Apple vs Nokia is like CompuServe vs the Internet

I’m still certain that I won’t buy an iPhone although I’m as much an Apple geek as the next guy. But a mobile device is only really of use to me if I can freely install additional applications on it.

When I first saw the Palm Pilot 1000 in the 90s, I found it cute, but not until I realized that there’s more software available than Palm delivered with the devide I knew it would improve my life. I decided on the Nokia E61 as my current cell phone because the S60 platform has many applications to choose from. Since it also has WiFi and 3G, the only advantage of the iPhone is its groundbreaking user interface. But to me, that’s not enough to justify spending about 2000 Euro over two years on device and T-Mobile fees.

If I really need another gadget, it will probably be a Nokia internet tablet of the N800 series. The newly released N810 has a great display and a slide-out keyboard. GPS as well as WiFi is built in and if there’s no hotspot available, I can use my E61 as a 3G modem over BlueTooth.

And then there’s the software side again: That it runs Linux gives it endless possibilities of usage. But other than on the iPhone, this platform is open; Nokia doesn’t try to control what may be installed and what not.

Alistair Croll does a good job of pointing out this important difference. He compares the platform strategies of Apple versus Nokia with those of CompuServe versus the open Internet. As I was a CompuServe user until I could get PPP dial-up elsewhere, imagine me nodding heavily now.