Last week I purchased a brand new Samsung Focus (SGH-i917) off Craigslist. The guy selling it had purchased it for his wife who decided, after playing with the one he bought for himself, she preferred her iPhone.
I have owned an iPhone for a little over 2 years beginning with the iPhone 3G, then the iPhone 3GS and upgrading to the iPhone 4 this past September. I like my iPhone as a portable Internet access and media device but I have never liked it as a phone. Further, I am opposed to the stranglehold Apple puts on its customers, partners and employees in handling support, services and the addition of new features.
For example, Apple markets the toughness of the iPhone 4 glass. However, should the purported ’gorilla glass’ crack after dropping one foot, you will be charged $199 to have your phone replaced. I consider that price obscene, considering the iPhone 4 complete bill of materials is estimated at $187.51 by industry expert, iSuppli. An example of Apple’s new feature despotism is the change in behavior of the dedicated iPad switch—from orientation lock to mute—with the latest iOS 4.2.1 update. Everyone is unhappy with the change except our friendly captors in Cupertino.
My last reason, and it is certainly lowest in the stack, is I am a Microsoft employee and stockholder. I am not biased by my employment or investor status. Our house is an equal opportunity consumer of gadgetry. In addition to our iPhones, we have owned every generation of iPod. TB’s primary machine is a 27” iMac (running Windows 7) and I have an iPad and Mac Mini. On the other hand, Fanboi I am not. My primary machine is a tricked-out PC assembled by me. Our workhorse computers are a Windows Home Server and a Windows 7 Media Center, both built by me. I love ThinkPads and have carried a T40p, T43p, T60p, T61p and T500 (current) starting just before IBM sold the brand to Lenovo.
My decision to start migrating to Windows Phone 7 is not a soapbox play. I still own an iPhone and other iDevices. I will continue owning iDevices as long as they fill gaps other devices do not at prices I am comfortable paying.
Having used my Samsung Focus exclusively this week during a Thanksgiving trip to Los Angeles, I believe the Windows Phone line is positioned to close the gaps that originally drove me from previous generations of Windows Mobile to iPhone. Sure, it is missing key apps and there are several fit-and-finish issues with the current software. Once those are addressed I see no real advantage to keeping an iPhone.
For example, the Samsung Focus has a 4” Super AMOLED, 480 x 800 display. In tandem with the Windows Phone variant of ClearType, the display produces crisp and vibrant images, text and colors. It is easier to read and more enjoyable to look at than the highly-touted iPhone 4 640 x 960, 3.5” Retina Display. Below is a comparison matrix for those interested in how the Samsung Focus stacks up against the iPhone 4. (reference)
This is not about side-by-side hardware comparisons or head-to-head app quantity/quality evaluations. The iPhone is still superior in ways that matter to most consumers. That said, I prefer the future and potential of Windows Phone over the trend of iPhone. Thusly, I begin my Windows Phone journey.