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Verizon's Challenge To the iPhone Confirmed

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the is-this-the-droid-you're-looking-for dept.

Cellphones 423

misnohmer writes "Verizon has just launched a new set of ads confirming the rumors of its upcoming iPhone competitor: 'Unlike previous Android phones, the Droid is rumored to be powered by the TI OMAP3430, the same core that the iPhone and Palm Pre use, and which significantly outperforms Qualcomm 528MHz ARM11-based Android phones that exist today. Droid will also be running v.2.0 of Android, with a significantly upgraded user interface. The Droid poses a different and more significant challenge to the iPhone than any other phone to date. The Palm Pre could have been that challenger, but it lacked the Verizon network, and users were unimpressed with the hardware. According to people who've handled the device, the Droid is the most sophisticated mobile device to hit the market to date from a hardware standpoint. When you combine that with the Verizon network, you've got something that is most definitely a challenger to the Jesus phone.'"

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423 comments

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Advert for the verizon network? (5, Informative)

jpate (1356395) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783703)

The summary reads more like an advertisement for Verizon than anything else...

Re:Advert for the verizon network? (5, Funny)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783717)

A good ad would better emphasize the competition to the "Jesus Phone" idea.

They should call it the "Muhammad phone."

*ducks*

Re:Advert for the verizon network? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29784323)

The Anti-Christ phone. Everyone is assigned a number.

Re:Advert for the verizon network? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784467)

They should call it the "Muhammad phone."

Yeah, but then we'll have KFCs and Danish embassies being set on fire all over the world ;)

Re:Advert for the verizon network? (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783741)

I don't think they're even trying anymore. Take this sentence from the summary:

The Palm Pre could have been that challenger, but it lacked the Verizon network, and users were unimpressed with the hardware.

From a hardware standpoint, the Pre is pretty impressive, although I can't comment on the software not having used one. But it failed because 'it lacked the Verizon network'? What is this supposed to mean? Every other network in the USA is so bad that a device has to be on Verizon to succeed?

And people wonder why all of the major handset manufacturers except Apple consider the US market a waste of their time...

Re:Advert for the verizon network? (3, Insightful)

Stile 65 (722451) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783847)

What's funny is Sprint phones can and do roam on Verizon. Since I switched to Sprint (from AT&T), I've been able to surf the web on my phone on the DC metro by roaming on Verizon towers - for free. (Of course, now GSM towers for AT&T/T-Mobile are going up in the DC metro too.)

I like how at first the OP mentions that the Droid has the same hardware as the Pre and later in the post says that users aren't impressed with the Pre's hardware.

Also, the Samsung Moment coming out in 2 weeks for Sprint has an 800MHz ARM-based CPU, where the one powering the Droid is apparently only 600MHz (I'm assuming that since the design is similar, the clock speed is a valid way to compare the performance of the CPUs; could be wrong on this).

As far as running Android 2.0, anyone with an Android phone can upgrade to that. That's one of the great things about Android in the first place.

In the end, though, I wish Motorola and Verizon good fortune launching this phone, because anything that increases Android (or Linux in general - Maemo is nice) adoption on consumer phones is cool with me. IMO Apple is so control freakish that they are firmly in "evil" territory, much more so than Microsoft.

Re:Advert for the verizon network? (5, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784067)

Also, the Samsung Moment coming out in 2 weeks for Sprint has an 800MHz ARM-based CPU, where the one powering the Droid is apparently only 600MHz (I'm assuming that since the design is similar, the clock speed is a valid way to compare the performance of the CPUs; could be wrong on this).

Not exactly. The Moment, apparently, is going to have an ARM11 core, while the OMAP3 is a Cortex A8. The ARM11 core is an older design and gets slightly fewer instructions per clock (I think) as well as not supporting a number of the newer extensions to the architecture, like NEON (SIMD instructions) or Thumb-2 (16-bit instruction set for better cache usage).

Even that doesn't tell the whole story, because none of these chips are pure CPUs, they're systems-on-chip (SoCs) and so have a load of extra stuff. The OMAP3, for example, has an OpenGL ES 2.0 GPU core from PowerVR, a C64x DSP core from TI, and a few other specialist things. The C64x can handle things like MP3 playback in about 15mW, and can also be used for offloading various other things, like crypto functions. The GPU supports shaders, and so can be used for a wide variety of things. An OMAP3430 can decode 720p quite easily, because it has some hardware off the ARM core that's optimised for this. An 800MHz ARM11 almost certainly can't, but it may also be on a SoC that can.

Oh, and even within the same family you can't even compare clock-for-clock with ARM cores. The cheap licenses just let you stamp the core onto your die and connect it to your value-added cores, but the expensive ones let you tweak the design. The Snapdragon from Qualcomm is a Cortex A8, but they tweaked it quite a lot and it's a little bit faster than other people's versions per clock.

In short, comparing ARM SoCs based solely on clock speed is even more misleading than comparing x86 processors solely on clock speed.

Re:Advert for the verizon network? (1)

hill180 (1653823) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784419)

agreed on the trying.., They would have been better to say the following: Pre with impressive hardware and powered by the Sprint network was a good product, but failed in the SDK, relying on WebOS which in itself is impressive, too slow for fast moving games/applications.

Re:Advert for the verizon network? (5, Informative)

cbope (130292) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783781)

Exactly. Since when does a US carrier "add value" in any sense of the word? All the US carriers do is cripple the phone hardware (disabling tethering, MMS, etc) and lock-in their customers. Glad I live in Europe where I'm free to choose the phone hardware and service independently, and the phones are not crippled. And I pay a reasonable amount when roaming in other countries and calls rarely get dropped. Oh yeah... that's called service.

