone 3G has the following limitations:

    -For proper bluetooth need a 3rd party app.
    -To send MMS you need a 3rd party app
    -You need to use iTunes to load your media files for playing with the default media player. (I recommend 3rd party players)
    -No push e-mail
    -Video recorder is only available in 3gS else you use a 3rd party app.
    And the big one
    -No Java runtime.

    Meanwhile, every single Symbian-based smartphone has none of these limitations, and yet you say that the iPhone is “way much ahead of much Symbian phones“. Strange. Its actually the other way round. Symbian is very much ahead. That’s another myth left out of the article.

    Perhaps you meant to say that the iPhone is way ahead in terms of the user interface?

    But then, you also later claim that the iPhone is “still way ahead of the Symbian based Nokia phones cos it’s super flexible to hack or customize with 3rd party apps“.

    That sounds odd too, because there is no problem hacking Symbian, though most users have no need to hack it, since Symbian does not have the sort of limitations that the iPhone has. Why would anyone need to hack a device that already gives them what they want?

    As for 3rd party apps, there are thousands of Symbian 3rd party applications covering almost every conceivable need possible.

    No; the iPhone is not ahead of Symbian as far as functionality and customisation is concerned. The iPhone lives in Symbian’s shadow in this regard. That much is established fact.

    But user interface? The iPhone wins hands down. But that too is changing. Take a look at this video preview of Symbian^3 user interface coming to Symbian devices later this year.

  7. Yom got the entire jist 100% correct. i dont think that this is just about the iphone, its about so many things that makes rounds in American blogsphere that are swallowed hook, line and sinker.

    Yom was correct to observe that phone makers concentrating on the North American market ‘ain’t going nowhere’ I had been wondering for so long now why apple has not bothered to expand beyond western markets.

  8. @Alireta, I see the iPhone as a device similar to a regular computer. Try conceptually thinking of the hardware seperate from the software. Apple created a revolutionary hardware and I think that’s where it ends. The software part is where I am not satisfied with and that’s why I urge any iPhone user to jailbreak it. That opens up a whole world of free software products for you outside apple’s control. It’s a bit analogous to buying a windows based PC and installing Linux on it. Most apps I use on my Linux box have an iPhone port.
    That is why I said, if you can’t hack it, don’t buy it. Cos you end up becoming apple’s slave.

    Talking about being ahead of many Symbian phones, the user interface is a game changer. You will agree with me that Nokia’s attempt to answer the iPhone wasn’t with a Symbian based device. Check out the N900 and you will see it runs maemo. My only problem with it is the fact that it has both a touchscreen interface and a sliding keyboard.

    Apple’s stupidity was selling the iPhone through telecom operators. That way it can never come close to Nokia devices in terms of sales. And more annoying is that apple has patented some of the things that make the iPhone good which block Nokia from making an iPhone equivalent.

    I would readily trade my iPhone for an exact device that runs Maemo.

  9. Infact Yomi, i must commend your courage for putting things straight.Honestly, i started having this same feelings right from the day steve Jobs appeared on CNN to announce the iphone launch in 2007. CNN made it appeared as if cell phone was made for the first time. And since then the entire mass media continue promote the iphone ahead of all other mobile phones.

    Oh yes! it has best user interface, capacitive and multitouch screen but can it MULTITASK or have FLASH? No! So one wonders why it should still be given precedence over all other phones including nokia N900, samsung i8910, HTC hero, S.E xperia etc even though such devices have evolved with better UI, multitouch, multitask, flash, best camera etc .

    The iphone claimed to have the best and must used web browser even when its fanboys were hungry and craving to have a test of OPERA browser, until recently that apple allowed the iphone opera mini version on its phone, so who is deceiving who. Why cant its fanboys make do with the safari browser? Is iphone afraid of competition?

    Anyway, we know it is just a matter of time cos with symbian ^3 , ^4 , MeeGo, bada, WP7, android, webos etc the propaganda can only last for a while considering the unimpressive outing of the recent iPad that has no camera, flash and as usual can not multitask.

    Apple is suppose to move the mobile world forward not bring it back….. i mean, enough of politics.

