While traveling, I have been playing with the devices in my bag: an iPhone 3G, a BlackBerry Curve, a Palm Pre, a Palm Windows Mobile and a G1 Android (I know, my bag is heavy and the guy at the security looking at the X-ray always smiles...).
What I was paying attention to was speed. Not really speed in the network (not always dependent on the device, but mostly up to the carrier), just speed in launching an app, moving from one app to another, going through a long list of emails and the like.
Speed as in making-my-life-easier-while-on-the-move speed.
I always felt my Windows Mobile was slow, and it is. In particular, when you open a bunch of apps. But at least you can kill them (it requires geek skills).
The Curve is ok, although it stops once in a while for no reason. Pretty good on email, I have to say, but beyond it... it starts coughing. And I am never sure if I actually closed an app or not.
I have to say I forgot that Android was fast. It is, faster than anything else I tried. Much faster than the iPhone 3G I have, even if the iPhone does not support multitasking (mono-tasking should make it a lot faster than anything multitasking).
Lastly, the Pre is not up to par. The apps start slowly, the email client has problems handling my vast IMAP server content. It works, the GUI is beautiful, but it is not fast. It is like the first iPhone, but now with multitasking (big difference). I would say the Palm Pre is a very good start on speed, but it is just a start.
Introducing the iPhone 3G S... where S stands for speed. Apple is trailing Palm on the UI now, so they switched the focus on something else. They built a device that is super snappy. Not supporting multitasking makes it much easier, but the user might not notice it. You will sit close to your friend, he will take a picture in a second, you will be still waiting for your camera to show up. Same for calendar, email and so on.
It is very smart marketing. The iPhone 3.0 is a catch-up operating system (yes, I have seen cut and paste and MMS in other phones before...). The iPhone 3G S is a catch-up phone (yes, I have seen 3 megapixel camera on phones before...) but it is fast. Faster than anything else. Faster than the Pre.
It is the new bar set by Apple. You can catch us on features (and maybe pass us) but look at our speed. We are faster. Now catch up with us on that, while we innovate on something else ;-)