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Summary:

Whether you agree with my reasons about why iPhone is going to change the mobile business, it is already leading to major rethinking amongst large handset makers, on how they approach the handsets. Apple is making it okay to experiment with new ideas, and throw out […]

iphonescreenshot.gifWhether you agree with my reasons about why iPhone is going to change the mobile business, it is already leading to major rethinking amongst large handset makers, on how they approach the handsets. Apple is making it okay to experiment with new ideas, and throw out previously taboo notions. Like touch screens and optical sensors.

Nokia CTO Tero Ojanpera speaking at a conference in Asia said that “Optical sensors and touch will be the next big things….”I believe there will be a lot of innovation around these.” LG’s Prada phone, Apple’s iPhone and the upcoming touch phone from High Tech Computer Corp could be the start of a major trend.

Now Apple isn’t the first one to use touch screen technology, but they certainly have added a sheen of cool to it. The big question is why didn’t Nokia develop phones based on touch screen. After all their CTO seems to be a believer. Plus, do you wonder how durable this glass screen is really going to be? Judi Sohn is worried.

there is no way I’m buying a glass-covered cell phone for $500 without accidental protection or some assurance that this thing can take everyday bumps and bruises without a problem. I want to use this thing…not display it on my wall for goodness sakes.

Additional Reading: Mobiles get the Synaptics Touch

  1. The Nokia N800 has touchscreen and it has been out for 5 months, so I don’t think Nokia is just discovering touch screens now.

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  2. Do people honestly think Apple is gambling a huge mobile introduction and they haven’t thrown the iPhone against every imaginable object in the world testing the glass?

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  3. With $600 bucks on the line, i want to be careful. i have broken enough screens so i am always worrying about such things. just my internal pessimist taking over.

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  4. I agree with PXLated. Come on people, Steve Jobs works with a guy who knows a lot about industrial design and his name is Jonathan Ive. Does anyone really believe that Ive and his team have not learned from the plastics material used in iPods, and that they have not studied material sciences? Especially with Apple’s future banking in part on iPhone? Pullleeeezzze!

    Note: if Nokia’s N800 has a touchscreen then why has the world not heard about it in a big way? Nokia at one time had the attention of the world with the movie The Saint when Val Kilmer was using the Nokia 9000 (remember that brick?).

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  5. coleman

    the n800 shipments are not that meaningful, and secondly, the impact is on wireless phone business. of course, there are others who have touch screens out in the business. many windows mobile and palm phones for instance.

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  6. I just read an investors report about Balda, the company maiking these screens for the iPhone. It said that this glass-surfaced screen for the iPhone is more durable, far more sensitive and thinner while also harder to scratch or smudge than plastic displays.

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  7. I’d like to hope that the glass is near-bullet proof. But I also know how many times folks have complained about dropped MacBooks that Apple charges a fortune to repair, or how easily scratched the iPods can be (yes, I know that’s the reason why the case is glass instead of plastic).

    I don’t expect the iPhone to be crystal delicate, but it would be nice if Apple mentioned just how durable this glass is considering the fact that they don’t offer an extended warranty that covers accidental damage.

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  8. There are several reasons for switching to glass from plastic:

    1. More resistant to scratches. Scratches can mean degraded touch screen accuracy. And ruin a beautiful phone.

    2. Glass has better touch screen performance than plastic in terms of tactile sensitivity.

    3. The iPhone’s case is metallic, which provides a very rigid support for a glass panel. If properly supported, it won’t break any easier than plastic when compressed. If you drop it…well, then all sorts of things can break besides the plastic.

    I would take care of this phone just the same as with any other $500+ device…don’t drop it, don’t wipe it with sand, don’t sit on it. Do people expect the iPhone (or the Nokia N95 for that matter) to survive heavy use? The failure modes may be different, but they are probably both just as fragile. Remember, the N95 has moving parts :)

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  9. When Apple says glass, I think it’s referring to it’s cubit zirconia patent. See here:

    http://hrmpf.com/wordpress/102/radio-transparent-zirconia-iphone

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  10. Hmmm. Apple may not offer an extended warranty but I bet AT&T will.
    Last time I got a phone there (3 months ago) they put on a full court press trying to get me to buy “insurance” on the phone.

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