King of Excellent (according to Scaryduck)

Saturday, June 30

God's Own Gadget?

Once again, the American fixation with Apple is shown by the fanatical activity over the release of the new Apple iPhone. Now I feel that perhaps Apple's time could be spent on making something more affordable and mainstream for the average punter then re-inventing the wheel for their loyal fans, most of which obviously have money to burn. Let's look at the processes covered...

The actual organisation of the phone is reminiscent of the original Nokia communicator from a staggering 11 years ago. This is a phone, but with a full keyboard.
Touchscreens are not new either, once again appearing in 1996 with the Palm Pilot. Palm later turned their highly successful PDAs into phones, most popular of which was the Treo 700.
MP3 players are now becoming old hat, but once again first appeared on the scene with the MPMan back in 1998. Nowadays everything comes with mp3 players and inbuilt radios, so putting this together with your gadget of choice is far from innovative.
And finally, browsing the internet. With the advent of WAP phones back in 1998, this opened up the market for browsing the internet, but really only on specially trimmed down sites. Once again, the Nokia Communicator came with a 9600 inbuilt mobile modem, so this enabled the phone to be used as a browser, and full websites could be seen.

With the new iPhone costing about £260, lets look at the alternatives that are already on the market...

HP always have a range of amazing quality devices, called the iPAQs. The cheapest in their range is only £254, about the same price as the iPhone, but comes with a memory slot to enable more space for your music. A nice high colour touchscreen allows good clear browsing, and with the stylus or your finger navigation is easy. It also comes with a multitude of applications like pocket office, enabling you to work from the thing whilst listening to your favourite music. Going a little higher, and you can even get an iPAQ with GPS built in. This means not only would you have an iPhone, but a pretty damn decent version of TomTom for a quid over £300.
O2, the mobile phone company, have for many years produced a product called the XDA. The latest incarnation starts at only £15 a month, including your phone line rental and 200 minutes a month, and the actual phone. The Trion is a true representation of what can be done on a budget.
As mentioned before there is the Palm Treo. The 750 is supplied by Vodafone only (boooo!) but at only £212.77 for a walkaway price, this really makes it a viable option compared to the iPhone.
The Qtek is an unknown make, which in my opinion makes it a better choice. You're not paying for the name, the chances are the manufacturers are happy for the custom so they are happy to help you if you have problems, and this phone is a great bit of kit. Very similar in style and software to the iPAQ, this is a good all round solution, for £249.

Apple, huh? I piss 'em.