Re:Advert for the verizon network? (4, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783911)

Oh look! Another iPhone killer! This one will succeed, trust me!

Awww!!! Poor Liddle iPhone Users Are Crying! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29784057)

Don't cry assclown. No one is going to take away your precious iPhone.

As the cellphone industry and users continue to consolidate on Android, you emo retards can still sit around Starbucks in your sad and pathetic iPhone circle jerks.

Re:Awww!!! Poor Liddle iPhone Users Are Crying! (2, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784173)

if (post.contains("iPhone")) rage();

They don't care about challenging better phones? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784003)

Indeed, and for Apple too - why must everything be compared to the Jesus Phone? It's just one phone - it's not the best seller, and Apple are not the biggest player (or even remotely near). Why not compare to a Nokia phone? Or better yet, why do we need cheesy comparisons at all?

This is Slashdot - we know what a phone is, without having it to be explained in terms of actual products. We don't refer to the Internet as "Internet Explorer" or "AOL". We don't refer to computers as "A Dell". We don't refer to websites as "MySpace". But why do we hear people using Iphone as a generic term for the perfectly already good word phone? I mean, it's the same word, except you save one letter.

If they are actually only targetting their sights at the Iphone, then I'm not interested. What does that mean - that it'll get lots of hype, but only add features like 3G a few years after everyone else does? I'd rather hear news about the market leaders, I'm afraid.

Re:They don't care about challenging better phones (2, Informative)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784297)

you are aware that Apple went from a 2% cellphone share world wide to a 13% share in 2009, right? That is insane growth.

Re:They don't care about challenging better phones (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784463)

Nitpicking, but they have 13% of the smartphone market, and under 2% of the total cellphone market. I'm not really sure what the distinction is these days, given that even cheap phones come with a 200MHz or faster ARM core and are capable of running arbitrary programs, but the people compiling these numbers like to divide the market up.

Re:Advert for the verizon network? (1)

JackSpratts (660957) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784209)

sure does. fairly breathless prose from someone who hasn't even seed the device, let alone used it.

Re:Advert for the verizon network? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29784299)

> from someone who hasn't even seed the device

Durn. Thought I'd be able to fire up a MatterTorrent client and download one....

Re:Advert for the verizon network? (1)

LunarStudio (836038) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784329)

That was my initial thought too. Verizon employee or investor lol...

Re:Advert for the verizon network? (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784449)

But can it multiply by $0.02?

Lacked the Verizon network? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29783705)

So what? It's on Sprint, it can roam on Verizon's network. The Pre isn't a challenger not because of the network, but because people were waiting for the much better HTC Touch Pro 2.

More to the point, WinMo phones like the TP2 remain years ahead of the competition in terms of functionality, but people are too stupid to use them.

Re:Lacked the Verizon network? (1)

itsenrique (846636) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783805)

Or maybe they just don't like the interface?

Re:Lacked the Verizon network? (3, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783829)

That's because the user interface was designed around a desktop OS from 10 years ago.

In personal electronics beauty will beat functionality as non geeks don't want to carry ugly things. That is the iPhone's true success it looks good with a well dressed person. A crack berry makes someone look stuffy all business and no fun.

Besides verizon network is the opposite of AT&T's where one is good the other sucks, and vice versa, they both are limited to major cities and roads for full network access.

Re:Lacked the Verizon network? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784495)

Besides verizon network is the opposite of AT&T's where one is good the other sucks, and vice versa, they both are limited to major cities and roads for full network access.

Huh? Verizon and AT&T are limited to the 'major cities and roads for full network access'? Where do you live where that's the case? Verizon has excellent rural coverage across most of the United States. They also have 3G in their entire footprint. I don't think AT&T can make the same 3G claim but they still have pretty good rural coverage.

Re:Lacked the Verizon network? (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783961)

The problem with Windows Mobile is there has been no. And I mean no innovation in the last few years. Yes we have 7 which will be coming out... eventually. But seriously, 6.1 and 6.5 other than having a Zune-like UI are essentially the same as the Pocket PC 2000 OSes. There are UI inconsistencies, in general manufacturers find that its so ugly having the default UI so they switch to a different UI, etc. About the only benefit of Windows Mobile is that there are a lot of applications, but when you compare it to Android and the iPhone there really aren't that more real apps. To put it nicely, Windows Mobile sucks. If it was rock-solid stable, that would be one thing, but when everything is pretty much crap on it and it freezes all the time, why not just get an iPhone, Pre or Android device that is going to actually get better with time?

Re:Lacked the Verizon network? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29784395)

A-Fucking-Men!

Re:Lacked the Verizon network? (0)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784301)

you're kidding right?

Finally...The iphone killer (and it's not from MS) (1, Interesting)

SierraPete94 (1641111) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783709)

The specs look outstanding, the network is far better than AT&T's cobbled mess, and since it's not from Cupertino, the price will likely be somewhat reasonable as well. And even better, Bill & Steve didn't have anything to do with it.

Wondered what all the "We've got a map for that" ads were leading into. Now we know. Let the games begin.

Re:Finally...The iphone killer (and it's not from (2, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783727)

Woot. So. Another battle of the checkmarks.

I thought we passed the point where every new cellphone was the 'iPhone Killer'. Guess not. Slow news day, even for a Sunday. Back to bed.

