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so why do all those people queue up to buy an iPhone?


 putting up with all the touble activating it? Most of the people in the queue already have mobile phones/PDAs/web access tool, so do not need to buy a new device in a hurry; their urge must be for some other reason that I do not understand and do not share - I would buy an iPhone if one was available for $200, but this looks unlikely

in terms of functionality, let's compare it with a competitor, the Nokia E71


and see whether is a better phone, or a better PDA, or a better web device:

Phone: users from several countries report reception problems in various areas; in most cases, they blame the phone company, AT&T in USA, Orange in UK, Vodaphone in NZ, Optus in Australia, but if other phones work well with those carriers while iPhone does not, there is at least a design issue of whether the phone was made for full compatibility with carrier requirements; I have not seen the same kind of reports with Nokia E71.

PDA: iPhone has very limited use as a PDA because it does not have a hardware keyboard; the touch sensitive screem can present a virtual keyboard, but hitting the right keys is not easy, and almost impossible with one-hand operation, which one often has to when using the device while on the move (e.g., your left hand might be holding a laptop bag as you walk to catch a plane, or grabbing a rail while riding a bus/train, but in the mean time you attempt to send an SMS or answer an email - you can do this single handed on Palm/Blackberry/E71).

Web access device: iPhone's touch sensitive screen gives it an edge in quick web access, avoiding the need to push buttons and move the cursor to operate icons, and it has a larger screen, but for somewhat more complex operations, its lack of a keyboard is still a problem, e.g, typing in a URL.

E71 is also slightly lighter and noticeably thinner, so that you can just carry it in your shirt pocket; iPhone feels less comfortable there, and almost certainly has to be carried in a waist pouch or handbag. iPhone's battery is fixed in, so when power runs low you have to charge with the charger which requires wall socket, or a portable external battery unit, and cannot just carry a spare battery; when its battery breaks down you have to take it back to the dealer to get a new one put in. Other issues I heard were (a) white plastic used in some phones developing fine cracks (b) not able to use your older iphone once you buy a new one - the Apple activation only works for the latest unit, whereas with other phones you can put the sim card into any other phone (c) updating to new iphone software causes "unlocked" iphone to stock working with other carriers

Obviously, iPhone offers its users great satisfaction in other ways; what? I have no idea at all, since I use my phone as a just a phone... What I could recall is: the last time something like this happened was over 20 years ago: there were long queues all over USA with people fighting to buy a doll called Cabbage Patch;

in 1997 some similar happened with this electronic chicken toy called tamagochi

but it was mainly in asia; Hello Kitty toys had a bit of a craze too

In other others, the way people behaved with iPhone is more like about a toy than about a communication tool, and the way Apple promoted it (and messed up technologically) was again like a toy company, not a computer company; nobody would put up with that kind of trouble with products from another phone maker

I am one of the very few Motorola phone users left in the world - the company is doing poorly and might soon exit the business (or do what Ericsson did, merge its phone business with another company, probably LG or Samsung).

I was an early customer of the L7089

the earliest (I think 1999) triband phone so that I could use it in USA during my visits. Right now I use a w208

which is an antique by today's standards - it has no camera, only a small screen, and almost no game/music facilities; it is however light weight and very handy for the shirt pocket; it's usable in USA of course; in fact it is quad band! not sure what the 850 band is for, but who cares...

In between these two I also had several other Motorola phones including two more L7089s (I have two Singtel lines, one for myself and one for other family members when they are here, so I could get new phones, free or low cost, often), some sony-ericsson phones, and most recently, several Nokia phones including an E61, early version of E71; did I switch to Nokia because the phones are better? actually I dont think so; just Singtel offers particular models as free phones at particular times, and recent times they were what I found.

Nokia, of course, is the company killing Motorola's phone business - for reasons I dont quite understand: people say Nokia phones are youthful, fashionable, appealing, etc, while Motorola phones are clunky and dull, but I myself could not see much difference - I guess I am deficient in understanding the thinking of consumers, and that's why I have difficulty writing web material that attract lots of readers or start project/business that would appeal to consumer/investor; however, I digress (and please dont feel sorry for me or offer me part time jobs in case I need to occupy my time or earn additional income; I am fine as I am thank you very much.)

In the mean time, I am waiting for October when I can get two new free/cheap phones from Singtel; I doubt I will be getting Motorola this time - its PDA phone seems clunky compared to Nokia E71 and Sony-Ericsson P1i... the P1i is smaller than E71 because its buttons operate on both left and right edges to input two symbols, so that it only needs half the buttons as the E71..

I now have a blackberry 6320, which I found easier to use than nokia e61 which




I bought in early 2006: the buttons are better designed and it presents saved information better, e.g., when you attempt to dial a no., most phones just show you the digits you are inputting, but the blackberry shows below your recently dialed numbers, as soon as you press one digit, so that you could save further effort if you want one of these numbers, and when you attempt to input a URL the recently used URLs appear below; it also presents a slimmed down version of web pages that fit the width of the screen, so that you only scroll up and down, not sideways as I have to with e61. It is also unusually light, just 112 grams, whereas P1i and E71 are just a little heavy on the shirt pocket (E61 is much too heavy at 145g, and iPhone also at 135g); it however has some weird habit of disconnecting and reconnecting for the phone signal and wifi, making it hard to assume whether you are connected, connected but not logged in, or not connected.



























the Google gphone is announced, with hardware by taiwan company HTC running the Android operating system, also originating from taiwan

gphone is in the same market as iphone, aiming at consumers who will use the phone more as an entertainment and general IT device than a business tool; the hardware design tries to make PDA applications and web access more convenient by providing a keyboard, but made the hardware heavy and clunky in this attempt; however, it is only a matter of time when the same software will be put onto other versions of HTC hardware, some looking similar to blackberry/E71, some like Nokia N95, and some like iphone; so gphone will different from iphone in hardware variety - it would be more like Nokia

the software of gphone will also differ from iphone in being "open" - any phone manufacturer can put Android up without having to pay a license fee, and there is no restriction on software companies adding applications and OS modifications; in contrast, iphone (and most mobile phone companies) operates in a closed environment with in-house or strictly controlled affiliate software development; however, simply using Android on you phone means you will naturally use google search, map and other facilities, like computer users, regardless of their hardware and OS choices.

iphone was "revolutionary" in re-orienting consumer phone use, making it more like consumer computer use, but gphone is "revolutionary" in a different way, making the phone technology scene more like computer technology scene

there are many varieties of phone preferences; the mac and ipod users swear by their iphone, despite its many problems; some prefer a light weight phone (70-80grams) that fit into the shirt pocket; some want to lower half keyboard like the blackberry/E71, operable in one hand; I look forward to a future phone that combines all three - a full frontal, touch sensitive screen that slides up to reveal a qwerty keyboard, running an OS with a good user interface, in other words a blackberry/E71 cut into two halves and put together as sliding pieces; I dont think this is far off - just a question of who gets there first and how much it will cost