Better comparisons can be drawn once the Instinct is released, but I can comment based on what I know about each…
1. Instinct is slated to support Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync on day one — how Apply and iPhone could avoid this for so long is amazing to me, but I am glad to hear that even they plan to support Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync this summer
2. Instinct supports faster broadband speeds than iPhone (again, iPhone is coming out with a new version this year that supports similar speeds)
3. Instinct is being released on Sprint (and I’m not sure when they plan to release on any other network). I really dislike the idea of a phone only being available on one network. I hope Instinct does not pigeon-hole into Sprint for too long.
4. iPhone is releasing an SDK. Instinct programs are written with Java BREW. I guess we will see how many useful applications will be written for each in time. I assume iPhone will get the advantage on this because of the simple fact that it currently has so many more users.
5. iPhone incorporates all the iPod features. I don’t have/use an iPod, but so many people do and there is a distinct advantage in combining the most popular music and video solution into the phone as a single device.
6. Apple has marketing prowess and a general sexiness factor that Samsung can do almost nothing to compete with. I really like Samsung products (like their gorgeous LCD monitors), but I don’t see the overall market share tilting a great deal regardless of how compelling the phone features prove to be.
I am hopeful that the Samsung Instinct will be a viable competitor to the iPhone since healthy competition is only good for us consumers. As I mentioned, I don’t think the market share for this kind of device will shift too far away from Apple (reference the history of the iPod and the many viable competitors that came out before/after it), and this will be a large factor that continues to lands in Apple’s (and the iPhone’s) favor. Besides, in this case, Apple has quite a bit of time ahead of all other devices in this arena and the multi-touch was real innovation that was brought to the table (and it worked perfectly from the day it hit the shelves).
Apple has proven to innovate at a rate and with a quality better than others, but this, combined with their lead time and market share will make it very difficult for any other company or product to make a real dent. Of course, I remember another product (Palm Treo) that was considered the de facto standard “smart phone” in somewhat recent history; so I look forward to allowing our world’s business, marketing, and technology surprise me as soon as possible.
Hmmmmmm…maybe the oPhone will do it…