iPhone vs. Symbian vs. Android

Tarek has written a well detailed post on why he prefers a Symbian S60 phone over the iPhone. Mainly he mentions technical reasons, such as lack of multitasking or the iPhone’s mediocre video and bluetooth features.

Google’s new Android phone, the G1, has gotten most of this weeks media attention. The funny thing is, it seems it’s even weaker on features than the iPhone, something like the mobile equivalent of Google’s Chrome browser. No Exchange support, no street view in Google Maps (remember – it’s a Google phone!), less memory.

I have to say, from an end user perspective, the iPhone is simply the best thing you can get. While some things may still be missing, you have to remember that Apple has not even been in this game for one year. Compare the usability of the iPhone with what Nokia came up with after 10 years of Symbian S60. I find it hard to believe that they will suddenly start seeing the light and making their phones user friendly.

User Experience has always been Apple’s specialty. The integration with an iPhone gives you music and entertainment capabilities that the competition will have a hard time catching up with. You may lament the forced link to iTunes, but frankly, I don’t get that – do people really prefer to manage their 16 GB music library by pushing mp3 files into folders manually? The there’s the music store, which lacks any comparable representation from competing vendors. Nokia is starting their music game with the Nokia Music Store, but even though they’ve had a 9 xear head start, they’re at least 5 years behind with that.

The App Store is another iPhone instant hit. True, banning the podcasting app is not good, and yes, it’s a kind of lock-in, but still: if you’re a developer, what do you prefer – put your stuff in Nokia’s Download Store with a horrible shopping experience (don’t get me started on Nokia’s strange certificate methodology, which will force you to reset your brand new phone’s clock to last year to make the phone accept your application), or Apple’s one-click App Store that might just make you rich pretty fast?

I really do understand all the anti-lock-in and Symbian-is-such-an-open-platform complaints, but think about it: what’s the system that makes life easier for you? Apple’s control over the iPhone user experience is exactly what makes it such a compelling offer for users. For me, that’s all what counts.

If I want to fiddle with stuff, I’ll buy a train set.

4 thoughts on “iPhone vs. Symbian vs. Android

  1. Well said..except not everyone like to buy something that you can't modify it in any way. The possibilities of a Symbian phone are limitless. I can do whatever I dream of with my N95 8GB. I can make it send 50 missed calls in a row..I can give it a list of 100 apps and games to install and it will do so without needing me..I can watch a video, while sending a file via bluetooth, download a file from the internet and do a virus scan..ALL AT THE SAME TIME. I can kill running hidden processes..I can modify the startup and shutdown animation, I can modify themes completely etc etc.

    IPhone is a closed book. And I like reading..unlike you.

    As for IPhone being user freindly..wth??? It's just a bunch of icons floating about with no folders at all. You call that friendly?? If you have 1000 apps how will you ever find what you are looking for??? With Symbian people have folders..so I can sort the GPS apps, Internet Apps, Multimedia Apps, General Apps, Office Apps, Games, Accelerometer Games, Emulators and whatever else I may have into folders. That way I won't have to search for 15 minutes to find the app I need.

    Well done Apple..1000 apps with no order is user friendly apparently.

    Nokia might not be the easiest platform to install stuff on. But that is for idiots like you..that don't like to fiddle. For anyone with a little knowhow..it is very easy. The certificate and signing system is there to protect the developer's applications. Is there anything that will stop me from stealing an app for my iphone (which is for sale btw). And apps are available..if you know where to look.

    One last thing..I prefer resistive touchscreens over capacitive touchscreen.
    1. Handwriting support – Resistive has it.
    2. Capacitive can only be used by bare fingers or very expensive gloves/stylus. Resistive can be used with anything. So in winter my hands won't have to freeze because I can't wear gloves.

  2. As far as present market is concerned it clearly indicates that android is clearly climbing the graph, no doubt android gonna overtake iPhone and symbian shortly, though symbian has loads of shortcomings it is surviving because of NOKIA but things change and symbian will soon be platform of the past

  3. As far as present market is concerned it clearly indicates that android is clearly climbing the graph, no doubt android gonna overtake iPhone and symbian shortly, though symbian has loads of shortcomings it is surviving because of NOKIA but things change and symbian will soon be platform of the past

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