Re:Finally...The iphone killer (and it's not from (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784019)

I'm waiting for the day when the new Iphone phone from Apple gets hyped as being an Iphone killer.

And the sad thing is that the fans won't even spot the irony of it. They'll actually be telling us how great the new Iphone phone is, because it has things like Java, video, copy and paste, and all the things that the Iphone lacks (but every other phone in existance has had for years).

Re:Finally...The iphone killer (and it's not from (1)

imikedaman (1268650) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784315)

Sorry chief, but Apple already ran an advertising campaign touting the next iPhone killer, which turned out to be the iPhone 3G.

Also... video? Copy and paste? Do you know *anything* about the iPhone, other than that you hate it and its user base for some reason?

Re:Finally...The iphone killer (and it's not from (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784335)

Um, the 3GS does video and all iPhones have had copy/paste for a while now.

Re:Finally...The iphone killer (and it's not from (3, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784471)

And Apple have the worst case of NIH imaginable . The Newton team worked out how to do copy and paste sensibly on a touchscreen device almost twenty years ago. Drag object to edge of screen, it becomes a clipping. Drag it away, you can paste it elsewhere (even after switching apps). Intuitive, easy to use, and yet not done on the iPhone because the wrong team at Apple invented it.

Re:Finally...The iphone killer (and it's not from (1)

fidget42 (538823) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783839)

... and since it's not from Cupertino, the price will likely be somewhat reasonable as well.

What makes you think that? Verizon will charge what the market will bear. It may cost less than an iPhone, but will it really cost much less? If the user experience is close then there won't be a reason to reduce its price (supposedly, the value adder will be the "Verizon network").

Re:Finally...The iphone killer (and it's not from (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784345)

Let's not forget Verizon's idea of what "point zero zero two cents" means.

Chances are anyone falling for this will get raped in the wallet harder by it than the iPhone's global roaming charges.

Re:Finally...The iphone killer (and it's not from (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29783939)

The mobile data market doesn't really seem to care about price. A more relevant determinant of the device's success will be the strength of the network of developers working on the platform. Apple's phone has succeeded in large part because of the huge number of apps made available to users. If Android can attract the same interest then it's likely to provide a viable, international competitor for the iphone available to more carriers.

Either brilliant advertising, or they're worried.. (3, Interesting)

jnmontario (865369) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783719)

It always makes me leery when you don't actually get to SEE the product they're advertising. On the one hand, they're promoting intrigue as to what it will look like, on the other hand, it may be a soapbox with buttons drawn on with Crayola markers and they're not sure of how the public will receive it's looks.

Re:Either brilliant advertising, or they're worrie (2, Interesting)

RedK (112790) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783739)

You can always head to the dozen of rumor sites and read about it. There have been rumors about this phone for quite some time and quite a few shots were posted. Everyone who's into Android already knows what this phone looks like, hence the comment in the summary.

IPhone. Blah Blah Blah (5, Insightful)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783723)

The iPhone is only popular because it's from Apple. For years the IPhone didn't have:

IM
MMS
Cut/Paste
MP3/AAC ringtones
Video recording
Bluetooth A2DP

There's many other great phones and carriers that easily surpass the IPhone and AT&T's shit network by a long-shot (Blackberry Tour, Palm Pre, HTC Pro)

Re:IPhone. Blah Blah Blah (5, Insightful)

Fished (574624) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783875)

No, the iPhone was/is popular because it enables me to do useful things that I could not (and cannot) do as well with any other phone currently available. That simple.

Cut and paste? It's been out for months now, never used it. MMS? Never used it. MP3/AAC ringtones? Always supported, (you have to change the file extension is all), but actually never used them. Video recording? Never used it (and yes I have a 3gs.) I could go on, but literally all the features you bitch about are things that I don't want/never would use. Maybe you really do need them, but frankly I could give a crap less.

What I do use is an application for tracking my blood sugar. And another application for tracking my weight-training log. And another app that functions as a pedometer when I go walking/running. And another app that tracks my weight. Oh yeah, and an app that lets me do Go problems on my phone. And Kindle for iPhone. And... the list could go on ad infinitem, but the point is that your little checklist doesn't begin to encapsulate what makes this the best possible device for me.

Before iPhone, I had a Treo, I had a Blackberry, I had Windows Mobile. I hated them and never used even the features that came with them. With iPhone I use everything that comes with it and then some because the iPhone makes it easy. Could I figure out how to do this stuff on, say, my Blackberry? Yes. Was it fun? Hell no. Was it easy to find apps? No. Did the apps cost $1.99 each? No.

So, sorry, but the iPhone is not popular just because it's from Apple. It's popular because it works.

Re:IPhone. Blah Blah Blah (1, Interesting)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784061)

No, the iPhone was/is popular because it enables me to do useful things that I could not (and cannot) do as well with any other phone currently available. That simple.

Okay, name them. Actual examples, not "things that other phones actually can do, but I'm going to claim the Iphone is better anyway, without explaining why".

As for "apps" (sic), you do realise that just about any bog standard phone can run applications? There are about two billion Java phones out there, for example. $1.99? I can download them for free. Easy to find? Yes, I can download from anywhere I like, rather than being restricted to only Apple's site, and only allowed to run what they decide.

So, sorry, but the iPhone is not popular just because it's from Apple. It's popular because it works.

