Stumbled on a few interesting reports mentioning an iphone clone done for the chinese market and ended finding out more about the "MiniOne"

This smallish device seems a very nifty piece of hardware for little over $260 when it comes to functionality - but enough talk, here are some pics and specs:

P168 vs iphone

MiniOne vs Iphone

There are many, no doubt, who are going to take one look at the miniOne and label it an iPhone clone. Nothing could be further from the truth. There have been talk about phones with this formfactor for quite some time now. Witness the LG KE850 (aka the Prada phone) which was introduced to the world last year and has been on the market for several months now. Technically, that would make both the iPhone and the miniOne clones; if you were the childish type who labels thing such. At the end of the day, there can be little doubt that miniOne trumps both the Prada and the iPhone in most of the places where it counts. The miniOne has one of the most robust feature sets of any cellphone that I have seen in quite some time. Pretty much, if you want it on your phone, the miniOne has it - and then some. Without a lot of the proprietary lockouts that are featured in some smartphones.

And then there is the matter of price. Conventional wisdom would suggest that the phone with the best features would cost the most. Well apparently not when it comes to cellphones any longer. The miniOne costs hundreds less than either Prada or iPhone. LG has MSRPed the Prada at a whopping $800. Ouch! That's sticker shock you're feeling right now. The bulk of this, no doubt, is just buying into the Prada name. We know how these things go, Reeboks cost more than New Balance shoes despite the fact that New Balance makes better shoes . . . but then NBA stars don't do endorement deals for New Balance either. Well the same pratice is now hitting mobile phone landscape. And Apple is not about to get left out of this action either. Apple realizes their name brand counts for something monetary, and so are charging a whopping $500 to $600 for the privilage to own an underpowered smartphone . . . that's $500 to $600 with a two year contract to tether you to AT&T Wireless, that is. That sound you're hearing is a groan. It's coming from you, and have not yet realized that you are groaning.

How does the miniOne stack up against the competition in pricing? There are two models of miniOne: the 4GB model and the 16GB model. Both are unlocked and are free to use with any GSM network of your chosing. The 4GB model is MSRPed for $260 and the 16GB model is MSRPed at $450 - that's it. And neither comes with anything remotely like a contract. When you consider how much proven technology is under the hood, even the $450 model is a damned good purchase; especially with no contracts attached.

One other note in the miniOne vs. iPhone debate, is the operating systems. I am not the biggest Microsoft fan when it comes to OS, but at least Microsoft is smart enough to open up Windows Mobile to allow for 3rd party and homebrew software development. As a result, there is so much awesome software out there for the platform.

On the flipside, word from Apple is they have no intentions of opening up OSX for iPhone. They may allow 3rd party software, but they have no intentions of ever allowing homebrew and open source software to appear on the device. I know this is a complete 180 from where Apple usually seems to stand; for those of you who are familiar with the company. But apparently they want to treat the iPhone very much as an extension of the iPod franchise, which means, no homebrew/opensource for iPhone - ever. When you think about all the software and games and mods and emus that are out there right now that are being enjoyed by smartphone users the world over on JAVA, BREW, linux, Symbian and Windows-based smartphones (amoung other various smartphone platforms), Apple's desire to keep all that wealth of goodness from it's customers is a bit of a slap in the face, not to mention a major step in a decidedly wrong direction.

So sleek formfactor guaranteed to make you the center of conversation at any social gathering, more advanced features than you can shake a stick at built on an array of proven technologies, a robust 3rd party/home brew/open source software development community, no proprietary lock outs, and an offordable pricing structure with no contracts. Really, what more is there when it comes to extra features for a smartphone?

Another reason to avoid macs.. whistling.gif