Originally Posted by John Clark
I just don't get why everything has to compete with the iPhone.
I think it's a mind-share thing. The undecided tend to jump on the bandwagon, and if you've got the loudest band and the most colourful confetti, people will buy your stuff just 'cause'. In the consumer space, cool wins, and Apple is particularly cool at the moment.
I give Apple props though, for properly introducing smartphones to the unenlightened masses and for putting touchscreens back into the mobile device spotlight. Everyone uses a mouse on their PC to replicate the 'touchscreen' interface without having to touch the monitor, yet smartphones (vs PDAs) in general have eschewed that interface. Pointing to the object you want to use is far more efficient than navigating to it.
RIM, the Windows Mobile, Symbian and other (Android/Linux/etc) vendors need to respond to Apple's re-introduction of the touchscreen so that they do not appear to be using 'yesterday's interface'.
The key to mind-share is the development community. If the perception is that your device is gaining in popularity, then developers will look to your platform when considering where to produce software.