The pace of mobile

At this point we’ve all had the opportunity to digest the iPhone 4 and read review upon review. If you haven’t, let’s just say that the most interesting thing about the release announcement was the scandal over WiFi. Given the pace of mobile today, the more people are carrying personal hotspots, the more we will see this problem. Not just at conventions, but perhaps soon at our local Starbucks.

I think the one clear difference between this and the announcements that we expect from Apple is that this new device is clearly evolutionary, not revolutionary. True, we now have a phone display that exceeds the limits of human perception. But if pixel density is the most interesting thing about a new device, then perhaps there a bit less magic to this announcement.

It’s also clear that this phone is not all that much ahead of its kindred, if it is ahead at all. And that says quite a bit about what is happening with mobile: three years ago the iPhone was proclaimed the “Jesus phone.” Now it is just one of a number of superphones with surely more to come.┬áIt’s also no small thing that two of those comparison phones — the EVO 4G and the Droid Incredible — are Android phones, being less than two years after the first Android phone was released.

This is the pace of mobile today. Two years ago, Apple was the clear leader. Today, it’s in the middle of the pack. Who knows what will happen next year?


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