Why it Leads the Smartphone Pack

DUBAI — Everyone is crowing about its flawless features. Its applications, greater memory capacity, its 3-megapixel camera, voice-control features, video recording, a built-in compass and its speed — which is noticeably faster than on the iPhone 3G.

By Patrick Michael

Published: Thu 29 Oct 2009, 12:01 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 9:17 PM

Khaleej Times talked to Magnus Nystedt, the managing editor of Shufflegazine, to find out what he thought about the latest iPhone 3GS.

Does Apple’s latest offering prove that revolutionary tech products don’t have to be that revolutionary?

The iPhone 3GS is evolutionary, not revolutionary. Really, for the most part it’s still the same as the firstiPhone in 2007: interface, touchscreen, etc.

They’ve updated the OS and some parts of the hardware (camera, memory, processor). I think if it proves anything it shows how far ahead of everyone else Apple was in 2007. At the launch then they said they were five years ahead of the competition and it seems likethat was true.

My view is that Apple has done a remarkable job in hiding from users the fact that the iPhone is in fact a very advanced computer. In fact, it runs much the same OS as Macs do but they don’t let the user near much of that complexity. That frustrates some users who want full control over the innermost functionality but for most users it’s a good thing. It makes the device less intimidating while retaining much of the powerfulfunctionality.

Would you agree Apple relies mostly on tried-and-true components—with one big exception: a truly stunning multi-touch screen that allows users to manipulate data and images in entirely unprecedented ways?

No, don’t think that’s entirely fair. It’s true that other manufacturers push the edge in terms of some features, like more megapixels in the camera, more memory, faster processor, etc. But so far no one has come up with a package that rivals Apple’s iPhone, in my opinion. And that’s because of the touchscreen, no doubt, but also the interface, which is very well adapted to be controlled with just a finger touching the screen (it was built from the start with that in mind, as opposed to the Symbian S60 OSthat is in use by many other manufacturers that has after the fact been adapted to touch), the integration with the desktop (iTunes), how it adapts to how we use it by sensing when we put it up to our ear, turn and swivel it. Then there are the around 85,000 applications in the Apple Store, many of them free. No one else is even close to that number nor are they close in terms of quality of applications, I think.

Is the price tag too heavy?

No, it’s right up there with other high-end handsets. In fact the prices from both du and Etisalat are below gray market prices and that’s one reason why it’s so exciting with the launch tomorrow.

Etisalat or du? Which provider would you go for?

I’ve ordered a du iPhone 3GS, in big part because they announced all their details almost two weeks ago and their prices and plans are good. To me it seems that du is a bit more proactive and progressive with their iPhone offering and that excites me. But du still suffers from less coverage than Etisalat so if you want to get an iPhone you may want to consider whether you live, work and travel in an area that has good du coverage or not. In some areas Etisalat will beyour only option.

Besides which operator has a better offering, I think it’s great for customers that they can now go to two companies. Choice is good.

Are downloads faster on thenew 3G?

Depending on the carrier network yes they should be faster as 3GS supports 7.2Mbps data speeds, double the speed of iPhone 3G. In practice this obviously depends on the reception in the particular area a user is at.

Is this the most secure smartphone given that Fortune 500 company executives and even the US government use it?

Whether it’s the most secure smartphone, I don’t know. I’m not a security expert. I know that with the iPhone 3.0 OS update they built in various functionality to make the iPhone more attractive to corporate customers, like MS Exchange support and support for remotely managing, lockingand wiping it.


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