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The hype behind the release of the iphone 3G in India just withered away four days before the launch when Vodafone and Airtel announced that they’d be selling the piece at Rs.31,500/- That disappointed most prospective customers as they were expecting a price tag somewhere along the range of 15,000 to 25,000. 31,500 seemed to costly for most people specially when they observed their peers showing off the first generation iphones which they shipped it in from the states and had it unlocked all for a meagre 16 grand. Now that it’s been about a month since the iphone 3G has been released and the hype all but died out,everyone’s attention shifted focus to the release of the G1-the first ever Google Android powered cellphone which was launched in New York City. People have been speculating about how different the iPhone would be from the g1. I’ve been taking a keen interest on the g1 for more reasons than one. I see it on the long run as a move that will change the course of the mobile operating systems landscape. Just like the windows operating system entered the market with the IBM PC. And literally dethroned the mac.Apple might be making the same mistake again. This article is a really good read. This iphone is powered by the iphone SDK. An exceprt from the article about the openness about the iphone sdk platform.
The platform is far from open. Developers and their programs must be approved by Apple. This does not sit well with the dudes who write software, and it’s getting ugly among the rank and file. Apple, which has accepted then summarily rejected some apps after they’ve gone up, is doing a poor job of handling developer relations and is getting a reputation for being capricious. Some angry developers are already defecting to Android — the OS that powers T-Mobile’s G1 and will power all successive iterations of the Google phone.
The g1 which is a newbie on the street has some really really cool applications. One of them is the Compass Mode. It combines the power of gps and streetview in one. Which means that if you’ve got the compass mode application running you can see live 360 degree streetview images from google maps on you’re G1 wherever you are(for now,just the UK and the States). Watch the Compass Mode demo here.
Coming back to comparing the iphone and the g1. These are the places where the android powered g1 phone scores over the iphone 3G in my opinion.
1.Open source OS(discusssed above).
2. It has a 3.2 megapixel camera,while the iphone 3G has a 2 MP camera. High end smart phone and just a 2.0 MegaPixel camera? My N70 which I purchased in 2006 has a 2 mp camera.
3.Text entry through a QWERTY style keyboard. I know most iphone enthusiasts will disagree that this point should be mentioned here but considering the fact that most of us are used to typing on a qwerty still keyborad,getting familiarised to a similar type of keyboard won’t take too long unlike the iphone.(Also the iphone multi-tap entry is not the best for people with fat fingers-I had a tough time entering my username and password in several places!).
4.Probably one big plus for the g1 is that it has a removable lithium ion battery. There’s a lot of noise being made about how the iphone could do better without the non-removal battery.
5.Battery life’s longer too-The stats I have with me say that the G1 android phone has a standby time of 402 hours on 3G. The iphone in sharp contrast has 300 hours of standby time.It offers 350 minutes of talk time where as the iphone offers 300 minutes of talk time.
The iphone has a lot to offer too.
1.Larger screen size(3.5 inch whereas the g1 has a 3.1 inch screen).
2.You can use you’re regular 3.5 mm standard headphone jack instead of the propreity mini-USB plug that the g1 offers.
3.Supports Microsoft Exchange. Some detailed info here.
4.Has the classy tried and sucessfully tested ipod feel and touch to it.Has sold more than 10 million units so far-testimonial enough!
Both the phones sadly miss out on some regular features us Indians use a lot. Neither have a forward sms option or a video shooting functionality. Enter second murderer-Nokia N 96. Which covers all of these features,but where does it stand in the new generation of smartphones market-wait till November end.
Final say: In India, it’s the Nokia that will lead the way. Not the iphone or the g1. It’s the N series that will always have an upper hand thanks to it’s user-friendly interface and reputed mobile brand image.