A Smart Phone Fist Fight

Cell PhonesA couple of years ago the mega computer company Apple released what has since proven to be the single best invention of our time.  I know that a lot of you out there, especially those of you who do not have an iPhone, will disagree.  I understand that you are simply jealous of the fact that you do not have one and we do.  We, the largest smart phone user group, have been tapping away on our touch screens for quite some time.  They have since released two new versions of the iPhone since it’s inception back in the summer of 2007.

Some of the things that make the iPhone so cool, outside of the fact that it doubles as your iPod, is the onslaught of applications that you can download.  Whether you need to buy movie tickets for a hot date you have tonight or to grab a last minute table for dinner, there is an app for that.  Maybe you want to get turn-by-turn directions from your current location to the mall.  Or maybe you just want to sit back and watch some television that you missed last night.  All of this, and more, have applications that allow that.

There have been some phones that have come out on the market that have tried to compete but most have fallen short.  Today I wanted to sit down with you and discuss the two bit competitors to the iPhone.  Note that these other two smart phones are still lacking in users and quite frankly would never turn my eye no matter the features that they offer.  But the next time your buddy says, “Yeah, well, my phone is just as cool as the iPhone,” you can show him or her this blog post to prove them wrong.

I am going to look at not only the iPhone with you here today but also the Palm Pre that is offered by Sprint and the MotorolaDroid that is offered by Verizon.  These phones are all specific to their carriers, which has made some users shy away from the iPhone.  Most people think AT&T is overpriced and offers limited coverage.  So instead of switching, folks end up with these other two alternatives.  I will debunk the things that make these phones stand out and show you why you should make the switch to the iPhone.

Let’s begin with storage space.  The iPhone, and note there are two models of the current 3GS phone, has a total of 16 gigabytes of storage space.  The Pre has only 8, while the Droid has the same as the iPhone coming in at 16 gigs.  The thing that you should note here is that when storing your music on your phone, for people like me who treat their iPhone as his or her iPod, you can quickly run out of space.

Another big topic is battery life.  The iPhone comes in at 5-hour talk time with 300 hours of standby time.  This is when the 3G is activated.  The Pre ties the iPhone with the exact same battery life and the Droid wins on talk time but lacks on the standby time by over 30 hours.

When it comes to standard features, like camera and wifi functionality, all three come in with these as default options.  Also all three offer GPS to get you from point A to point B.  The iPhone and Droid even have voice command but the Pre does not offer this feature in its latest model.

Speaking of applications above, they bring a whole new market to mobile phones.  There are almost 100,000 applications to choose from in the iTunes store.  However, you currently can only download 258 in the Palm Pre App Catalog.  The Android Market is trying to get there by offering just over 10,000 applications but they still fall way short of the iPhone.  Sure, the Droid and the Pre are open source allowing you to program games and applications with a lot more ease than the iPhone, but something must be working right over at Apple if they have this many applications in only two years on the market.

The iPhone does fall short in one area however.  On the Pre and the Droid you have the ability to multi task.  Why is this important?  Well, let’s say you are listening to Pandora Radio and you get a text message.  You can leave the Pandora application open, check and reply to that text message, and never have a lapse in music.  Or let’s say you are trying to figure something out with a buddy and you need to use Wikipedia to get your answer.  You can put the text message, or phone call, on hold, open up the Wiki app, and find your answer.  The iPhone (which I am used to it by this point) does not allow you the ability to run multiple applications at the same time.

Price point is also another big issue with these phones.  For an unlimited usage plan for the iPhone, be prepared to drop $149.99 a month.  This is before any taxes and fees that you might encounter along the way.  The Pre, however, comes in at a flat rate of $99.99 for everything.  They also offer a package that allows you to call mobile-to-mobile, and not only in the same network, for free.  The Droid comes in at the same price as the iPhone.  By looking at that over the course of a year, by going with the Palm Pre you could potentially save around $1,000 or more.  That might make a lot of difference to some people.

I did not cover all of the features of all of these phones, as I do not want to bore you.  But I did break down the big players when it comes to deciding what you want to use as your cellular provider first and foremost, an also as the smart phone that you want to use.  The long and short of it boils down to the iPhone.  I have had an iPhone since the day it came out, bought the 3GS the weekend it came out, and will never go back.  The only way that Apple can be beat is by releasing another version of their already proven iPhone.  I might not know what is next for cellular technology but I cam not wait to find out.