Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Believe the iPhone hype

Apple iPhone raises the usability bar on cell phones ...

"Apple's new iPhone device will raise the bar on mobile device usability, according to Gartner research director, Robin Simpson.

The device, due for release on Friday in the US and sometime in 2008 in Australia, features a unique touchpad interface and motion sensor technology - combining a traditional mobile phone with a music player and handheld Web and email browser.

Based on the original demonstrations he saw at MacWorld, Simpson said the iPhone was a "step-change" in terms of ease of use.

"Consumers are going to want to use touch screens and sensors, they are going to expect more sophisticated graphics," he said. "The iPhone will reset the bar - it really is that different."

Simpson, normally quite reserved when it comes to over-hyped products, said Apple's ability to make things simple would have repercussions for handset manufacturers and users globally.

Mobile phone manufacturers have to date been continually loading new functionality onto their devices to fight price erosion - but much of this functionality is lost on the average consumer, who is more concerned with usability and design.

If judged only on its bells and whistles, the iPhone doesn't rate that well. The GSM device features Wi-Fi but no support for 3G networks, has a 2 megapixel digital camera in an era of 5 megapixel cameras, has a far smaller capacity for music storage than higher-model iPods, and boasts no integrated GPS."    (Continued via Gartner)    [Usability Resources]


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