Michael Ducker, former senior editor of TreoCentral, offers his impressions of the iPhone (at phonedifferent.com) from the perspective of a long term Treo user.
He covers the typical areas which he feels the iPhone succeeded (touch interface, camera, transitions, keyboard) and areas that need improvement (dialing, stability, consistency, data entry), but does feel the iPhone is a game-changing device which suddenly turns the cellphone market from being about hardware to being about software.
That's no small task given that the main customers of cellphones (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile) haven't seemed to care much at all about software. Instead they've focused on encouraging handset makers to go ever sleeker and smaller, marketing each subsequent handset as the next sexy fashion accessory. That was great and all, but we're pretty close to an optimal size for a hold-in-your-hand handset. Where is the innovation going to happen next?
Ducker points out that the eye-catching transitions are more than just eye candy -- they provide critical user interface feedback that allows the user to follow along and not get "lost" in the device. He also points out that the elastic scrolling provides additional tactility and feedback to let the user know there is no more to scroll.
Apple has a phenomenal first entrance into an incredibly competitive market, and I cannot wait to see how the other big players respond. .... Ignoring cost, the future phones that compete against Apple will have to not only have slick hardware, but will have to have an intuitive, easy to use interface, and complete solution to integrate my digital life with my real life.