Don’t get me wrong. I love a good dual-core processor and Super AMOLED screen as much as the next guy. But sometimes you have to take a step back and realise that a phone is just a phone; a car is just a metal box on wheels that you can roll from A to B; football is just 22 men in shorts kicking a ball; and the sun will ultimately burn out, so we’re all doomed anyway.
This already feels a little too deep for a Monday, but a couple of things happened at Mobile World Congress that made me realise a little perspective goes a long way.
In the press area, we were subjected to an unexpected and rather vitriolic rant about the iPhone, courtesy of a seasoned veteran of mobile journalism. He actually questioned the iPhone’s right to be called a phone. Brilliant. Clearly this is a guy who eats smartphones for breakfast, and in all likelihood continues to ponder the future of the industry long after the rest of us have hit the pub.
Anyway, going back to this fella’s point. The iPhone. Ok, technically it’s not the best phone of all time, but is it really all that bad? The iPhone more than meets most people’s needs. Antennagate aside, it’s perfectly adequate for calling, texting, emailing, and doing a spot of browsing with data or Wi-Fi.
iOS is still the most popular mobile operating system in Europe by a country mile, and there’s a reason for that. It’s massively intuitive. Over the years, Apple has addressed loads of the niggly little things that made it so unappealing to mobile aficionados in the early days.
iPhone owners generally seem quite happy with their lot, but you don’t have to look far to find an embittered HTC Desire owner who’s willing to launch into an anti-Apple tirade at the drop of a SIM card.
But let’s not get bogged down in the Apple debate again. It’s blatantly not the worst phone ever, but at the same time - it’s not for everyone. The end.
And so to the other thingy that got me thinking. One of the biggest draws at Mobile World Congress was the HTC Flyer. If I could’ve left the conference with one device, it would’ve been HTC’s tablet. And not just because it looks set to cost a bloomin’ fortune.
The smartphone side of things was a little underwhelming in Barcelona. With Android’s dominance, many of the phones were much of a muchness. Other than obvious standouts like Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play (a.k.a. the PlayStation Phone) and the LG Optimus 3D, there wasn’t much to separate many of the flagship phones. Ironically, both the PlayStation Phone and LG Optimus 3D use Android too, but you know what I mean; they both have unique selling points.
With the dawn of new technologies like Near Field Communication for contactless payments, phones are an ever-increasing part of our daily lives, but nothing to get in tizzle about. Chill out, dudes. If you don’t like the iPhone, don’t buy it. Android and Blackberry are doing great. Windows Phone 7 and Nokia will be fine. Maybe.
Can’t we all just get along?