Sorry, it's not popular full stop. Well sure, it's selling okay - it's popular in the sense that it's "not a flop", but then I could say most phone brands are popular. But Apple are not a market leader in the phone industry. Or anywhere near. For popular phone brands, try Motorola RAZR, or for popular phone makes, try someone like Nokia. Unless by popularity, you don't mean sales, but hype, then sure - the Iphone is the most "popular". But I'm not sure how that has anything to do with how good it is - it's just a question of what gets hyped and receives free advertising.

And my phone works too. If your expectations are so low that even simply working is good enough, then that tells us all we need to know about the Iphone's features.

Re:IPhone. Blah Blah Blah (3, Insightful)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784363)

he kind of did with the list of things that he does do with his iPhone.

BTW... what defines a market leader is the company that everyone looks to to beat or the company that everyone looks to for the trendy new blah blah blah.

Apple is a leader in the market. If you define market leader to be the company that sells the most, then there are a lot of markets who's leader is a generic brand.

Re:IPhone. Blah Blah Blah (0, Troll)

pha7boy (1242512) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784139)

so you're a fat bastard who doesn't give a rat's ass about what other people want as long as you get yours. what a surprise!

Re:IPhone. Blah Blah Blah (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784113)

I heard the battery doesn't last more than a day?
I prefer my phone dumb. And I prefer it to last at least a week.

Just Don't Get It (4, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783735)

Just like all the companies that came out with "the iPod Killer", companies (like Verizon here) just don't get it. It's not about coming out with the "most sophisticated mobile device to hit the market to date from a hardware standpoint." The iPhone wasn't the most sophisticated mobile device from a hardware standpoint when it came out. It's not about the hardware. Yes, the hardware can make several things really stand out but it's about the user experience. Companies continually ignore and overlook that aspect of it and that is why this phone will be cool and mobile geeks will sing its praises but it will not be a serious threat to the iPhone - it's not focusing on the right things.

Sorry, but we've heard "this is the iPod killer" too often and it's the exact same song and dance as this new round of "this is the iPhone killer."

Re:Just Don't Get It (2, Troll)

mvdwege (243851) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783767)

In other words, it lacks Apple Marketing and a slavish band of followers in the grip of the RDF.

I'm very sorry, but I can't find any more of substance in your post.

Mart

Re:Just Don't Get It (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783889)

I think that was his point, and it was a good one.

Nothing's going to "kill the iPhone/Pod" by being better than it. Apple are successful due to a fanatical userbase and marketing master-class. This phone could be made of win and come with a free kitten and it'll still be lucky to break into second place.

Nothing wrong with that though. Should keep the price a little lower for those of us who actually want a good phone.

Re:Just Don't Get It (1)

RedK (112790) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784143)

If it's in second place, it's beaten Apple and their iPhone. The iPhone is currently ranked 3rd in smartphone sales.

Re:Just Don't Get It (1)

gtall (79522) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784201)

Apple's fanatical base isn't big enough to make it successful if by that you mean the Mac base. The reason Apple is successful is because they have a UI many people find intuitive and the rest have UI's that could knock a dead buzzard off a shit wagon at 20 paces.

Re:Just Don't Get It (5, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783979)

No, you're missing the point. The reason the iPhone caught on was not because it had zillions of whiz-bang features, it's because they took the time to get the features that it has *right*.

The reason I bought an iPhone was primarily because (finally) they got browsing right. I've always wanted a portable Internet device that happened to have a phone, and Apple delivered. For the record, I *despise* Apple-the-company, but the iPhone simply was that good. And that goes for a lot of the other features that the iPhone has. They don't have every feature, they just get the features they have to work in a smooth, elegant way.

Another case in point was the video camera. They didn't include video until they could do it "right" with the 3GS, and the video is damn good. The video you could get on the older phones through jailbreaking sucked balls.

And I want to emphasize this: I bought an iPhone *despite* Apple's marketing, which I can't tell you how much I hate. And despite Apple's slavish followers, which I also hate. The phone is just that good.

Re:Just Don't Get It (2, Informative)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784387)

the android phones have a full on browser with a desktop experience. I can even log into my works outlook web access through our juniper box on it. I am waiting to see if I can use juniper terminal services with it... it would be awkward but it would be cool.

Re:Just Don't Get It (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784151)

It isn't the RDF that makes people like the iPhone, it's the fact that the UI only sucks slightly. It's the same reason people like Macs. For post people, any reasonably modern phone or computer does far more than they need. With an iPhone, they only spend a little bit of time fighting the UI. With something like a Series 60 phone, they spend most of the time fighting the UI. Same with the iPod. The UI had a lot of flaws - I filed a number of usability bug reports - but it was nowhere near as bad as most of the competitors available when it launched.

Once someone's switched, it's easier to keep them, because mentally they aren't comparing their current iPod/iPhone/Mac to what Apple's competition has available now, they're comparing it to what they switched from. Fortunately for the handset manufacturers, Apple still has a tiny share of the mobile phone market, so you can do very well without making people switch; you don't have to be better than the iPhone, you just have to be better than what they have now (which is easy) and cheaper than the iPhone (also not hard). The personal music player market is different, because Apple has over 70% of that already, although stand-alone media players are becoming rare now even cheap phones can store 8GB of music.

Re:Just Don't Get It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29783777)

The "killer" is that the Verizon is clearly not going to be selling the iPhone any time soon. As long as the iPhone remains solely on the AT&T network, it's going to kill itself.

