Can we please stop with the “[insert device name here]-killer” junk?

I’ve been following the coverage of CES casually – and if you’ve been doing the same (to any degree really) I’m sure you’ve heard about the Palm Pre.

This thing looks awesome. Some of the people who designed the iPhone have worked on it, and the device looks like an amazing mobile handset. I’m excited about it. I can’t wait to see what Palm does with this thing, and I also can’t wait to see how the iPhone OS evolves this year in response to it.

Whenever we see a device like the Palm Pre, or Google Android, we should all be very excited. Whether you love the iPhone, or prefer one of these other options, it’s great to see some serious, and interesting, competition on the market.

What I really hate, though, is all the talk of the “[insert name of device here]-killer”. We’ve all heard the term “iPhone-killer”, but now some are already spouting that HTC is going to release an “iPhone and Pre-killer”.

That’s just stupid.

None of these devices are going to “kill” one another – so can we please just grow up and talk about them for what they are? I mean, who goes around talking about a “PC-killer” or a “Mac-killer”. This is a term that I’ve seen mostly applied to the mobile space (including iPods)- and I can’t for the life of me figure out why people use it.

There will never be “one device to rule them all”. People will embrace competition in this market as long as their are innovators. With the iPod, we never really saw any true innovation that created an iPod rival, until years after the device had been on the market.

With the iPhone, however, the industry is reacting much faster, and creating some truly exciting devices. None of which will “kill” each other.

So I say we stop embracing this absurd terminology.

What do you think?


Comments

  1. I agree.

    How many products have been codenamed “iPod Killer?” (The Zune and a Creative model come to mind.) I’ve yet to see the iPod be “killed.” It just makes a company look stupid when they say they are going to smash their competitor, who has HUGE marketshare, and then of course fail to do.

    And don’t get me started on individuals calling everything a “[insert device] killer…”

  2. Rick O'Neil says:

    If we were to indulge in the concept an “iPhone killer”… I’m just going to go out on a limb and say the iPhone is invincible. I can’t even imagine another phone coming close. But thats just me.
    (I may be biased)

  3. Let’s use the Palm Pre and the Apple iPhone, just for example. I wouldn’t say that people think the Pre will actually “kill” the iPhone and put it out of business, my understanding of saying that the Pre will be an “iPhone Killer” means that overall, the Pre will be a better phone than the iPhone.

    No phone will “kill” or take another phone off the market. The Pre will only available for Sprint at the time of release and the iPhone is only available for AT&T right now. Neither phone can kill one another due to the fact that they are on separate carriers. Sure if they were on the same carrier, sales could be compared to one another, but pricing and contract pricing per device would also have to be taken into account. Also, there are definitely big fan followings of both devices; the Apple crowd, the Palm crowd, the Blackberry crowd, etc. Take me for example, I currently use a Palm Treo 755p on Sprint. I would LOVE to have an iPhone, but I don’t have AT&T and what I pay with Sprint is such a good deal, I don’t want to leave it. So, it kinda goes without saying that I’m excited for the Palm Pre to come out for Sprint. Something iPhone like with its own take on things and a combination of what works well on other phones. I wouldn’t call myself a Palm fanboy as much as I would call myself an Apple fanboy, but I can only have so much.

    Since the Palm Pre isn’t even out yet and I haven’t played with it myself, I can just go off of what has been released about it so far. If comparing it to iPhone, the network is superior, Sprint’s EVDO Rev. A is much faster than AT&T’s 3G network, the camera/camcorder is 3MP compared to iPhone’s 2MP camera only, the ability to run multiple apps concurrently is something iPhone doesn’t have, and wireless charging is definitely a cool feature. The iPhone has the ease of use and simplicity going for it, the backing of the App Store and seamless integration with iTunes, and multiple storage capacities available. The superiority of physical vs. software keyboard is debatable. I definitely like the physical keyboard on my Treo but using the software keyboard on my iPod Touch with the auto correction feature is also quite quick. Overall, I’m excited for the Pre to come out, mainly because I can have a cool-looking, full featured, iPhone-like phone, but also because it will drive competition upward and hopefully create better Apple, HTC, and RIM products as well.

  4. definitely agree. what we have seen so far are instead either (a) attempted “knock offs” (copies) of the iPhone, or (b) … what else?

    the iPhone itself is the only “killer” out there – a disruptive new product that makes something/everything else obsolete or marginal. it “killed” every variety of “smartphone” that existed in 2007. then in 2008 its App Store “killed” the old high-priced mobile application setup, which is now in its death throes.

    we’ll see who kills what in 2009.

  5. Thank you, Michael.
    It would seem that other columnists aren’t smart enough, or are too lazy, to think of terms like “competitor” or “rival” and don’t seem to know how to use a thesaurus…

  6. vito positano says:

    No, it does not look “awesome” at all. However, its external shape is reminiscent of one of those black rubber-like Verizon phone from the very early 21st C.

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