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iPhone vs. Smartphone
This week Apple rocked the world with the announcement of the iPhone. Despite the outrageous claims to be 5 years ahead of everyone else, the phone is a revolutionary hybrid between iPod / PDA and Phone. In this article I am going to compare some of the features to the T-Mobile SDA. Even though the MDA may be closer to what the iPhone offers, I am comparing it to the SDA since it primarily claims to be a phone. Both have very similar specifications but are completely different devices.
The iPhone was probably one of Apples closest guarded secrets. I knew my company was selling microchips to Apple, but I didn't know what products they would be in. It turns out our chips are in the iPhone and in the Apple TV. Not bad.
I bought my SDA last December, because it was the smallest phone that had the power (and wifi) to run Skype.
The SDA is significantly smaller than the iPhone and for me (at the time of purchase) the size was a crucial factor. In the screenshot you can see that I am connected with via skype and that I have 4 emails in my inbox. Even though the iPhone comes with an amazing array of software already pre-installed, I haven't read anything about a Voice over IP (VoIP) client. It certainly has the capabilities. I think I have read somewhere on Engadget that you cannot install any software on it like you can on a Smartphone. I hope that there will be a way around this. For me the primary selling argument for the SDA was its capability to run Skype.
The browser of the iPhone is light years ahead of anything I have ever seen on a Smartphone. It loads websites in full view and lets you zoom in very quickly. The handling of the iPhone is also far superior to any smartphone on the market. With simple strokes (two fingers) you can zoom in and out. This really makes a difference when you want to surf the web on your phone. The iPhone also detects if you hold the phone in horizontal mode and flips the display accordingly.
Seing that the iPhone is somewhat related to the iPod, I am missing a good feed reader / podcast subscriber software. I have no idea if it is included or not, but I couldn't spot it anywhere on Apples website. That doesn't mean the iPhone doesn't have it, but as I said I couldn't find it.
This is defenitely one of the advantages of a Smartphone. You can install just about any software you like. On my SDA i have Skookum running (see two pictures above). I am reading about the iPhone in the Engadget feed and I can download podcasts to my phone. I have scheduled the downloads to happen at night when I sleep, so I will always have fresh content on my phone in the morning (helps you skip through a boring meeting).
I could go on and one writing and reviewing. The iPhone comes out ahead in just about any category. It has far superior technology and has a whole lot of software installed already that you have to install on the Smartphone yourself (e.g. Google Maps). The Google Maps client for instance is far superior than the Java Midlet you can download for the Smartphone.
My SDA is limited to 802.11b while the iPhone has b and g modes (fast WiFi). My screen resolution is 240x320 (iPhone 320x480). The iPhone has a touchscreen the SDA doesn't (the MDA does and it even has a querty keyboard that slides out). My phones memory is 2GB (mini SD card) the iPhone has at least 4GB. The list goes on and on.
Overall, I am glad I only made a one year contract with T-Mobile. This means for Christmas this year I could get an iPhone, if it wasn't so freakishly expensive.
The iPhone defenitely has the cool-geekish touch that most Apple products have and its the first Apple product that really gets me excited.