  10. I see the iPhone as a device similar to a regular computer. Try conceptually thinking of the hardware separate from the software.

    That’s not how Steve jobs and Apple see the iPhone. That’s not what it was designed to be. A Symbian or Windows Mobile or Android device is more like that than an iPhone is. That’s not what the iPhone is.

    Apple does not support jailbreaking. They want people to use the iPhone the way they designed it to be used. Jailbreakers are actually penalised by Apple. What you are trying to turn into a plus for the iPhone is actually a strong negative.

    The iPhone was actually designed for people with little experience with technology – simplicity of use. That’s why the user interface blew everyone away. You are obviously the geeky type, who love to hack and tweak. That’s not what the iPhone was intended to be.

    You hack and tweak because the iPhone was not designed to do what you want it to do. Once you see that, you see that this position you hold on the iPhone is flawed.

    Apple created a revolutionary hardware and I think that’s where it ends. The software part is where I am not satisfied with and that’s why I urge any iPhone user to jailbreak it.

    1. There’s hardly anything revolutionary about the iPhone’s hardware. What everyone (including Steve Jobs himself) acclaims as revolutionary is its user interface (which is software), and rightly so. The iPhone user interface was so superior to everything in existence. We’ve had rock-solid hardware in phones for years before the iPhone.

    2. Again, jailbreaking is the result of the iPhone’s limitations; not its strengths.

    You will agree with me that Nokia’s attempt to answer the iPhone wasn’t with a Symbian based device.

    We disagree.

    Nokia understands the market and they know that a niche device is not the solution to the iPhone. The N900 is so obviously a niche device that only a small chuck of the market will purchase. Nokia’s answer to the iPhone is the current development going on at Symbian: see previews of Symbian^3 and Symbian^4.

    Nokia are smart enough not to play that limited market game. The battle is won or lost in the mass market, and that’s where Nokia is playing. That’s where Samsung is playing too. Sony Ericsson still does not get it.

    Nokia’s answer to the iPhone is Symbian on low and mid-tier devices in addition to the existing high-end range and in addition to MeeGo. That’s what they are doing with the 5800, 5730 etc. And that’s what is coming to your neighbourhood via Symbian^3 in just a matter of months.

  11. I have never seen a reality distortion field as large as that surrounding the Iphone!!

    This is a phone which cannot multitask, has a bad battery life, has a poor camera (3mp for the 3g & 3gs) with no flash, has no mms, cannot transfer media to other phones & cannot recieve (unless it is jailbroken)… its limitations are endless & yet some so-called professional would advice you to buy it because it has a pretty interface!

    The fact remains that smartphones are meant to be functional. If you are retarded dont buy one! get a java phone instead and spare me the complaint of symbian being to complex i.e smart.

  12. I have read many of the reviews above. i have seen what many people think. Though I would like to agree with Yom that the iphone was over-hyped and that Americans may be shortsighted I also wish to point out to all that, like Nigeria, the US is a heterogeneous society. And it would be impudent if not parochial to generalize that most Americans have a biased view about the capabilities of the iphone without doing a scientific poll or a kind of structured randomised study/research on the perception of Americans on the iphone and other smartphomes.

    That said, I think the iphone was way ahead of its time. Steve Jobs did wonders and super-innovated to have made the iphone. A lot of people can gripe that it is too expensive and it works in a closed ecosystem. What I say to them is that the iphone is not perfect but then out of all the smart phones in the market I would choose it any day. it is still ahead of the Competition.

    the interface is fluid. the apps, movie, and menus integration are fluid. Unlike Nokia and many other smartphones, It runs smoothly. Quite imperciptible time-lag. I did not need to jailbreak mine like IG did above. I simply registered for an itunes account. Now I have more than 150,000 apps too choose from to customize it. And mind you, majority of these are free. This Flexibility is unmatched anywhere.

