The great thing about publishing your thoughts / life online over a long period of time is that you can look back and judge yourself with the benefit of hindsight. Exactly 6 years ago, almost to the day, the iPhone was launched in the US and i gave my thoughts on it…
In 2007, i had a Nokia N95. It was pretty much as good a smartphone as money could buy back in those days. When buying it, i knew the iPhone was on the horizon but that didn’t bother me. When the iPhone was launched i still didn’t think to myself “wow, i have to have this…”. In fact there were several things i disliked about the iPhone and several things that it couldn’t do, which my n95 could do.
Taking video is something we take for granted today, but as you’ll see from my original post back in 07 (at the bottom of this post), the iPhone couldn’t record video. It also had a crappy 2mp camera… my n95 had a pretty decent 5mp camera (with flash too). The original iPhone also couldn’t run any 3rd party apps… the app store came a year later in summer 2008.
In short, there was a lot the iPhone didn’t have and looking back, several of the features i highlighted it *didn’t* have, eventually came along in later versions including video recording, GPS / compass, much higher quality camera, app store, instant messaging…
There were also some other things i wanted on a phone back then like a removable battery and TV Out. Apple proved me wrong with the battery situation – their iPhone batteries in general don’t die or noticeably degrade over time… back in 2007 however i had replaced several batteries in older iPods so that’s why i’d wanted a removable battery in an iPhone.
As for TV out, we don’t really need it these days but the ability to hook up your small mobile screen to a bigger screen would still be something i’d like to see… in fact i think it’s something we will see more of and we’ve already kinda seen that happen with Apple TV and smart TVs. There’s a certain amount of integration there.
Overall, i’m relatively content to dig up this post from 2007… i think it was a fairly solid analysis of what was wrong with the iPhone in 2007. It’s amazing how times have changed and for the last few years in particular, the iPhone has been the undisputed king of smartphones. In 2010, i bought an iPhone 4 to replace my ageing n95… it was the easiest decision i’ve ever made as there were simply no decent alternatives out there.
Will the iPhone still be THE undisputed smartphone king 6 years from now? In my opinion, it’s highly unlikely… iPhone 5 was a disappointment, iPhone 5S (i’m assuming it’ll be called the 5S) will be a minor improvement and a lot will be riding on iPhone 6, which we’ll probably see next autumn.
Warming us up for the iPhone 6, will be the release of iOS7 which is a big deal because it’s a radical change in appearance and thinking which in turn requires a certain degree of learning & acceptance from all iPhone users, but it’s a change which i feel will make Android feel less alien to people who’ve gotten so used to their iPhone. Apple have adopted a sort of teletubbies / microsoft flat design which won’t appeal to everyone. There are signs iOS7’s attention to detail is lacking but we can’t really pass judgement until it’s out of beta and released to the public.
Anyway, here’s a blast from the past on what i thought about the ‘new’ iPhone….
27th June 2007
I’ll repost the original post below which can also be found here..
“…i’ll be interested in the sort of reaction it gets. I could have waited on one myself but opted for the n95 as i believe it is a superior phone. There are a few issues i have with the iphone –
- the iphone does not have a gps system, it has google maps which is completely different.
- the iphone can’t record video – huge set back for a lot of people.
- the iphone has an ipod like battery, meaning after a year or so, it will need replacement just like an ipod battery. Possibly sooner than that. Ipod aren’t used 24/7, but the iphone will be so it will be interesting to see how the battery does.
- no radio
- glass screen plus touch screen outdoors on a nice sunny day? that’s a recipe for disaster 😉 look at how all the iphone reviews and presentations are done in dark rooms..
- no TV out
- pretty poor camera resolution (2mp).
- no 3rd party apps. (huge drawback imo) it opens up VOIP etc..
- No 3G (in other words, browsing the net on anything other than wi-fi is not possible)
- no voice dialing
- the iphone is going to be difficult/expensive to unlock, as nobody will have experience or software available to do it.
- the iphone can’t send IM/MMS messages
Ok, no phone is perfect and you can’t have a phone choc a block full of all of these features, but Apple had said before that the iphone was “5 years ahead of anything else”.. well, i certainly don’t think that. It has a pretty cool media interface and web 2.0 style to it. The touchscreen is also the best out there imo.
It certainly looks the part and it has that Apple sexiness about it, but when you actually look past the fancy interface and scroll/touchscreen, there’s not much there imo. Look at all the above drawbacks.. my n95 can do all of that which is frightening…”