The iPhone 3G and iPhone clones

The iPhone 3G and iPhone clones

By Phil Goldstein

The news: AT&T Mobility launched the Apple's iPhone 3G July 11, ushering in a new era of high-speed data capable smartphones. Apple's second-generation iPhone, which featured the same sleek look and innovative touchscreen user interface of the first-gen iPhone, now offered consumers the ability to surf the Web using AT&T's HSPA network and that sparked a flurry of iPhone clones.

T-Mobile USA jumped into the ring post-iPhone 3G, with the launch of the G1, the first phone based on Google's Android platform, which boasted a touchscreen and a QWERTY keyboard. Then came the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, formerly known as the Tube. Verizon Wireless followed up shortly thereafter with the Motorola Krave ZN4--billed as both a touchscreen phone and a flip phone.

Then, the deluge came: the Samsung Epix (AT&T); the HTC Touch Pro, a soup-ed up version of the HTC Touch Diamond (Sprint Nextel); the $800 Sony Ericsson Xperia X1; the Samsung Saga (Verizon) and Samsung Eternity (AT&T); Research In Motion's BlackBerry Storm--the first touchscreen BlackBerry (Verizon); the Samsung Omnia (Verizon); and the Nokia N97.

Why it was significant:
It is easy to pronounce this or that as a paradigm shift, but the launch of the iPhone 3G truly was one. The genius lay behind its marketing, with each 30-second ad almost like an infomercial for how to use the multiple features and applications of the iPhone 3G, and then, at the end, reminding customers that it was a phone, too. Apple marketed the iPhone 3G as a mobile computer and digital media player first, and a phone second. And other handset makers felt they had to follow suit, launching a bevy of sleek phones with touchscreen UI's. While each pretender to the throne was looking to be an iPhone-Killer, so far the iPhone 3G remains at the top, simply by virtue that no other handset has achieved the same kind of brand recognition that the iPhone 3G has.


  1. Well, it's a year later, but you were right about some things, JR - the iPhone 3G was/is a paradigm changer - and it is because it's a computer (with 100,000 apps now) that does it all. it's a blank slate that the user makes 'personal' - the advertising is pointing that out, I think.

    The interface is smart. It's a 'deserved' win - not because of marketing alone, but predominately because of design and functionality - it lives up to the hype!

    With your unique history and understanding of the 'phone' world and history, I look forward to more observations on the JR blog :-)

  2. ONS...It's interesting how the iPhone also changed the game for Blackberry, which was rather content where it was.

    Don't count the iPod Touch out as a smart communications device, I beginning to discover it and that it's underrated in the marketplace...that's where I'm heading next on this topic!

    Thanks for coming back a year later and reminding me of this post.