    My disagreement with Abubakar Mahmud is that though he made some points but it is clear that the iphone was far ahead of its time. All Smartphone manufacturers including Nokia (Nokia 5800, X6), Blackberry (Storm 1 AND 2), Samsung (Numerous models), Motorola and SE (Numerous models), Entered the Touch touchscreen interface craze because of the iphone. For God’s sake let the truth be told. BEcasue of the successful Apple Apps Store; Samsung, Palm pre, Nokia, Android OS, and even Blackberry decided to launch their own apps store. Who is copying who?

    Till Date, Among the “Touch screen Smartphone” sales in the world, the APPLE IPHONE still leads the Bunch in worldwide sells. I understand that Steve Jobs may have made some mistakes when he launched the ipad especially in the lack of multi-tasking, integrated USB and others; but then He is only a man and can err. But then, in response to my senior Colleague Deoladoctor, lets not judge prematurely. Instead let’s watch out for the sales of the device come April. There will always be room for improvement in the later versions like ipad 2.0.

    Everyone should be quiet until Steve Jobs decides to launch the Iphone OS 4 later this year. then we’ll know if where all the other Smartphone manufacturers are. Where will all the competition be then? As usual I strongly believe Apple will leave them far behind again!

  13. Wow, it’s like this discussion is turning into a debate, but an intelligent one I must state. @Alireta, I think I must make it clear that I am not an apple fanboy and I do not encourage everybody to buy the iPhone. You said I am the geeky type, well, you may be right. And if you are the geeky type you will most probably like the iPhone. The question is, have you ever used it and hated it?

    I must also agree with Ovie Albert that it is the iPhone that got the other big boys back to the drawing board. All the new great improvements in the Symbian old is an attemp to answer the iPhone. Apple may not be a very open company but we cannot deny them the credit of always being the pacesetters.

    Remember that the first apple computer was the first computer that you just plug in and switch on. Unlike previous computers that you need to assemble and program before putting them to use.

    Remember the graphical user interface was copied by all other OSes from apple

    @dfineboy, I disagree with your argument on iPhones battery life. The only thing that exhaust the battery fast is persistent browsing. And it’s the same with all previous phones I’ve used.

    Think of it, we are here comparing the iPhone, a single device from a single company with all other devices from many different companies running different OSes. Guys I think this is not a fair comparison.

    Yeah, Symbian is really improving, but’s it’s looking more and more like the iPhone OS. If you are trying to be like me then it’s only natural to believe that I am ahead of you.

    And now Nokia is hitting Apple with patent infringement suits and urging for a ban on iPhone importation to Europe. I think Nokia sees the iPhone as threat despite the numbers posted by Yom.

    Whatever happens, all we want is a phone that does what we want it to do. If the next cool phone is MeeGo based phone, then I will trade my iPhone with it. Maybe through Alireta 🙂

  14. IG,

    An intelligent debate is always welcome here at MobilityNigeria anyday. You said:

    You said I am the geeky type, well, you may be right. And if you are the geeky type you will most probably like the iPhone. The question is, have you ever used it and hated it?

    We did not say that to indicate that only geeks love the iPhone. Most iPhone users are not geeks and have no interest in hacking or jailbreaking their phones. They like the simplicity that the device offers – as the manufacturer intended. We mentioned you being probably geeky to indicate that only geeks hack and jailbreak their phones.

    In answer to your question, yes; at least two of us here have used the iPhone a bit, and we like it, but it is too limited for our needs. That doesn’t make it a bad device. It simply makes it… well, a limited device. Not for us.

    I must also agree with Ovie Albert that it is the iPhone that got the other big boys back to the drawing board. All the new great improvements in the Symbian old is an attemp to answer the iPhone. Apple may not be a very open company but we cannot deny them the credit of always being the pacesetters.

    We do not deny this. We firmly affirm it. The iPhone got everyone else up about improving the user interface of their phones. But that’s it. Nothing more. The iPhone brought nothing else to the table.

    Think of it, we are here comparing the iPhone, a single device from a single company with all other devices from many different companies running different OSes. Guys I think this is not a fair comparison.

    Yes; it is unfair. But Apple started it by foolishly comparing their touch-based user interface with that on all other types of phones – even non-touchscreen phones. “Too much plastic”,, according to Steve Jobs. Absurdity. Foolishness. The truth is that some of the most user-friendly phones are regular keypad non-touchscreen phones that anyone – grandpa, grandma, and the illiterates in African villages are able to use without getting confused.

