iPhones, iPod Shuffles & Nokia 6630… making Apple look rubbish

It wasn’t until I read John Naughton’s rubbishing of the iPhone in the Observer on Sunday, that I realised what a great piece of kit my Nokia 6630 is. I’ve had it a few months now and I was well chuffed with my bargaining power at time of purchase. Originally quoted £175, I got the guy in the Orange shop down to £29.95 by upgrading my contract for six months at an extra £7 a month. It came with a Star Wars box set, which I flogged on Amazon for £25. (This makes me wonder why so many people opt for expensive pay-as-you-go.)

A mobile internet addict, I liked the look of the phone with its relatively large screen and was looking forward to putting 3G through its paces. Holidaying in Cornwall the wireless Bluetooth connection meant the laptop surfed the web with ease. And I find myself taking the odd photo, not print quality but fine for blogging.

But I’ve only just realised how well the MP3 player stacks up. I’ve splashed out an extra £29.72 on a 512MB memory card (the bundled card’s just 64MB). That’s the same as the smaller iPod Shuffle, which retails at around £65, but the Nokia 6630 has a screen and greater functionality.

According to Naughton, the iPhone will only have 512MB too and won’t let you use MP3s as ringtones, like you can with the Nokias. He suggests that the reason the iPhone is rubbish is that the industry is afraid of cannibalising its other products. But I think he’s failed to pick on just how good some of the phones that have been on the market for sometime really are. It’s hard to see why Nokia should care that its handsets make iPod Shuffles look so expensive and under specified. Nokia’s challenge is to persuade us to change handsets every year and that means making them better and better. Grabbing a slice of the MP3 player market fits in with that nicely. It’s Apple, with its proprietorial approach, that fears cannibalisation and so makes the odd rubbish product like iPod Shuffles and iPhones.

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