Originally Posted by TenoBell
Even thought the iPhone probably sits more between a smartphone and UMPC.
This is more of iPhones competition than most other smartphones. Because most smartphones are missing some fundamental functionality of the iPhone. While the iPhone has most of the fundamental functionality of a UMPC.
Actually, that picture is a great example of what the iPhone is all about, UI wise.
Sony does old school "serious" design as well or better than anyone. Their products are generally purposeful looking, with clean a "we mean business" layout and a kind of "pro" vibe.
However, that means that if you want to actually use something like the UMPC pictured, you are going to have to learn how. It's almost as if a deal were being made: we'll give you power, but you have to submit to the complexity that that entails, and that's how it should be. Something this mighty doesn't warrant a "friendly" interface because that would be beneath it. But once you figure it out, won't you feel like teh awesome fighter pilot?
I think we all agree that the iPhone UI is destined for a wider range of products, and that its UI is a completely different vibe from something like the Sony. Kind of a "come on in here and check it out!" kind of thing. Apple seems to be under the impression that anybody might want to be able to have a lot of computing power in the palm of their hand, not just the technorati.
Since that has never happened before, we have no idea how the target market--everybody else-- will respond, but meanwhile the same technorati that is so very pleased with being able to master really bad UI design are the ones doing all the talking.
So in that sense everything being said now means nothing. The composition of the punditry, in this case, is just 180º around in their thinking from where Apple is going with this. Of course they're not impressed, because they already have a phone that "does all that" or a phone is coming out will "do all that but even better". Of course they have opinions on "must have" features that the iPhone lacks, or are certain it will fail if it doesn't cater to their needs.
They are the narrow demographic that has already mastered the existing paradigm. That makes you smarter and more technically adept than most people, so why would you welcome a device that makes your hard won skills irrelevant?
It's very similar to the Mac vs. Windows debate of some time ago, when the Windows interface was truly grim: you heard all the time that it was that very grimness that made Windows a "real" computer, and that the Mac's ease of use was proof of its lack of seriousness. A toy. Toys are easy to use, real computers require cultivated skills.
Now Windows is Vista, so it's pretty clear how that debate sorted out in the end, isn't it?
So here we go again, as if that lesson had never been learned. The gnarly little interfaces already out there are perfectly serviceable ("I
have no problem using it, so if you can't it must mean you just aren't smart enough") and the iPhone is just a lot of eye candy.
And guess which way the industry will go?