    And it was (and still is) foolishness for anyone to compare the iPhone to those – as Apple and the US media keep doing.

    If the iPhone is now getting a piece of its own cake, well… what goes around comes around. Apple started it by making and encouraging false claims which the uninformed American media has been parroting.

    Yeah, Symbian is really improving, but’s it’s looking more and more like the iPhone OS. If you are trying to be like me then it’s only natural to believe that I am ahead of you.

    Again, only with regards the user interface. By your own admission (and by general concensus of the mobile industry), the iPhone is years behind Symbian (and Windowsphone and BlackBerry) in terms of functionality and features. Why you find it difficult to admit this open fact is odd. The only thing that the iPhone brought to the table is a better user interface – and for touchscreen devices only. Nothing anyone says will ever change that fact.

    And now Nokia is hitting Apple with patent infringement suits and urging for a ban on iPhone importation to Europe. I think Nokia sees the iPhone as threat despite the numbers posted by Yom.

    And you have left out the fact that Apple has filed some really silly suits against Nokia too. But we’ll leave those for the courts to decide. Let the courts decide whether or not Apple is really infringing, and if they are they better do the right thing. You are in no position to insinuate anything until the courts have had their say or the parties involved have settled some other way.

    Someone feeling cheated of his rights and so taking legal action says nothing about any supposed threats to marketshare. Don’t mix things up. If Apple is cheating, they should face the music. But, we leave that to the courts.

    Point: the iPhone brought a better user interface for touchscreen devices. Nothing more or less. In every other way (functionality and features), the iPhone is trying to grow up to be a Samsung, Nokia, LG, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, ZTE, Sharp or Blackberry. Or a Symbian, Android, Windowsphone or WebOS.

    This our intelligent debate would have ended if only you had admitted to this, but you keep dancing around it.

  15. @Alireta, I am ending the debate. I admitted that the iPhone lacks a lot of functionality out of the box. Especially those I listed in my first post. I also said that I would not recommend the iPhone to everybody, that’s because using it as Steve Jobs wants you to will leave you with a limited device. I think we have agreed on more points than we have disagreed. The iPhone I think is like a drug, if you love it, you’ll get hooked to it.

    Talking about the patent wars, it’s Nokia that threw the first punch before apple responded with some patent infringement allegations. Do a little googling about “apple’s response to Nokia”. Nokia is a great company that have brought a lot to the mobile market through their R and D. But they are not so ruthless, so they allowed others access to their patents through what they call RAND (Reasonable And Non Discriminatory) license. So apple took advantage of that but decided not bring back anything to the table.

    And it’s like apple has surpassed Nokia in profits from mobile phone business in the last quarter of 2009.

    http://www.blogcatalog.com/search/frame?term=apple%20hits%20back%20at%20nokia&id=445ae415ac7f063bb6ab7a012539787f

    Lastly, I wish the comments will switch from a debate to a discussion.

  16. IG,

    Thanks for putting the debate to an end. While you admitted limitations, you kept repeating one of the numerous myths going round – that the iPhone is “ahead of” Symbian. That is as untrue as all the other myths that Yom addressed in his article. The iPhone is ahead only by way of its touch user interface. So long as we are agreed on that, there is no debate.

    We are quite informed about the patent wars. As you said, it isn’t fair either that Apple took advantage of RAND but decided not bring back anything to the table. Still, the jury is out on that.

    The iPhone I think is like a drug, if you love it, you’ll get hooked to it.

    Ah. Say No to drugs 😉

    And it’s like apple has surpassed Nokia in profits from mobile phone business in the last quarter of 2009.

    Steve Jobs was manipulating again. The figures he presented included sales from including iPods and Macbooks:

    Ah, but Mr Jobs was talking about more than phones, he was chucking in laptops and iPods in his campaign to convince us that Apple is now a mobile business – and the biggest in the world.