Re:Just Don't Get It (2, Interesting)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783915)

I keep hearing that stuff about the AT&T network. The only thing I really hate about AT&T is the service, the network works great. I get no drops and great coverage. As long as I don't need to call the idiots about anything it's good. Of course my experience with verizon was pretty much the same. Coverage was good but their customer service was pretty much shit too. I dunno...maybe I'm too old. I remember when companies considered the people that bought their service as customers...not consumers.

Re:Just Don't Get It (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783791)

Sorry, but we've heard "this is the iPod killer" too often and it's the exact same song and dance as this new round of "this is the iPhone killer."

I feel your pain, and am not expecting any miracles.

HOWEVER, Verizon currently has (by far) the best network in the US, and has perpetually lacked any decent phones in its lineup. I like my eNV2, although it's honestly nothing special. From all indications, Android phones are pretty nice, which means that Verizon will at the very least sell quite a few to people (such as myself) who live in areas where AT&T, T-Mobile, or Sprint simply don't provide an acceptable level of coverage.

That said, Verizon's customer support appears to be run by a consortium of Vogons and Klingons, while the iPhone and Pre still have a better OS than Android. I've honestly never witnessed a company that seems to passionately despise its customers as much as Verizon Wireless does.

Re:Just Don't Get It (1)

bondsbw (888959) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783809)

Apple has managed to expand the smartphone market to people who would not have paid that much for a phone a couple of years ago. During one of the worst recessions in American history.

Verizon might bring a better user experience than Apple has. But, given their track record, I doubt it. So like you alluded to, there is only a small market segment available for expensive devices that have awesome features but don't target the majority of users.

Re:Just Don't Get It (0, Troll)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784085)

Except that many phones on the market already are "IphonE killeRs". Just look at sales figures.

The comparison to "Ipod killer" is completely misleading - there, Apple are the market leader. To suggest the same applies for the Iphone is laughable, as well as showing gross ignorance of the facts. It's sad that once, Slashdot was a place to come to find people who were knowledgable about the industry. But it seems that for mobile phones, some people here know less about the market than lay people, who are out there enjoying their phones, without going "OMG I can check the Internet on my Iphone". They just do it, using a bog standard phone.

The phrase "Iphone killer" is nothing more than marketing spin. It's about as relevant as Apple referring to their new OS as a "OS/2 killer".

Re:Just Don't Get It (1)

khchung (462899) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784215)

it's about the user experience

Exactly.

I own both an iPhone and the PS3. I hate DRM as much as the usual /.er, but for Apple's App Store and Sony's PSN, I honestly admit they have hit the right balance, most importantly on the point that as a user, I am not perceptibly worse off due to the DRM.

E.g. with a DRM'ed CD or game, there would things that a legit buyer cannot do compared to a normal CD or game (namely, backup the content, or even use it normally). But for App Store and PSN, I get to do the usual things I do for what I bought there. Namely, I get to use the app on the iPhone, backup it up on PC. For PSN, I can play the game on my PS3, and re-download in case I replace my HD or my PS3 (yes, I know there is a limit, but frankly I don't expect to replace my PS3 as often I do with PCs).

What's more, I can buy stuff from App Store and PSN even more easily than buying a book from Amazon! (I didn't enable 1-click purchase in Amazon, but neither for App Store also) And I can get what I bought in less than a few minutes of download time, then I get to use it without a glitch.

Whatever criticism you level at Apple for tightly controlling the iPhone, at least they succeeded in making stuff "just works". Similarly for the PS3, but this kind of control is the norm for the console market. (And I guess the XBox 360 store would be similar, else it would lose a lot of market share to PS3)

I have my share of experience of tinkering with the PC, from the old days of tuning DOS config.sys to squeeze out the last byte out of EMS, mucking around interrupts of COM1 and COM2 to get CommandHQ to run using both mouse and modem. But as I got older and have more money but less time, I am more inclined to pay a bit more for stuff that works with minimum hassle.

What's more, with iPhone, I can safely recommend to any non-techy friends with the need of long explanation about how it works.

That's why the iPhone is selling so well. There won't be any "iPhone-killer" unless some other company can make their product with user experience at least just as good. So it is unlikely it will come from a US telecom company. There would be more chance if it came from Nintendo than Verizon.

Re:Just Don't Get It (2, Insightful)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784317)

Article aside. The Android platform has a real chance of dethroning the iPhone platform as well as the Blackberry platform for many of the same reasons that PCs beat our Macs. It is only a matter of time before a blockbuster Android phone comes out because any company can make one for any network. Then it will only be a matter of time before another one comes and another one and so on. Not one of these phones may have the popularity of the iPhone, but put together they may leave Apple in the dust. The tipping point will be when software developers shift resources from Apple aps to Android aps. If that happens, Android will start running away.

But (4, Insightful)

dagamer34 (1012833) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783759)

The best way to challenge the iPhone is to not bill your phone as "the iPhone killer". Just let the phone do what it does best and people will eventually notice.

Re:But (-1, Troll)

RedK (112790) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783835)

The iPhone killer thing is only in the summary, not in the articles and especially not from Verizon or Google. So your comment is worthless. When companies dub something the "X killer", you can probably bet it's not. When users start to do it, it's because the product probably is or comes close to.

Re:But (2, Informative)

ahankinson (1249646) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783953)

The Campaign commercial starts with a whole list of things that each begin with "iDon't....". So, yeah, even Verizon is billing this as the iPhone killer.

