The Real Reason No Current Phone Can Kill The iPhone

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By: Hillel Fuld

If you have been paying attention, you surely know by now that the competition between the major mobile contenders will be won by the player who offers the best software experience. I have written about this on many occasions, so I will not go into it again, but let’s just say that razer thin does not matter anymore, what matters is the user experience, the operating system, and most importantly the quantity and quality of the available apps.

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Let’s focus on the last part, the apps. I am not even going to compare the iPhone’s 100,000+ apps to the Android’s 10,000 because it has all been said before. What I am going to talk about is the number of apps that you can install on your Android device or BlackBerry device compared to that number on the iPhone. This number, in my opinion, is the last word in the saga called “iPhone Killers”. Right now, with the given configurations of the various mobile phones, no one device can even be considered for the title “iPhone Killer”, and  I will tell you why.


As you know, I use a BlackBerry Bold as my primary mobile device, and I love it. However, there is one major flaw with its software design, and that is the application memory. This flagship RIM device with its 1GB on board storage, and support for 16GB memory card, can store no more than, are you sitting down? 128MB of applications. The application memory is separate from the other storage and the apps cannot be installed on a memory card. So, what ends up happening is that I download an app, use it, like it, then am forced to delete it! Why? Because between GPS, Twitter, FB, IM, and some other necessary apps (I know I know, I’m a geek), I am left with very little memory for other not so crucial but awesome apps.


How did RIM overlook this flaw? Well, don’t worry RIM, don’t feel bad, another small company called Google are guilty of the same crime. Android phones, including the amazing Droid, allow up to 256MB of apps on the device. Same deal, although rumor has it, this is being solved by the corporate giant.


Now, Apple on the other hand, does not forget such “small” details in their devices. You can install as many apps as your want, the only limitation is the iPhone’s storage capacity or 9 home screens of apps. Either way, we are talking a lot more than 128 or 256MB of apps. So we got 32GB (or 9 home screens) compared to 256MB? That is what you call an iPhone Killer? How about we agree on an “iPhone Tickler” and leave it at that?


Until there is a phone that offers a user experience (Android is well on its way), multimedia capabilities, and app support like the iPhone’s, no one should even be mentioning the words “iPhone” and “Killer” in the same sentence.

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Hillel Fuld is a global speaker, entrepreneur, journalist, vlogger, and leading startup advisor. He brings over a decade of marketing experience with leading Israeli and Silicon Valley startups, and currently collaborates with many global brands in an official marketing capacity including Google, Oracle, Microsoft, Huawei, and others.      Hillel covers the dynamic local tech scene for many leading publications including Entrepreneur magazine, Inc, TechCrunch, Mashable, The Next Web, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, Venturebeat, and others. Additionally, Hillel mentors startups across Israel in different accelerators including The Google Launchpad, the Microsoft Ventures accelerator, Techstars, The Junction, and more.    Hillel has been named Israel’s top marketer, 7th top tech blogger worldwide, has been featured on CNBC, Inc, and was dubbed by Forbes as “The Man Transforming Startup Nation into Scale-up Nation”.       Hillel has hundreds of thousands of followers across the social web and can be found on Twitter at @Hilzfuld. You can learn more about him on his website:


28 thoughts on “The Real Reason No Current Phone Can Kill The iPhone

  1. Not sure why it wasnt menioned…but ummm the N900…on another note….
    in a way i dont see what the big deal is with apps….i mean for example….if you had the option to buy a car and then had to buy wheels or the option to buy a car with wheels…what would you choose? what im saying is that i personally prefer a device that i dont have to add a gazillion apps to do things…i prefer to have everything i need right out of the box rather than having to add on add on add on……

  2. Thanks for the comments guys. RobertH, I have to say, I completely disagree, and I do not think there was or ever will be a phone with as many apps as I have on my BB or iPod Touch. It is all about freedom and choice of software in my opinion…

  3. I completely agree with hilzfuld about apps being the major sustainable advantage. Not only are there loads of apps but the existence of a single app store by itself revolutionized the mobile market and even more so the casual game market for developers of all sizes.

    RoberH – The iPhone comes on top (or close to) even when you take apps out of the equation. The features other phones sport, while “cute”, are not an absolute necessity and the iPhone brings the old fashioned basic in a very simple and intuitive package, which cant be said about most of its competitors.

