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Why Is iPhone Better? Here's My Story...

Behind the success of the Nintendo Wii, you'll see an innovative device with an incredibly compelling user interaction design

If you take a look at the success of the Nintendo Wii, you'll see an innovative device with an incredibly compelling user interaction design (the Wiimote, nunchuck, steering wheels, fitness pads, etc). The device itself has what the industry might actually refer to as "last gen" hardware. The video card is weak relative to the PS3 and Xbox 360, it doesn't come with built-in LAN (though you can buy a LAN/USB adapter for it), it has less memory and less processor power than the PS3 and Xbox 360. Yet, despite these so-called deficiencies, everybody seems to love their Wii, and it's actually gaining a lot of momentum sales-wise while the others are slowing down.

So, let's take a look at the iPhone as a comparison. It's an innovative new device that has some obvious deficiencies in terms of hardware - most notably in the lack of 3G/EVDO support. You can't tether with the thing, and it's missing some core features that a lot of Blackberry folks consider requirements.

So Here's My Story
Last night, I pulled up to a red light caused by a New Jersey Transit train passing in front of me. Keep in mind that this isn't some 100-car giant coal-loader that takes 25 minutes to pass through like they've got out in the midwest (those things are AWFUL... try sitting through that crap on a hot 95+ degree day!), these trains take 90 seconds to get in and out of an intersection...TOPS. With my window down at the red light, I could smell some nearby chinese food. I knew I was coming back that way after running some errands, so I flipped out the iPhone and tapped in "chinese" and then the name of my town into the iPhone's "maps" feature. The third item down was the name of the chinese restaurant across the street from me. I tapped it, flicked down and then tapped "Create new contact". I put the phone away and had about 30 more seconds left before the train went and the light went green.

A few minutes later at another store while waiting for something, I made a call to the chinese restaurant and ordered my food.

So, the point of the story isn't that I like chinese food (I do, but that's not the point...). The point of the story is that despite being somewhat deficient in terms of hardware relative to some enterprise phones, this thing is designed to make my life easier. I have owned many smart phones, most of which ran Windows Mobile in one way, shape or form. I even had a "local restaurants" application specifically for my last smart phone that I used a few times. I was NEVER able to accomplish ANYTHING in 90 seconds. So, at this point I don't care that EDGE is slow - I was able to do what I needed to do on the EDGE network in 90 seconds while waiting for a train to pass - I wasn't able to do that with the fastest EVDO tetherable enterprise-class Smart Phone on the market.

Vegetable egg rolls never tasted so good...

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More Stories By Kevin Hoffman

Kevin Hoffman, editor-in-chief of SYS-CON's iPhone Developer's Journal, has been programming since he was 10 and has written everything from DOS shareware to n-tier, enterprise web applications in VB, C++, Delphi, and C. Hoffman is coauthor of Professional .NET Framework (Wrox Press) and co-author with Robert Foster of Microsoft SharePoint 2007 Development Unleashed. He authors The .NET Addict's Blog at .NET Developer's Journal.

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