Re:But (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784107)

I agree. I can understand the temptation, since the RDF is so great that simply adding a reference to the almighty Jesus phone will get you free advertising. But it's depressing, as by doing so, they're just giving free advertising to Apple (which they desperately need, since they're still getting canned by Nokia etc).

But hey, I guess I'm just not cool enough to be an Apple user.

Re:But (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29784475)

The best way to challenge the iPhone is to not bill your phone as "the iPhone killer". Just let the phone do what it does best and people will eventually notice.

The Macintosh community has been hyping Macs as the "IBM PC killer" since 1996, yet none of that is in the horizon. This is a botched strategy.

Jumping the gun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29783763)

I think some one needs to wound the iPhone before some one can claim to be an iPhone killer. It's the same BS of who ever is on top must be knocked off! Next it'll be the Android killer. The one ups man ship is silly. Gee can't one be better suited to a given person than another? Do we all really have the same exact needs and the new phone nails our specific clonelike needs?

The problem was never with their network (5, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783765)

The problem I had with Verizon was never with their network or their phones but the management decisions that were made to cripple those phones to charge customers more money.

Re:The problem was never with their network (5, Interesting)

itsenrique (846636) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783849)

Ditto on that, I have a curve 8330. Not a very new smartphone by any measures, but it does what i need and i like the interface enough. GPS locked down by vzw, even though its just a sattelite receiver chip, they want $9 a month to use it, and you have to use their ridiculous vzw navigator program or bb maps. No google maps gps (it will only use cell tower triangulation). Android phones are supposed to be about open functionality, lets just hope verizon doesn't muck it up with their brand of squeeze-em-dry tactics.

Re:The problem was never with their network (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29784029)

It's not like AT&T doesn't do this as well. I have the exact same problem on my AT&T sony ericsson 850a.

Re:The problem was never with their network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29784111)

VZW has unlocked the GPS on any blackberry that can run 4.5 or newer. My 8830 is running fine using the internal GPS and Google Maps.

Re:The problem was never with their network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29784307)

I agree. This will be the most interesting test of google's bid to open the playing field with Android. If Verizon still finds a way to cripple the phone this will be yet another unimpressive item on the list of mediocre phones available on Verizon.

Service and usability details (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29783799)

How about details that matter to me as a user, rather than how cool the technology is?

  • How usable is the device as a phone?
  • How will voice service fare once data usage on Verizon's network spikes?
  • How much does voice service plus a data plan cost?
  • What are the caps for data usage?
  • Can I run VOIP applications?
  • Can I build and load my own applications on the phone? (This is Verizon, famous for disabling phone functionality.)

Show Me a Sign (2, Interesting)

Alaren (682568) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783811)

I want a competent alternative to the iPhone as much as the next guy... but (1) the iPhone is more successful for its interface, which is dead simple and beautiful, than for its (or its network's) capabilities, and (2) get back to me when you can show me the phone and its interface, the way Apple did with the iPhone.

I don't carry a cell right now, but my wife [www.aprilynnepike] has an iPhone. Before that, the only smartphone she ever used was a Treo, and while it was a nice model with many capabilities, she made no use of them because she found it confusing and complicated and inconvenient. I've personally been hopeful for a good Android phone for a long time but so far it has failed to manifest. So please excuse my skepticism, I'm ready to be converted the moment you show me a sign.

get it right (2, Funny)

!the!bad!fish! (704825) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784127)

...I don't carry a cell right now, but my wife [www.aprilynnepike] has an iPhone. ...

You've spelled your wife's [aprilynnepike.com] url incorrectly.
My wife [teresawatkins.net] would not tolerate such slack goofing off.

unfortunately... (0)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783827)

If the engadget page l inked from the WaPo article is accurate, then the phone is butt ugly. Meaning it won't lure away most iPhone users, who, as a group, tend to actually value style and ergonomics.

most sophisticated mobile device? (3, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783859)

Specially from the hardware standpoint? Would be interesting to compare it with i.e. the Nokia N900 [nokia.com] that is about to hit the market... with the extra advantage of not being tied to Verizon or anyone else afaik.

Nokia N900 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29783863)

Two words for you: Nokia N900. Maemo throws crappy android phones, and iphones out the window.

On the subject of "iPhone killer" (1)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783869)

Even if Verizon doesn't refer to it as the iPhone killer, all the pundits and bloggers hungry for pagehits, will. This only helps advertise iPhone and is detrimental to Verizon phone's introduction. (Notice that no one is talking about the new "Windows phone" either.)

(posted from an iPhone)

why aren't they using the new TI OMAP3530 @720MHz? (4, Insightful)

unix_geek_512 (810627) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783881)

Why aren't they using the new TI OMAP3530 @720MHz? That should give them an advantage over the older OMAP3430 @600MHz.

Re:why aren't they using the new TI OMAP3530 @720M (1)

Ironchew (1069966) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783925)

So that it doesn't set your face on fire?

Maybe the heat increase wouldn't be quite that extreme, but it would probably be more heat than the casing or other components are designed to handle.

Re:why aren't they using the new TI OMAP3530 @720M (1)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783975)

> Why aren't they using the new TI OMAP3530 @720MHz? That should give them an advantage over the older OMAP3430 @600MHz.

battery life?

Re:why aren't they using the new TI OMAP3530 @720M (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784191)

Because the OMAP3430 has been on the market for a long time, is well supported by software and is cheaper than the OMAP35 series. If you want a device now, the OMAP3430 is a good choice. If you want a device in six months then the OMAP4 series is probably a better choice. The OMAP3530 doesn't really have any compelling features over the 3430 (same GPU, same DSP, marginally faster ARM core) and is more expensive.