    Since when did laptops and iPods become classified as mobile phones? Also see A fruit Confused? And from another article:

    An analysis of Apple’s reported earnings ( PDF Link) does not bear this out, however, as Apple’s revenue from iPod, iPhone, and laptop sales was $11.73 billion, or €8.45 billion, during the December quarter. Removing revenue from laptop sales does leave Apple behind Nokia, resulting in revenues of $8.97 billion, or €6.46 billion, during the period; it is unclear how Helsingin Sanomat arrived at the €7.25 billion number, but it appears to be incorrect.

    Here’s from OSnews:

    During the iPad presentation, I was rather perplexed by Apple’s claim to be the largest mobile device company in the world. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one scratching his head, as Nokia itself, and even the Financial Times, is calling Apple out on its juggling with figures and definitions.

    As I was following the numerous live text/photo streams of Apple’s event earlier this week, one claim in particular had me scratching my head. Steve Jobs claimed that Apple was now the largest mobile device company in the world; bigger than Sony, Samsung, and even Nokia. The catch here was that Apple had to include its laptop sales to get there

    Let’s leave the politics and controversies to the politicians, and stick with incontrovertible facts. Like those posted by Yom in his article. Apple does seem desperate to propagate mega-untruths, and would go as far as manipulating things.

    Cheers.

  17. Yey! I’m late to the party. Steve Jobs na master spin-doctor. I like the way a commenter put it :

    By all means, Apple has been tremendously successful with the iPhone, but as the above shows clearly, not only is Nokia ahead in numbers of handsets sold, but also in revenue from handsets sold. So, how again do you justify your claim that neither numbers sold nor revenue counts, but only the appearances and beliefs of those bamboozled by Apple’s marketing?

    The iPhone is going to continue to be a very successful product, no doubt about it, but it has a lot of solid competition in features, carriers, and price points that it can do nothing to address. All the appearances and beliefs in the world aren’t going to make the considerably larger handset market (of which Nokia is but one player) insignificant. It’s one thing when you hold around 70% of the total market, as Apple does with all mp3 players, it’s quite another thing when your “domination” can only be declared by very careful defining of criteria and, in the case of the referenced article, combining the revenue from cell phones and laptop computers, an odd choice indeed.

    Source: http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/news/comments/nokia-disputes-apples-largest-mobile-device-company-claim/

  18. @Alireta, hope this will not be removed as off-topic, but how do you quote somebody as you’ve been quoting me in your posts ?

    You see the problem with apple has to do with the typical American attitude. They create hype around their products and that hype help in selling the products. Apart from apple, I also keep trying to get my head around why twitter is talked about everywhere, I just couldn’t see the innovation. And facebook, it’s just a good social networking site but it kept getting treated as a revolution. I don’t know, maybe I’m too dumb to understant it.

    But then I digress.

  19. IG,

    You see the problem with apple has to do with the typical American attitude. They create hype around their products and that hype help in selling the products.

    Very true.

    To quote, use these tags: <blockquote> xxx </blockquote>

    Replace “xxx” with the text you are quoting.

  20. The Debate has become very mature as more comments are made. I also noticed that the discussions have carefully and continuously downplayed the extent the iphone has played in improving smartphone development and usability in the world at large.

    In line with this, there are some points I wish to make clear now. First of all, the iphone is not just a phone of just a very good interface. The features in itself are also astounding. Of course, I admit that they may be limited out of the box. But with the aid of applications the iphone is virtually transformed into a mobile computer! There is nothing I can’t do with the iphone than I can do with a Nokia smartphone. I can view and edit files, with the iphone. Browse the internet, Play astounding games. With incredible apps, I can turn the iphone into a remote wifi controller for my PC and use during presentation, accounting, Medical, Encylopedia, Dictionary and all sorts of functionality. So if you say the iphone is deficient in features and functionalities, I strongly beg to disagree. What i ask of you, and infact DARE you to do is to show me a function that a NOKIA or Samsung phone can do that the iphone can’t. Then I’d believe you that the iphone is deficient in features.

