Eight months ago I bought an HTC TyTN II and was extremely impressed it was a work horse, fast, durable and did all I wanted. Having been familiar with Windows CE/Mobile for quite some time (Since the iPaq v2 basically) I was not troubled by the clunky Windows experience, clearly I am not a Mac OS user because the only complaints I really had about the TyTN was that its battery was appalling and the phone was almost as clunky as my first ever Ericsson brick from ’95. With my TyTN I was quite happily using what I called mobile 2.0. A few weeks ago I got to handle and test a HTC Diamond and was again reassured in my belief that Windows Mobile was a great platform with even greater developments coming out of manufacturers like HTC. I thought the Diamond was certainly a mobile 3.0 in that it has Windows in the background while having a clever skin overlaying it providing smooth iPhone-like functionality look and feel… I was determined still then that the iPhone was not for me.
Somehow that all changed… Last week something overcame me and (as is commonly the case) on a whim I asked a Carphone Warehouse sales clerk if there were any iPhones in stock… since there were, I left the shop with an 8GB version in my hands… I have gone over to the dark side. I have cancelled my HTC contract with T-Mobile (with whom I was actually very happy) and moved to O2 (a company I previously ported my number away from because their customer service was awful) to be a proud iPhone user.
So what then is Mobile 3.0? Can we have Windows and Apple on the same level? While the iPhone is a perfect phone in so many ways, it has drawbacks from a Windows familiarity POV, the fact that I cannot copy paste, cannot multitask and cannot use my iPhone for TomTom traffic and data is a real shame. The Windows Mac war has just been brought to the mobile device which to me only goes further to say that a phone today is really just another computer and the war is far from over. Obviously we need to see what happens when Google does the Android and who takes it up. Do we really want to have Google have realtime access to our calls, diary, address book and all that we do when not on a computer? To me mobile 3.0 has to be based on the usability and desirability. Never when I sat on the tube did I feel people looking over my shoulder when I was typing emails on my TyTN but now when I do anything on my iPhone I feel the envious stares of people wishing they too could be emailing, watching the latest F-Word or playing Texas Hold-Em… My iPhone lets me do all that so while it has some drawbacks I think it has to be the defining mobile 3.0 which clearly is the case since there are so many copycats out there and despite the time to develop iPhone beaters, HTC, Samsung and even Nokia have failed to think outside the box the way Apple always do. I am truly converted, only question now is: will I change to an apple powerbook when I change my laptop?