Saturday, August 9, 2008

Its the Software, Stupid

I've had the opportunity to work with high end smartphones for almost my entire career. What I've learned is that the handset manufacturers like to sell based on hardware features while the carriers (ie Verizon and AT&T) like to run their own versions of the software. The result is a package that's never quite satisfying. In most cases you end with a hunk of plastic that, despite grand claims, can't do much more than make phone calls.

Last week, I dumped Verizon for AT&T so I could get an iPhone. Here in Columbus, Verizon has the best network, period. AT&T's coverage is rather spotty. I put up with it though because the iPhone is the first handset that get's the hardware/software package right (translation: the hardware is decent and the software actually works).

Verizon offered us a deal on the LG Voyager to try to get us to stay, but they completely miss the point. No one wants a phone because they look similar on a spec sheet. A smartphone is going to sink or swim based on the strength of its software. And until the rest of the market gets this and stops half-assing their software, the iPhone will win.

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