I saw an ad on Facebook for a Nokia phone with a super powerful camera, and clicked through to see the comments. With limited exceptions there were two types:
- This isn’t an iPhone
- The camera isn’t so great, because there’s more to a camera than just megapixels
The iPhone is the Goliath to beat. It has a passionate following, tons of apps and courtesy of Mac devotion in the creative fields, it’s owned writers for a while. Read any cell phone review and you’ll quickly hear how a phone isn’t an iPhone.
As for the argument about the camera, the critics might be right. If it’s just a megapixel issue they’re trying the same game we all experienced with digital cameras years ago when we all bought digital cameras. But it doesn’t really matter if it’s true or not. No one will bother to read deeper, and perception is reality.
How can you beat the iPhone? Nokia is on the right track, but they’re stopping short. To win you have to be different. Not a little different, you need to be entirely different. If you’re going to make the phone with the best camera, don’t make something that looks like a phone and suggest it has a good camera. Make the most incredible camera that is also a phone. One that can upload pictures via 4G or wifi and does so without prompting to unlimited cloud storage. Give it amazing optics, make it simple, quiet and beautiful.
Photography has largely revolved around SLRs, but the cameras that represented fast, quiet, and beautiful both in cameras and in photos were rangefinders. They are the classic, elegant camera that are more art than science. Make a rangefinder that is also a phone.
I’d like to see sketch pad phones that are like Wacom tablets. And I don’t mean that you can doodle. I mean that you could seriously sketch.
I’d like to see portable game systems hat are phones. Ones with capabilities that put current cell phones to shame.
I’d like to see phones that stand out as market leaders, not all trying to control the same market of jack of all trades, master of none.
Remember – the iPhone started out as an MP3 player made into a phone.