Posted by Mike Evans in News on January 15, 2007

Samsung, somewhat predictably, claims it’s unimpressed by Apple’s iPhone. “Although we are waiting to see how U.S. consumers will react, we are not impressed by its features,” said an official of Samsung Electronics.

“Technologically speaking, its GSM can be a problem for big data transmissions, as we move into the age of wideband-CDMA,” he said.

In this, Samsung has a point. The iPhone’s use of GSM not only precludes it from being sold in Korea (which is now exclusively reliant on CDMA), it also means it’s not a match for the majority of Korean handsets, many of which support HSDPA.

According to The Korea Times, Korea boasts one of the world’s highest adoption of mobile phone-based Internet and high-speed Internet networks, with almost all adults in the country hooked up to both. As such, the majority of Koreans are used to downloading gigabytes of music and video to their smartphone, which the iPhone simply cannot support in its current guise. So the iPhone will not compete well in Korea, if it’s even sold there at all.

That said, Samsung have missed the point of the iPhone in one important aspect. According to Samsung’s spokesman, “Many of [the iPhone’s] much-touted features are already available in our products such as smart phones.” But it’s not the features that will sell the iPhone – it’s the interface, which is not only light years ahead from anything Samsung currently offers, it’s also the main feature of the phone that will ensure it sells by the tonne.

Apple have certainly shaken up the mobile phone industry. Its iPhone looks and behaves like no other phone on the market, and all existing phones currently look boring by comparison. If the big handset manufacturers insist on claiming their phones are better simply because they have better features, they’re gifting Apple the mobile market on a plate, because nobody cares about features they can’t use.

Sure, your phone may have a 10 megapixel camera. But if you can’t use it easily because the interface is so poor, how often are you going to use it? You’ve then got a phone simply so you can brag about its specs, rather than a phone that not only looks fantastic, but is supremely easy to use.

The big 5 really need to get their interfaces in order, as Apple has laid down a challenge they can’t run away from. The iPhone may be expensive this year, but it won’t be next year. As soon as Apple drop the price, the big 5 have some huge competition on their hands.

[Source: The Korea Times]