Monday, June 29, 2009

Apple iPhone: Light-Years Ahead

As shown in one of the banners at the Moscone West during WWDC 09: one year later, light-years ahead:


It could not be more true. Many things have changed during the last two years, and in the last year in particular.

I truly believe there is still no competitor for the iPhone. I have tested many different phones. I have owned, both Blackberry and Palm branded phones, and I have had several Nokia phones in the past. Being a mobile device fan, I have the tendency to ask people to show me their phones. I have seen many, and there is still no competition, not even in those new touch screen phones that keep popping up.

It is also my believe that the key to is not in the hardware, which is definitely good, but not unique. The key difference is in the software. Apple created a software base that is extremely responsive to user input, and that made it easy and intuitive. Then, with the SDK and the App Store, opened the door to rest of us.


Many things have changed. From the initial 550 applications that were available on July 11th, 2008, the App Store has now surpassed the 50,000 mark. That is almost 100 times more applications, and still growing fast. Another change is the introduction of firmware 3.0. Technologies like MapKit or Core Data, are amazing. Finally, new hardware. Faster, with more memory and more powerful.

In my opinion, 2 years after the introduction of the iPhone, Apple clearly dominates the smartphone market and it is clear that its intention is to keep doing it. But what it is most impressive is, that Apple is listening to both customers and developers. Took a while, and there are still things Apple do not want to change, but they are doing it. Almost all my requests for new iPhone SDK APIs have been made available in firmware 3.0, and almost most of the common requested features are now there (like copy & paste). Even most of the changes I wanted on the App Store are there.

So, I want to take this opportunity to say: thanks, Apple! Thanks for the iPhone, for the SDK, for the App Store, for your updates, and most of all, for listening. Keep doing it, and you shall keep light-years ahead of the competition.