There's a difference between a rant and a tantrum. Ewan McLeod of SMS Text News says he's writing a diatribe about, and shunning, Nokia but he's actually stamping his feet and tossing all his toys out of the cot because his big sister got a shinier newer knickknack. One quote from the argument says everything about his persecuted mentality -
"There’s a raft of issues with iPhone, I know. Keyboard typing? I wonder. Non-replaceable battery? Strange. Greasy finger prints all over the screen? Heh. The ‘issues’ not withstanding, the device works nicely. NON mobile phone users can understand it and use it."
Huh? What country is this guy living in? I'm living in Ireland and can only think of one relative who is a NON mobile phone user - an 80 year old aunt. And I can guarantee you she's no more likely to grok an Apple iPhone than she is to rewrite the Linux kernel. In fact, what percentage of non mobile phone users do you know who'd ever want to do anything other than make and a receive a call anyway?
Truth be told this kind of flawed argument highlights a generation gap between those who grew up with electronics all around them and those who didn't. My nephew is a regular (read: non geek) teenager who loves playing rugby as much as with his Nintendo Wii. Yet he changes his mobile nearly every year with no loyalty to any particular brand (it's all about fashion, not UIs). He's gone from Sony Ericsson to Nokia to Samsung in the last few years. And I've never once heard him grumble about the user interface on any phone. Why? Because his generation have a DIY mentality when it comes to electronics - they've been showing their parents for years how to set the VCR, program the microwave and add contacts to their mobile address books. They don't need to be spoon fed or instructed to RTFM. They just do what kids are good at - push all the buttons and see what happens.
My first phone was an Ericsson (pre Sony), then I had two Nokias and now I'm using a Sony Ericsson P1i. Sure it took me a while to get my head around the touchscreen UI having been institutionalized by the Series 60s interface for a few years. All of about two days I'd say. Of course my advantage was that Bernie deliberately withheld the manual when loaning it to me so I just had to push all the buttons and see what happened. It works for teenagers and it works for me.
From all the demos I've seen (and I've seen alot) Apple's iPhone UI looks incredibly sexy but is the equivalent of a doting parent, a hand holding paranoid that steps you through 40% of what you need to do on a mobile but makes it difficult for you to, er, experiment, with the other 60%. Apple is clearly a first time parent, and doesn't want it's kids to grow up.
Nokia and SonyEricsson on the other hand have been through it all before and treat their customers as intelligent adults by giving them the freedom to 'access all areas'. They may fall down the stairs or burn a finger in the fire but such accidents are a catalyst to maturity. And independence.
Apple has basically pulled off that wonderful trick of making a sow's ear look like a silk purse. While Nokia et al still struggle to present their race horses as anything other than donkeys. But you can keep the pig (with lipstick), I'll take the donkey.