    Ofcourse, Everybody knows that Nokia is afraid of the phenomenon that is called Apple iphone. Not long ago, Nokia was not doing flip phones. They had to start it and decrease their price point becasue of the decreasing sales of their phones. What we face today is a similar thing. Everybody is fighting to bring about an iphone killer. Motorolla, Samsung, Nokia, Blackberry…. the list goes on. In fact, to the best of my knowledge there is no such thing as an iphone killer. The iphone is the best thing that has happened to the mobile world. Don’t get me wrong. I own a NOkia. I love Samsung phones. I even bought one for my wife. But after I passed over the discouragement from disparaging remarks and so many iphone haters (they are many!!!) and eventually got an iphone and ipodtouch, I realized that compared with the iphone all the features and user interface in the NOKia smartphone are drab. they were very unexciting.

    To cut to the chase @Alireta;”The iPhone is ahead only by way of its touch user interface. So long as we are agreed on that, there is no debate”:. I strongly disagree with this. The iphone is also feature packed if you have the right apps. Imagine you have more than 150,000 apps to choose from? It beats me that Nokia can still talk! Everyone knows that Nokia sells more phones than APPLE. But if you ask me, i dare ask if there is a single phone sold by Nokia that sells as much as the iphone? To keep the records straight, The iphone is the largest selling TOUCH SCREEN SMARTPHONE in the world. Just check it out.

    I think that nokia shold be happy that Apple operates a closed ecosystem. They only manufacture one brand of phone. They keep their customers in this ecosystem. They are attentive to details and excellence. They are not in the habit of world domination. All they want is to sell their very good products and give you quality, inclusive of a sweet user experience and functionality. They do not intend to ask the Courts to stop Nokia form selling their phones in Europe or America.

    Nokia should therefore stop whining and compete. It is a free Market. Apple is just so good, thus the Customer loyalty to the brand. When the iphone, iphone 3g and 3gs phones where sold, the queue and long lines did not only happen in the US, these phenomena were reproduced in the UK, other parts of Europe and in-fact, even in Japan.

    The iphone is loved everywhere and not just in America. I think it has come to stay. Nokia can complain all they can. But when the iphone 4.0 launches it will be a bigger world press event than any Nokia event or even the MWC

  21. Afewgoodmen,

    Welcome to the discussion. Often, discussions of this nature often begin to stray from the purpose of the original article.

    The purpose of the article (and the ensuing discussion) is not to tell the story of the iPhone or present its sterling qualities. The purpose of Yom’s article is to show the myths that have been propagated about the iPhone. This he did with clear, incontrovertible facts. Period.

    He did not set out to present the impact of the iPhone on the mobile industry. We all already know that and have no issues with that. The iPhone’s superb user interface has injected a vibrancy into the industry that was not there before. Yes; the iPhone is the largest selling touchscreen phone in the world. We already knew that too. But again, Yom’s article is about the myths.

    Now, if you want to write an article about the glowing trail of the iPhone, you are welcome to send it in and we will publish. We have nothing against the iPhone. But hype, myths untruths and blatant lies, we abhor.

    Also, we will not respond to your re-hashing issues that have been dealt with already earlier on in this discussion, especially those that border on mere personal sentiments and speculations. No offence; its just a waste of time doing so.

    However, you asking for a function that a NOKIA or Samsung phone can do that the iphone can’t makes you look ridiculous. That’s not device loyalty. That’s not fanboyism. It is worse. Both Yom and Dayo, for example, have used Nokias extensively for years, but they will be the first to point out the deficiencies of Nokia should a discussion of the subject come up.

    Since you asked, we’ll give you one: the iPhone has no true multitasking support. Even Steve Jobs wouldn’t try to wiggle his way out of this one. You cannot even jaibreak/hack it to be able to do that. Every Nokia and Samsung smartphone since Adam has been doing that – even the ones that cost less than N30,000.

    Now, please be honourable enough to admit that the iphone is deficient in features, as you said you would if we presented you one such deficiency.

    From now, please let’s stick to the subject: myths about the iPhone.

    Cheers.

  22. @Afewgoodmen

    To quote you:

    “What i ask of you, and infact DARE you to do is to show me a function that a NOKIA or Samsung phone can do that the iphone can’t. Then I’d believe you that the iphone is deficient in features”

    How about the very simple but important function like multitasking?

