A friend visiting us at the office today wondered if he could do some writing on the iPad using a stylus. I told him that the stylus is with a colleague and would get one for him to try out. And the next thing I hear is a plan to use a pen as stylus carefully to avoid scratches. A little gyaan session later, the difference between a resistive screen and capacitive was clear to all. It is hard to imaging how cellphones and touchscreens were half a decade back!
In 2007 Steve Jobs showed the iPhone to the world and the rest is history. Android OS which resembled Blackberry during early leaks is flooded with full touch-screens today. Blackberry which never had a touchscreen phone made its first move after the iPhone came in and went touch & type recently with its Bold 9900. Nokia of course has made its touch & type move (and even coined the term) with an entire range of Symbian powered phones and even pushed one in its E series. Microsoft reworked its strategy and came up with an entirely new mobile platform, Windows Phone 7 and has had Nokia to jump the ship from Symbian ever since.
As much as I hate citing these cases year after year, it is the truth. The iPhone wasn’t a phone, it was an influence for the entire industry, a catalyst for innovation across the board. The ones chasing the smartphone or the tablet market, won’t make an impact till the time they keep equating their success or rather chances of success with the iPhone. Each time Samsung comes out with an Ad mocking the iPhone, it only tells me that they are chasing the market leader, not defining the market. Each time I hear that xyz company is preparing a tablet to take on the next version of iPad, I feel sorry for the ones actually trying to innovate within that group. The fact is that iPhone & iPads success has blinded the industry.
We are used to mocking the cheap BlackCherry phones that copy the Blackberry styling and try to sell it to the masses, think for a moment if anyone is doing anything different in the mobile computing space? It hurts me as a consumer to see such lack of innovation. Long back Google showed Android’s capability to control the lighting of my house, that was impressive, but far from reaching me, I have also seen how NFC would change our lives, but far from reaching me. And as much as we think of that hype, it is a wow moment when demoed, but there is no instant gratification coming after that. All we see is infrastructure challenges.
The next iPhone killer isn’t a phone that does better than the iPhone or has a faster processor, bigger display, a better camera or a few more features / flexibilities in the OS. The iPhone killer would be something that defines what the industry would be 5 years from now. And as my friend Maninder says, we won’t need to read a dozen reviews to know when that happens, we would just know!
Annkur P Agarwal is a contributing editor at OnlyGizmos and currently puts his best efforts at Price baba!