Tuesday, February 17, 2009

iPhone vs. G1

Things iPhone lack:
1. Do not have a keyboard
2. Cannot record video, and only 2 megapixel camera
3. Can't send Messages and forward (so no bulk messages during festivals)
4. No voice dialing
5. No cut, copy and past
6. Cannot replace battery on your own
7. Cannot view flash
8. No extensible memory card

lacking a keyboard giving iPhone some privileges -- it could be thinner and easier to carry, but some users find it uncomfortable to use the virtual keyboard.

No extensible memory card may be an issue to some users, when they need more memory. However, iPhone is offering initial 8G or 16G memory while Google only offers 1G initially. So it is your choice. Either to have a smaller memory but you could extend, but have a fixed larger memory.

Things G1 lacks:
1. T-mobile does not cover as much place as AT&T, and it's also slower
2. User interface design
3. Although the keyboard is a good feature, the phone does not have on-screen keyboard even for quick tasks. So you need to drag out the keyboard every time
4. Tightly tie to Google's online service. It doesn’t allow the use of Microsoft’s Exchange service for email, contacts or calendar items, or other companies over-the-air synchronization for contacts and appointments. This might be a strategy for keeping user loyalty for Google.

T-Mobile G1 vs. Apple iPhone 3G

Collection of user's experience:
iPhone fan: I like iPhone, it looks cool, and it's fashionable. It could satisfy my daily use, and make me feel joyful by its applications. Its user interface are easy to use.
(designers, doctors, graduate students)

G1 fan: It's really powerful. I could use ssh to connect to my Linux machine, download a lot of free softwares, and even write my own program.
(Software engineers, CS graduate students)

iPhone opponent: I don't like iPhone. It's fake, it generates fake feelings for us, we feel like we are touching a fish in the tank when we are actually just touching the screen.
(interactive designer)

G1 opponent: It does not look good, it's brick thick and dark color. I don't really the powerful computing function it offers, I just need it in my basic life. G1 does not look good enough to entertain me.
(iPhone user)

I think iPhone and G1 are targeting different users right now. iPhone are fashionable, but more limitations and higher monthly rate. G1 is powerful and gives more freedom, but less entertaining.

At first, I was quite shocked by the "top 10 iPhone apps you must have". They are so simple! Just some beautiful pictures without much real usage. And I found out that many CS students think like that.

Later on, I understand. Most users just want entertainment, and simple but well designed pictures could make them feel good. What's more, they could get it at a low price (around $0.99), a more economic way to entertain themselves than spending money for travelling or eating out in the current economy. And also, I learnt one important theory: people feel that the product is more powerful when it looks better.

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