    Do you believe now?

  23. ALireta and Deoladoctor have made a candid argument and have properly countered Afewgoodmen’s DARE. But then apart from Multitasking (which Steve Jobs may likely correct and add in the next iteration of the iphone OS..i.e. Iphone OS 4.0), Is there any other feature or function that a Nokia or Samsung can do that an iphone can’t. Please Educate me.

    I have read all the reviews. And my opinion sway towards the right but inclining at the centre. Please answer me this question so I can make up my mind!

  24. Apart from not multitasking it also does not support FLASH so how can it give us the desktop browsing experience like the nokia N900 is giving with complete web animations.You said there were ques in Japan. But what later happened to those ques when the japanese discoved the iphone can not even do what their local phones can take for granted?They started reselling them….Why? Cos the Geeky country is more interested in functionality than a glossy american device.

  25. @Alireta. I love the reply you gave to my points. I also love that you keep to the debate and discussions. I would be glad to write an article, if you would let me take on your offer. Just tell me how to post the article or the e-mail address to send it to.

    That said, I know the iphone is not perfect. Multitasking is a major shortcoming. I know that and I regret that. I hope this function will be corrected in the next OS. But that does not spoil the fun in an otherwise immaculate device. Yes, there are a lot of myths about the iphone. You yourself said; “The iPhone’s superb user interface has injected a vibrancy into the industry that was not there before. “, I think that it was because of this dynamic, lucid and vibrant user interface that must have brought about the myth and the hype that surrounds the iphone to this Day.

    Before the iphone, Nokia, Samsung and many other companies have been producing phones with drab user interface. You press a button and you have to wait a while for the phone to respond. Video, Menus, sub-menus were not fluid and interesting. Browsing web pages and surfing phone menus were almost always an ordeal and cumbersome. Now comes the iphone with its fluid user interface, seamless video playing, ipod function and a resounding web browsing experience (So good that more people indulged in mobile phone browsing which resulted in critically slowing AT&T Network in the US). Now with all these in mind, and other phone companies copying Apple and trying to break the momentum and interest generated by the iphone; it is not so far-fetched for the non-geeks and the Tech Non-initiated to suggest that the iphone reinvented phone browsing, apps and all the other “myths”. If you look down deep enough there is some REAL red herring, a sliver of truth in some of the myths. They may be partially wrong, but holistically, I think the iphone preceded and birthed a whole generation of similar phones, culture, innovation and progress in the mobile industry. With that further in mind, it is not so difficult to see the reasons why the uninitiated may feel the iphone actually started these things, these myths, while actually, it invigorated and re-invented (so to speak) these functions. The iphone won the 2007 Time magazine gadget of the year because of this revolution it started.

    @Abubakar Mahmud; We all Know that Apple never supported flash. Instead they want to wait for when HTML 5 will be fully developed. It was not even supported in the ipad because they feel Flash will drain the battery life of the ipad from 20 to 1.5 hours. Also they mentioned that flash was the major reason why MAC computers clash. The browsing experience on the iphone and countless other phones without Flash is good. Even on the Deskstop, Silverlight from Microsoft is almost as good as Adobe Flash. As far as I am concerned Flash is overrated, Adobe has a monopoly there. Silverlight and even Apple Quicktime may serve if Flash isn’t available. I think you should mention another function that your good old Nokia can do that the iphone can’t. Flash, for the above reasons can’t be accepted.

  26. Afewgoodmen,

    To submit articles for publication, you need to register here: https://www.mobilityarena.com/wp-login.php?action=register, edit your profile to include your real names and a brief bio of yourself. Thereafter, you can email your article to impact AT alireta DOT com.

    Now back to the discussion. You said:

    I think that it was because of this dynamic, lucid and vibrant user interface that must have brought about the myth and the hype that surrounds the iphone to this Day.

    It does not matter what is responsible for the myths. They are myths all the same, and no-one should encourage them, yourself inclusive. Making up the kind of excuses you submitted above for Apple/iPhone is an encouragement of the myths.