    While the new droid won’t be an iPhone killer it’ll probably eliminate windows mobile over time as it’s offered via more providers…

  4. Technically, the iPhone allows you to install unlimited apps – only the first 11 screens show up but you can find the others through search. Yea, as for the guy who doesn’t want apps on his phone – not even sure why’s he’s bothering to get in this discussion, he’s clearly happy with a giant phone from the last century so hey, if you like riding a horse as transportation – great for you.

  5. The nine (9) screen limit for the iPhone disappeared a while back with an OS upgrade. Currently, the only limit is the phone’s memory. I have eleven screens of apps, for example, on an old 3G phone with 8GB of memory.

  6. as much as i like the iPhone (and i am also using the BB Bold as my primary working horse) we need to take a look at the momentum of Android which leads you to the conclusion that 2010 it will be all over the market.
    Open platforms are the key to success and the only advantage of the iPhone is, that it’s available since 2007. Who cares about 100k+ apps when most of them are unused:

    We will have dozen of Android handhelds in the market next year, there is no chance that Apple can compete against it. Let’s face it guys and yes, i love my iPhone but Android is the future

  7. Filiteup said– The iPhone comes on top (or close to) even when you take apps out of the equation. The features other phones sport, while “cute”, are not an absolute necessity and the iPhone brings the old fashioned basic in a very simple and intuitive package, which cant be said about most of its competitors.

    I loved my iPhone, but apps aside, the speakerphone was crap! And couldn’t even send files by bluetooth to my own mac! Had to have an app for that. Not being able to run apps in the background…I had to leave the facebook application on my iPhone open to receive chats. Oh and in the 1st gen-proprietary headphone jack. You need a special tool to remove the sim-card. Can’t swap out a battery, when you travel a lot that is a big help.

    then the apps…Viewing all my emails in one location is also a lot easier on my Droid. One notification area for all apps is great. who wants to scroll through pages of apps to see if one of your apps has a notification. And the 1st gen had-still has no mms.

    and I won’t even get started on AT&T

    all things aside, nothing that ever comes out by anyone will ever be perfect, especially on the first pass. I have already loaded 20 apps on my motoDroid and still have 217mb available. I loved my iPhone, but like any empire, new technology will make it crumble.

  8. lovely hardware, annoying software and ecosystem. the restriction of user freedom and the apple “walled garden” are the real killer of the iphone trademark for me…

  9. The form factor lead that iPhone has will be hard to catch up to…. but Google has the ability to subsidize the efforts of it’s OEM partners by feeding ad revenues back in, in a way that Apple will have a hard time keeping up with. Google does not make devices, they sell advertising and are the largest and most-successful ad sales machine in the world. Free turn by turn nav from Google has ROCKED the LBS world and is only the beginning. I do no think it’s a stretch to imagine Google actually GIVING the phones away for free, with subsidized carrier plans, to enable the armies of millions to go about their daily lives while their phones get smarter and smarter and deliver services and offers and the locations of what they want when they want it, via behavioral advertising algorithm opt-in. Free email was unheard of not too long ago. As was a Google phone. As were Google-owned maps. For those who scream big brother privacy fears, ask how many of them use a gmail account and love it and how many love the Google maps on their iPhone. Do they notice the ads on either or mind? Unlikely.

  10. You’re focusing on such a minor aspect of a phone. Do you seriously think that that average user cares about whether they have 128MB, 256MB, or 16GB of storage for apps? A small fraction of power users will care, but this is a very minor policy (not technical) detail that can be easily changed in a software update. Why not focus on more important and fundamental technical issues with phones, such as multitasking?

  11. What about the new Froyo update for android letting users put apps on an sd card letting you have multiple sd cards full of apps? Would, by your logic that make new android phones android killers?

  12. sorry for being aggressive, but i really hate it when iPhone fanatics go on and on about how its the “top” device. But to be honest, it really does lack so many fundamental features that every digital device should have.

    It comes down the the filesystem of iPhone. Each app creates its own private environment. So apps do not really have direct access to the iPhone filesystem. They each make their own filesystems for whatever purpose they need.

    To have different apps using similar files, the two apps need to communicate together. Cannot just access the same file on the iphone, because the filesystem between apps is private.
    Some people i have talked to love this concept, but its only good for small scale mobile apps.
    Since smartphones are kind of replacing laptops (to some extent) i think a standard desktop-style filesystem is so much better. more power, more freedom for developing.

    Also I just hate Apple. They don’t encourage innovation, they only encourage money.
    I think the only thing apple did that wasn’t ripped off from some other company is putting a capacitive touch screen on a smartphone. (they probably weren’t the first to do that either, but i cannot find the first product.)

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