updated 08:35 am EDT, Tue June 10, 2008
iPhone 3G Rivals Tout Age
Rivals to the iPhone 3G are turning to experience over sheer feature set to promote their devices, according to statements made by the respective companies. Palm in particular defends the slower load times of its 3G-capable Treo, which was outperformed by the 62 percent faster iPhone in load times, by arguing itself a veteran. Palm has had 3G-class devices "for years," according to an official from the company.
Nokia also defends accusations of poor performance for the N95 by claiming that it needs to test the two devices side by side and that its most popular smartphone is a longstanding benchmark, as both phones "appeal to the same audience," according to Nokia USA's Keith Nowak. He also downplays the significance of the iPhone SDK by noting that Nokia's development community has existed for 11 years. The company's direct replacement for the 2006-era N95, the 16GB N96, is due to launch in Europe by summer but should cost $800 unsubsidized, putting it well above the approximate $293 price of a subisdized 16GB iPhone 3G in the UK.
HTC also promotes its experience in developing smartphones for the past five years as well as the broader existing base of Windows Mobile developers. However, the Taiwan-area company also touts the faster 7.2Mbps HSDPA-based 3G support of the Touch Pro and Touch Diamond as well as their sharper 640x480 screens; both should also be priced at the same general level as the $199 to $299 iPhones, says chief marketer John Wang. Both have higher-resolution 3.2-megapixel cameras than the Apple phones but lack the internal storage, with the QWERTY keyboard-equipped carrying 512MB of memory with a microSD slot and the Diamond limited to its 4GB of built-in storage.
Research in Motion, which makes the BlackBerry line and is currently the only smartphone designer outperforming Apple in US marketshare, says it declines to comment on opponents' launches as a matter of company policy.