Quick Edit | The iPhone’s long shadow

Quick Edit | The iPhone’s long shadow

Looking back at the progress of smartphones since Apple entered the fray in 2007, what if tech historians view this era as just a set of footnotes to the iPhone? One way or the other, every product launched since has had the iPhone in mind.

Seeing what the iPhone did for Apple, Google introduced its own phone, Nexus One, last month. At Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress this week, it was Microsoft’s turn to showcase a new operating system for phones: Windows 7.

Painfully aware that it has lost market share since 2007, Microsoft is trying to claw back. As is Nokia, which is collaborating with Intel on a software platform called MeeGo for mobile devices.

These competitors should realize that merely adding one more feature from what the iPhone has won’t work. Perhaps they do: Early reports suggest a fundamental redesign and rethink on the part of Microsoft, Nokia and Intel.

Then again, that’s exactly what the iPhone was—a unique blend of hardware, software, interface and marketing that fundamentally altered the market. Can we have another fundamental change so soon?

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