Thursday, June 12, 2008

iPhone vs N95 - Multimedia Computer or Feature Phone? - Part 5

There is no question in my mind that the currently thriving S60 community is a force to be reckoned with! Nokia and Symbian have built what has been for over 5 years now a Mobile OS that offers its users everything from the ability to run desktop class Apps in the palm of your hand to streaming live video content straight from your handset to the internet. There are literally thousands of Applications for S60 and that is a huge advantage over any other Mobile ecosystem in the world today.

Harnessing most of these powerful applications is another story entirely. Apart from Nokia’s “Download!” application portal which is focused more on 1st party software, there really is no central hub for an S60 user (especially a first time) to go to and have an efficient and streamlined way of downloading/purchasing quality software (Handango is one example but their library is far from “complete”).

Being a power user on the other hand involves investing a decent portion of time per day/week in pursuit of that next great S60 app. Whether you choose to RSS great sources such as or not is your choice but luckily most S60 power users such as The Guru are so passionate about the community that they are generally “Open to Anything”. By that I mean open to answering any question you may have regarding a specific application (including where/how to track it down) or troubleshooting your handset’s current software glitch. (editor note: thank you, Serko)

How does the iPhone currently fare? Well speaking in “official” terms the iPhone is still currently classified as a “Feature Phone” which basically means that it hasn’t been opened up enough to allow for the downloading and installation of 3rd Party software. Apart from Web Apps which are basically shortcuts to mobile optimized versions of websites that can live natively on the iPhone’s home screen, what you see is what you get with the current generation of the iPhone when you remove it from the box.

Both devices have their positive and negative aspects. It’s ultimately up to the end user to decide which “flavor” best suits their needs. Unfortunately for most casual mobile users in the US, the “oh that’s so cool” design aesthetic of the iPhone (coupled with its more attractive price point) tend to be looked upon as “more for your money”. The saddest part to this story is that most S60 users don’t even know what their handsets are capable of doing thus switching to an iPhone would actually seem like a step up in more ways than one.

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