Rhodri Marsden: The challenges posed by the iPhone killers

Click to follow
The Independent Tech

Details of the new iPhone's improvements upon its wildly successful predecessor have long been circulating online: it connects to the internet at 3G speeds, it comes with satellite navigation built in and no longer has a recessed headphone socket. Some people will note that this is nothing that existing Nokia, Sony Ericsson or Motorola phones don't have already and they may also point out significant omissions from the iPhone's feature set, such as the ability to record video, or send multimedia messages. But the biggest drawback for UK residents remains the gadget's shackling to O2; if you're midway through a contract with another network, you'll have to buy your way out of it and sign up with O2 before you can use one.

But the iPhone will always score incredibly highly on usability. Proud owners coo over its design, and its rock-solid operating system is curiously satisfying to play with – so it's unsurprising that rival companies have been working feverishly on so-called "iPhone killers" that look and feel disconcertingly similar. Nokia trailed its touchscreen phone (codenamed Tube) last year, with its vice-president Anssi Vanjoki admitting: "If there's something good in the world, we copy it with pride." There's no release date as yet, but it may well be worth holding out for. Samsung's Instinct is selling by the truckload in the US, but there's no UK release date set; instead we're rumoured to be getting its Omnia i900 in August. So, as it stands, it's the HTC Touch and Samsung's F700 that pose the biggest challenge to the iPhone's supremacy. But, unlike the iPhone, neither model has prompted anyone to camp out overnight. Make of that what you will.

Comments