Tim: Attack of the iClones


With the launch of the new 3G iPhone, we are bound to see a whole new batch of ‘iClones’ being rushed through.

Touchscreen this and touchscreen that, and the latest news surrounding the new secretive Blackberry 9000 (or Thunder, to give it its needlessly dramatic name) is it includes a touchscreen with ‘Haptic technology’. This new breakthrough means the screen will give a little when touched, make a clicking sound and also vibrate, letting the user know when a button has been touched.

This news got me thinking, how long will it be until they can come up with a new input method? A method that not only gives when you touch it and makes a noise so you know that you have, but is reliable and works every time you touch it; that has a clear layout so you know you can always find the button you want; that you can press quickly and not miss individual presses; and on top of all this, doesn’t leave finger marks on the screen? You could call it a keypad and… wait, suddenly this all sounds pretty familiar in a prehistoric (or at least pre-iPhone) kind of way.

I’m all for innovation and flash features, but just because Apple does it, doesn’t mean everyone has to follow. Many say the iPhone has pushed the boundaries of handsets but if everyone is copying the same handset hasn’t it just narrowed the variety? Maybe manufacturers would stand a better chance of creating the elusive ‘iPhone killer’ if they weren’t all so desperately trying to make the same phone.