Being a recent recipient of the HTC Evo and working with several iPhone enthusiasts who are chomping at the bit for the new iPhone, I have been reading many comparative reviews of the two phones.
The iPhone has been the long time, uncontested heavy weight champion of the smart phone world. The Evo is a new contender, touted as the iPhone killer. The reviews go tit for tat, with some favoring the new iPhone and some favoring the Evo. In the end, the real winner is me, the consumer.
For the first time, the iPhone actually has competition. This is good because Apple has begun to fall into some old, bad habits recently. Apple spent a large part of its history as a proprietary, closed solution. Several years ago, Apple turned over a new leaf and ditched its proprietary operating system (OS) in favor of an open source OS based on free BSD. This propelled the Mac forward to begin actually competing with the Microsoft desktop (and actually improved their product). The Mac has done well ever since. Unfortunately, Apple didn’t seem to learn a lot from this experience. The iPhone OS (and the iPad OS) remain closed systems on a closed network. This has long frustrated many people, but until recently there was no other option for a really smart smart phone. When the Evo launched that all changed. The Evo launched as a product superior to the existing iPhone, on multiple cellular networks, with a better camera, a better screen, a faster CPU, native multitasking and best of all it launched on an open platform; Google’s Android (which actually has it roots in the same OS as the Mac OS). This is forcing Apple to play catch up and rethink its strategy and marketing. Don’t think so? Check out the keynotes from Apple’s last WWDC, among major advances to the Mac Mini, the Macbook air, HTML5, iAd, iTunes in the cloud, Safari 5, etc., Jobs talked mainly about the new iPhone. He is playing catch up with the competition.
Whether you are a fan of HTC or Apple, this competition is good for us. It will increase the speed of innovation and standardization, it will lower the price point on technology and it will make both companies listen closely to what we the consumer are asking for. So don’t be too quick to slam the competition. It is fine to prefer one product over another, but wanting to kill legitimate competition in favor of your choice is a game the producer use to pit us the consumer against their competition for their (the producer) benefit, not ours (the consumer).