Smartphones have existed as a product class for a long time before the iPhone came on scene. The most popular smartphone manufacturer was Research In Motion (RIM), and their Blackberry continues to be a popular device. Nokia too, had a range of multifunction phones that could access the Internet and perform a variety of tasks that normal mobile phones could not do.
When the iPhone came on scene, it did a number of things that were truly innovative for a phone. It featured a huge full touch screen that was very responsive to fingers. Most other touch screens till then seemed a bit slow. Further, the Gorilla glass screen was scratch resistant and allowed you to keep your phone in your pocket with other knickknacks, without the fear of it getting scratched. The sleek phone with just one physical button and a firm aluminum casing was very innovative.
Hardware aside, what really distinguished the iPhone when it was launched, was the software that you could run on it. The iOS coupled with the App Store allowed you to install and run a host of apps on the iPhone, developed by programmers across the world. Till then, there were not many ways for smartphone users to extend the basic functionality of their phones. With the introduction of a system to install apps, the iPhone opened gates for people to use their phones in many ways.
Graphics intensive mobile gaming, streamed videos, watching movies, browsing the Internet, photo sharing from the mobile, checking emails, chatting, social media networking, GPS navigation, ticket booking, location sharing and uploading videos are some smartphone features that became commonplace, because of the iPhone. While many of these were possible on certain models of phones before the iPhone, never was there a phone that could handle all these functions with ease. What’s more, the design of the iPhone made these features easy to use even for the non tech savvy.
The roaring success of the iPhone spurred the development of Android based Smartphones that have come to provide a lot of the functionality that was initially available on the iPhone to a whole range of Smartphones. The replication of the Android market in a manner similar to that of the App store has further enhanced the similarities between various Smartphones.
Currently, it is pretty hard to point out significant differences in functionality between the iPhone and other Smartphones. All the major features that are available on one are available on the other. The hardware looks similar and even the user interfaces have many similarities. Today, the differences between the iPhone and other Smartphones boil down to considerations such as price, ability to jailbreak the phone and install your favorite software, hardware specifications, data plans provided by mobile carriers and the ability to connect with other devices. Choosing a smartphone has become difficult as the distinguishing lines between the iPhone and other Smartphones have blurred. It is all boiling down to user preference rather than significant differences between the iPhone and other Smartphones.
This guest post has been brought to you by April Damasco, who you can e-mail by clicking here.ff