(T) Which one to use? The Storm from Research in Motion, the G1 first Android’s design from Google or the iPhone from Apple? Well, it simply depends on your needs. If you want an efficient e-mail, IM and phone service, choose the Storm from Blackberry. If you want a lot of edgy and fun applications for Web browsing, music, pictures, games, social networking, enjoy the iPhone. If you want to develop vertical applications for your business, work with the G1. It goes without saying that both the Storm and the G1 were inspired by the design of the iPhone. All of them have screen displays that change orientation from vertical to horizontal as you rotate the device. The G1 is the only one to have a physical keyboard.
Each of us has his or her own needs when we are “mobile”: communicating (e-mail and phone), navigating (maps and GPS), browsing the Web, accessing enterprise applications, and, having fun (taking pictures, listening to some music, playing games…).
Feature phones have evolved into smartphones and smartphones to the iPhone. Apple iPhone and Google Android cannot be considered smartphones anymore. They are a new generation of notebooks that can be used as phones. For a lot of Storm, G1 and iPhone users, the phone is the second or even third not the first used function in the device.
The BlackBerry Storm
The Storm is the first only touchscreen product from BlackBerry without a physical keyboard (pictured above in the center). As any other BlackBerry, it has simply the best user interface for typing messages and making phone calls. it always attempts to recognize what you are doing and makes it simple for you. The Storm is primarily designed for communication and fosters the integration of e-mail, IM, SMS, and phone. The strength of the device is to figure out at any time what you are typing.
There are currently eight applications available with the Storm: Visual Voicemail, VZ Navigator, Flickr, Facebook, Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger, and AOL Instant Messenger. It is not the variety of Apple’s App Store for the iPhone, but it is much better than the present set of applications that I do have on my BlackBerry Curve.
The only major weakness of the Storm for me lies in its lacks of support for WiFi networks which might have been a requirement coming from its network operator customers.
The Storm is marketed by Verizon in the United-States and Vodafone and SFR in Europe.
Just on a final note, at the same time that BlackBerry was launching the Storm with Verizon, it was launching a new device the Bold with AT&T (pictured above on the right side). The Bold leverages a number of capabilities of the BlackBerry Curve and the 8800 series. And, with the Storm, the Bold, the Curve, the Pearl and the 8800 series, isn’t it an impressive product portfolio that BlackBerry is proposing to us!
The G1 and Google Android
The G1 from T-Mobile is the first marketed device that implements Google’s Android open-source specifications (pictured above on the left side).
Android is a Linux-based platform that includes an operating system, middleware, and some key applications. Android let users connecting to any network they choose and integrating whatever applications they want. With Android, Google wants to spark innovation in the mobile development community for applications that will give users the same feelings surfing the Web on their mobile devices as they have on their desktop computers. If success comes, Google will likely monetize later Android by mobile search and content, no doubt about it.
Google announced last year a $10 million rewarding program to developers. The application winners which Google announced in September, help users do everything from calling their nearest taxi cabs (cab4me), to comparing sale prices at different stores (CompareEverywhere), to calculating their carbon footprint (ecorio). But developers will focus on Android if the G1 and other Android products penetrate the market.
I really do like the interface of the G1, very simple and efficient. That is a recognizable signature from Google. The keyboard is very comfortable.
But the major weakness of the G1 for me is its unacceptable Web browsing with Google Chrome Lite. It does zoom in and out and scrolls up and down but in a painful way.
Another minor difference of the G1 is its hardware design that lacks the elegance of the iPhone or the Storm. In any case, I would expect that Google and other Android manufacturers will quickly improve this 1.0 product.
There is not much to say about the iPhone except to say that it is “An Insanely Great Piece of Art”. Since the first generation of the iPhone launched in Spring 2007, Apple has made some major improvements with the second generation of the iPhone launched in Spring 2008, in particular, supporting wireless 3G networks and Microsoft Exchange corporate e-mail servers.
But the competitive advantage of the iPhone is now its iTunes App Store and its growing set of applications. Two noticeable applications are MotionX Poker in which virtual dice roll when you shake the handset and Shazam that identifies the music you hear around you by checking your iTunes library. Google has imitated Apple by launching a similar App market as well.
Apple launched last year with Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers (KPCB), a Menlo-Park based venture capital firm, the iFund, a $100 M fund for investing in new start-ups developing applications for the iPhone. This time it is BlackBerry that imitated Apple by launching this Spring a $150 M BlackBerry Partners Fund with RBS and Thomson Reuters (I guess that the executives at BlackBerry compensated the fact that they were a little behind Apple by raising $50 M more than Apple).
Storm, G1 and iPhone Datasheets
Storm: Marvell; G1: Qualcomm; iPhone: ARM processor;
– Operating System:
Storm: Blackberry’s proprietary; G1: Linux; iPhone: UNIX BSD;
Storm: 1Gb but up to 8 Gb with memory cards; G1: 1Gb; iPhone: 8 or 16 Gb;
Storm: 3 inches 480×360 pixels; G1: 3.17 inches 480×320; iPhone: 3 1/2 inches
Storm: 3.2 megapixels with video recording; G1: 3.1 megapixels; iPhone: 2 megapixels but no video recording;
All have GPS and maps but the Storm has a turn-by-turn navigation software called VZ Navigator.
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