Trying to play catchup to the iPhone

Fri, Feb 20, 2009


This week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the latest efforts by some of the biggest names in the mobile industry shows that many companies are trying to mimic the success of the iPhone by implementing touchscreen features and UI tweaks to their platforms.  The only problem is that it’s hard to be innovative when all you’re doing is trying to quickly copy a phone that was the result of over 2 years of intense development.  In a recent Wired article, one paragraph on this very topic jumped out:

Privately, an executive with a major European telecommunications operator complains: “Everybody is trying to catch the iPhone. They are pushing things out to market that just aren’t ready for prime-time…

And one copycat phone in particular drew less than rave reviews, namely an entry level LG smartphone running Windows Mobile

But a demonstration of the iPhone wannabe reveals a characteristic flaw familiar to personal computer users. LG’s logo and then the Windows brand hang on the screen as 5, 10, 15, eventually 30 seconds pass. The phone is booting up, just like a computer, but unlike many of the faster phones.

The features of the iPhone don’t necessarily work en masse for every handset manufacturer.  It’s mind boggling that some manufacturers think that innovation can simply be copied rather than developed.  Until they realize that, iPhone clones will probably go the way of the iPod Killers.  Of course, the wild card in all of this is the yet to be released Palm Pre, which even though it borrows some overt iPhone features, has also implemented some interesting innovations of its own.


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