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How does the original iPhone compare to the Palm Treo 750, Motorola Q, and Blackberry Pearl models available at the time of its introduction?
Please note that this Q&A compares the original iPhone as shipped on June 29, 2007 to three other mobile phones available at the time and is quite useful for historical reference. On March 6, 2008, Apple unveiled a formal SDK for third-party application development, push e-mail and Microsoft Exchange support, perhaps eliminating the biggest obstacles for business use.
On first glance, the iPhone, Palm Treo 750, Motorola Q, and Blackberry Pearl seem to have a great deal in common. Each "smartphone" offers a great deal more than the ability to make phone calls -- including organizer functions, a web browser, "push" e-mail, a camera, and more.
However, after digging through the respective information pages for the Palm Treo 750, Motorola Q, and Blackberry Pearl, it becomes clear that these "smartphones" are targeted more to business users than the iPhone.
Photo Credit: Palm, Motorola, RIM (Left to Right, Not to Scale)
The Palm, Motorola, and Blackberry each support the ability to read Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files, if not edit these files as well. Additionally, all three support connectivity with Outlook and Exchange. As originally announced on January 9, 2007, the iPhone was not anticipated to offer Office support, but on June 22, 2007, Apple posted a Guided Tour which explicitly mentioned that the iPhone allows one to read, but not edit, Microsoft Word and Excel files (on March 6, 2008, Apple announced that version 2.0 of the software would support reading PowerPoint files as well).
The iPhone -- in addition to a generally more advanced interface -- has wi-fi support (which the other phones lack), a much larger and higher resolution display (3.5 inch with 320x480 resolution at 160 ppi) and substantially more storage for music, video, and photos.
The Palm, Motorola, and Blackberry devices each support multimedia playback as well, but internal storage is limited. All three have expansion slots for greater capacity, whereas the iPhone does not. Nevertheless, even with an expansion card, the Palm, Motorola, and Blackberry cannot match the amount of simultaneously available storage provided by the iPhone.
There are a number of differences between the Apple iPhone, Palm Treo 750, Motorola Q, and Blackberry Pearl which have been summarized in this handy chart for your convenience:
|iPhone||Treo 750||Moto Q||Pearl|
|OS:||OS X||Win Mobile†||Win Mobile†||Blackberry|
|Cell Data:||EDGE||3G/EDGE||EV-DO (3G)||EDGE|
|Office:||View Only§||Yes||View Only||Yes|
|Storage:||4, 8 GB||60 MB||60 MB||64 MB|
|Talk Time:||8 Hours||4 Hours||4 Hours||3.5 Hours|
|Standby Time:||250 Hours||250 Hours||212 Hours||360 Hours|
|Camera:||2.0 MP||1.3 MP||1.3 MP||1.3 MP|
|Height x Width:||4.5 x 2.4 in.||4.4 x 2.3 in.||4.33 x 2.52 in.||4.2 x 2.0 in.|
|Depth:||0.46 in.||0.8 in.||0.45 in.||0.5 in.|
|Weight:||4.8 oz.||5.4 oz.||4.06 oz.||3.1 oz.|
|Original Price*:||US$499, $599**||US$399||US$199||US$199|
* All prices were subsidized by a multi-year contract with a wireless carrier in the United States.
** This is the original price of the Apple iPhone. On September 5, 2007, Apple discontinued the 4 GB model and dropped the price of the 8 GB model to US$399. On February 5, 2008, Apple introduced a 16 GB configuration for US$499.
§ As originally shipped on June 29, 2007, the iPhone allowed one to read, but not edit, Microsoft Word and Excel files. It did not support PowerPoint.
† The Palm Treo 750 runs Windows Mobile 5 for Pocket PCs, the Motorola Q runs Windows Mobile 5 for Smartphones.
†† High resolution 3.5 inch display (320x480 at 160 ppi).
Also see: What are the "pros and cons" of the original iPhone (1st Gen)?