What is the attraction to the iphone? (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783913)

Can anyone who has an iPhone tell me what the attraction to this device is? When I tried it, I was impressed by its technology but unimpressed by the price tag and its overall look. Its applications were all irrelevant to me and issues with its batteries made matters worse.

Question: What makes the iphone "a must have device" in today's economy?

Re:What is the attraction to the iphone? (1)

Posting=!Working (197779) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784055)

Thousands of apps, all irrelevant to you? What did you do, look at the 5 the person installed and give up?
Even if they were all irrelevant to you, that doesn't make them irrelevant to everyone. People want their device to do do useful things, even if those useful things are simply entertainment. The apps are not all entertainment, and some are very helpful.

And, no, I don't have an iPhone.

Re:What is the attraction to the iphone? (2, Insightful)

bsane (148894) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784073)

Its applications were all irrelevant to me

All 100,000?

I'm curious to know what it was you were looking for that didn't exist.

The iphone isn't 'must have', but its certainly nice to have- which isn't something I can say about any 'smart' phone previously. I haven't used android- maybe it is/will be better, but the iphone is already very good.

Re:What is the attraction to the iphone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29784409)

I'm curious to know what it was you were looking for that didn't exist.

I'm not the OP, but you seem to lack understanding of what "relevance" means. Saying the apps were irrelevant does not imply that he's searching for a third-party app that doesn't exist. It may only mean that he doesn't need any third-party apps, e.g. any base phone would satisfy his needs via its built in functions.

Part of broadening the "smart phone" market to the general audience is realizing that it had better justify itself to many users who do not have a self-identified need for "smart phone" capabilities like third party apps and extensibility. They just see a more elaborate and perhaps more fashionable UI on the base phone, as well as serious trade-offs like increased weight and decreased battery life as compared to the regular phone competition.

Re:What is the attraction to the iphone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29784149)

It is the electronic equivalent of what was the elite sport golf (or tennis before that). You don't need a iPhone.

Re:What is the attraction to the iphone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29784361)

I am a pocket computer junkie. I had a sharp pocket computer and an HP 15C in high school, a series of HP calculators through university, a Newton, and have switched back and forth between Palm, PocketPC/WM, through their upgrades and leapfrogging of each other over the years. And I'm a "technical" user, too. The last handheld I used consistently was a Sharp Zaurus with OpenBSD on it. Command-line heaven. Other than that old 15C, NOTHING I have had compares with my iPhone 3G even slightly. The attraction?

It does what I want. It does it with no fuss. The interface is very very consistent. It very very rarely crashes. I don't have to figure it out because it does things the way I intuitively think it should. The technology gets out of my way and I get to just do stuff.

Yes, the interface is beautiful and that DOES make it easier to use. That's not a new idea ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aesthetics ). More specifically, the iPhone UI has the best union of form and function I have ever seen.

Re:What is the attraction to the iphone? (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784483)

I'm not surprised that you say the applications were all irrelevant. If you just want a phone for a phone, then the iPhone is probably not your best choice, not by any measure. Almost all of the applications are 'like to haves' instead of 'must haves'. I can't really think of any apps that are 'must haves'.

And the texting is clunky at best and can never be as good as a good tactile keypad.

Quite frankly, and I have a new 3GS, I have reservations about getting an iPhone as my next mobile.

Here's a couple gripes:

- I despise iTunes. If it had a less bloated interface then I'd be much happier, but as it is, the interface is my main gripe. It's unresponsive and annoying.

- Apple software updates are a mixed bag. If you aren't careful you can brick your device pretty easily. I tried updating from work and our firewall denied Apple's servers some kind of connection... the result was a bricked device. I can't imagine why I have to use the internet in the process of a firmware upgrade. I should be able to just download the firmware upgrade and install it without having to hope I don't lose my connection in the middle and wind up with a device that has to be restored from a backup.

All said, the iPhone is not a must have. It's a luxury item. You can easily get another smart phone for much, much cheaper without a service contract and save yourself quite a large sum of money in the process.

It's the applications, stupid (2, Insightful)

Fished (574624) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783929)

I truly don't think Apple has anything to worry about. The iPhone's greatest strength is not the iPhone itself, but the App Store--the 10's of thousands of applications, games, etc. that are already available for it. The quality of these applications has improved markedly over the past year, and it's going to continue to improve. What does Android have? They say "thousands", but market realities being what they are I'm sure that the quality and development time that has gone into these thousands just isn't there. "There's an app for that" about covers it--with my iPhone, I know that whatever I'm doing I will have a choice of several apps that do it.

Can Android catch up? Probably eventually. But I think it's going to be difficult. First, Apple's already got a huge lead, and this is a self-perpetuating cycle. Huge lead means more developers, which means huge lead continues. Second, I think that in the long run Android's hardware diversity will hurt it when it comes to (for example) games--it's a pain for game developers to have to test on a wide variety of devices, and many of them may not bother until Android has proved itself as a platform. Last, it's worth remembering that Apple still commands a huge lead in the all-important digital content market. This creates a big incentive for people with large iTunes libraries to stay with iPhone.

Is Verizon's network better? Yes, probably. However, it's also reaching saturation. I live in a very rural area and have both an iPhone (personal) and a Verizon cell phone (work), and I pretty much get coverage everywhere I go. And let's not forget that AT&T's going to provide adequate coverage for 90+% of the population anyway, even if they do get spotty in rural areas.