    You press a button and you have to wait a while for the phone to respond. Video, Menus, sub-menus were not fluid and interesting. Browsing web pages and surfing phone menus were almost always an ordeal and cumbersome.

    More untruths and half-truths. Some phones had laggy menus; others had very responsive menus. As a team, we here have used over 60 mobile phones, and many of them did not require you to wait for the phone to respond after hitting a button. Many.

    As for fluidity in menus, there is little that can be improved with regards non-touchscreen phone menus – which make up the vast majority of phones (industry fact: touchscreen phones make up about only 30% of the total count of mobile phones in production).

    Have you ever used a BlackBerry? It has a very simple and straightforward interface that has not been changed till date. Again note that there’s not much that needs changing in a non-touchscreeen user interface. While simple to a fault, it is a solid performer. The BlackBerry is proof that a user interface need not be fanciful to be effective. Till date, BlackBerry is growing marketshare and remains ahead of the iPhone on the smartphone scale. See The Silent Success of the Blackberry.

    As for browsing web pages being an ordeal and cumbersome, excuse us please! It is sounding like your first and only phone was the iPhone. How many phones have you used, such that you are able to arrive at this conclusion?

    For example, browsing the web via Opera Mini on mobiles has been a user-friendly and stressless activity for years. Have you ever browsed extensively on a Nokia E90 – a mobile device that has served as a capable laptop replacement for users on the move? Have you ever watched video on its browser? Have you ever browsed the internet on a Sony Ericsson P1i?

    The iPhone is sweet to use; we do not deny this, but affirming that before the iPhone doing anything on a mobile phone was a chore is ludicrous.

    Now with all these in mind, and other phone companies copying Apple and trying to break the momentum and interest generated by the iphone; it is not so far-fetched for the non-geeks and the Tech Non-initiated to suggest that the iphone reinvented phone browsing, apps and all the other “myths”.

    Steve Jobs is not a non-geek. The American media and bloggers are not non-geeks. While they may be behind the rest of the world in mobility, they have access to information and facts, yet continue to ignore and twist them – just as you did in your recent comments.

    As for your defence of why Apple left out flash from the iPhone and Mac PCs, those are just cop-outs and lame excuses. You guys claim that the iPhone is a superior device, yet its makers are scared of implementing a function that supposedly “inferior” phones are able to handle without stress. Here:

    1. many non-smartphones support flash, and those dumbphones do not crash as a result of flash. Basic phones from LG and Samsung support flash and do so stresslessly

    2. many smartphones from Symbian, Windows Mobile and others support flash, and those supposedly “inferior” devices do not crash from Flash either

    And some people don’t think that it is absurd to claim that the iPhone is a superior device? And you can still claim that it is not deficient in features compared to other smartpone platforms? If running Flash is likely to crash the iPhone, as it does Macs, it certainly is inferior in that respect.

    The iPhone lacks Flash support. Fact. It is a deficiency. Spin excuses around it all you want; it remains a lack. Embedded videos can be watched on Nokias and Samsungs, but that cannot be done on the iPhone. The statistics is that 7 Million iPhone/iPod users attempted to download Flash functionality to their devices in December 2009 alone. Here’s the news item:

    Steve Jobs has had some rather negative things to say about Adobe. He recently called the company “lazy” and said that the reason the iPhone doesn’t support Flash is because the software is too buggy. Someone should tell iPhone and iPod Touch users who tried 7 million times to download Flash from Adobe.com in December alone. That was up from 3 million attempts in June. Users most likely headed to Adobe’s web site after trying to click on an image, and received a response that the Flash player was needed to see the content. Source

    They want it; they can’t get it. That’s a deficiency. A lack. A disadvantage. Can anyone help us with more synonyms, please? Yoruba? Housa? Igbo? Ibibio? Efik? Anyone?

    Be a gentleman. You asked for one thing. We gave you one; Abubakar has given you a second one. Now you have two. Be gentlemanly enough to admit that you were out of line. You were wrong about your claims on the iPhone.

    The iPhone has deficiencies. The iPhone is not a superior device to others. It is superior in some ways, and inferior in others. That’s the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

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