Re:It's the applications, stupid (2, Insightful)

grumling (94709) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784293)

Know your history. The Apple ][ had a huge amount of software available when the IBM PC was introduced. Anyone remember how many titles were available for the 5150 when it launched?

Re:It's the applications, stupid (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784507)

Anyone remember how many titles were available for the 5150 when it launched?

No, but hardly anyone bought it at launch. A couple of years later, when it ran Lotus 1-2-3, it was a business essential (and even if it didn't run any other apps, it was still needed). It's not having a lot of apps that's important, it's having the few that people want (which, I think, was your point). Having a lot does increase the probability that you'll have the one everyone wants though, especially since 'everyone' varies from market to market (the PC was really only aimed at the business / accounts market).

Re:It's the applications, stupid (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784509)

There's a relatively simple solution to the problem the app store poses to Apple's competitors: Develop software that makes it extremely easy to port an application from the iPhone to Android, etc.

Then, suddenly, all of these app developers who aren't Apple find out they can put their app on the Android or Windows Mobile app stores also, and those stores rapidly catch up to Apple's store. In other words, sit back and let Apple take the lead then use all of Apple's effort against them.

At least, that's what I would be very busy doing if I were Google and Microsoft.

I saw an add for the droid last night (1)

chafey (108827) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783987)

and while it does seem to have some better features than my iPhone, none of them were exciting enough for me to even consider looking at it. I love my iPhone and don't see any reason to replace it with anything else until another revolution occurs.

verizon network, no thanks (5, Interesting)

zhevek (147623) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784041)

I had Verizon for near 10 years. However, this last summer I switched to AT&T because verizon's network was dropping my calls in my apartment half the time or more. And this is just 2 miles outside of downtown Portland, Or. Haven't had a dropped call on my iPhone on AT&T yet.

So just remember that strength of network is not "national", because most people don't move around all the time. Find the network that is best in your area first, then pick a phone.

Not a threat... yet (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784059)

There's nothing to stop Apple from building a new iPhone using the newer, faster parts. And iPhone has something that the android doesn't -- a lot of software apps that people love. Moving from one iPhone to another is a no brainer for most. Moving from their beloved and heavily spent/invested iPhone to something "better" requires a lot more consideration.

LucasArts Will Call In The Lawyers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29784093)

Over the use of 'Droid'. Already happened to Battletech (Battledroids).

Hardware, schmardware, is it pleasant to use? (2, Insightful)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784189)

"According to people who've handled the device, the Droid is the most sophisticated mobile device to hit the market to date from a hardware standpoint. When you combine that with the Verizon network, you've got something that is most definitely a challenger to the Jesus phone.'"

Oh? When I hear that "according to people who've handled the device, the Droid is the most comfortable, pleasant-to-use device to hit the market to date," then I'll pay attention.

I don't really know how Apple does it. Their UI and usability aren't all THAT great, yet they consistently manage to turn out stuff that really is usable. Maybe the mystery is how everyone else manages to screw it up. With the average gadget, it takes about ten minutes before you come across something so inexplicably, bafflingly sucky that you just can't figure out how it ever could have gotten out the door. Of course, I've worked in a company where the CEO dictated UI decisions and, unfortunately, had _bad_ taste. And I've also worked in a big company where the marketers simply would put down "ease of use" as a bullet point, and from that point on everyone just assumed the product had it because it was on the list.

I still can't figure out what Apple did that made iTunes the first viable online music store, or made the App Store the first viable software store for smart phones. It seems as if all they did was to avoid gross stupidity. That must be a lot harder to do than you'd think.

Afterthought: It occurs to me that one area in which vendors do get the usability consistently right, or at least "good enough," are digital cameras. I wonder why digital cameras are easy, or at least POSSIBLE to use, and cell phones aren't? I notice that digital camera makers do seem to be willing to spend a few extra cents to give the controls different shapes and turn in different directions, instead of confronting you with a uniform sea of buttons.

iphone killer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29784287)

so will it be called the "Judas phone"?

Typo in Summary (2, Insightful)

rocketPack (1255456) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784331)

Here's what the summary was supposed to read (revisions in bold):

...the Droid is the most sophisticated mobile device to hit the market to date from a hardware standpoint. However, when you combine that with the Verizon network and the Verizon 'so severely crippled as to render every feature worthless and cumbersome to use' software, you've got something that is most definitely a worthless piece of could-have-been-good-but-fucked-over-by-greed-and-lousy-QA SHIT like every other phone they make.

I am so sick of Verizon taking EVERYTHING good and finding ways to make to make it pointlessly crippled and useless.

Will this phone have tethering? Probably, but it's going to be disabled unless you pay $79.99 a month.
Will this phone have contact and calendar syncing? Probably, but it's going to be disabled unless you pay $5.99 a month.
Will this phone have music support? Definitely, but it's going to be severely crippled unless you pay $12.99 a month.

Take your network and SHOVE IT.

Missing the Big Picture (3, Interesting)

ezdude (885983) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784377)

The big news here is that Verizon is clearly not going to carry the iPhone anytime soon. A few months ago, Verizon and Apple were "in talks". So, what happened? That's the most interesting part about this story. You guys are burying the lead.

Its the apps (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784497)

The reason the iPhone is so successful is the convenience of the app store, itunes and the sheer amount of content. When apple first started the app store people seemed to talk as if it was simply a waste of time and resources but now its so far ahead of the game that no one seems able to catch up.

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