iPhone 4G still the smartphone benchmark, but Android appeal is growing

The deluge of news and comment covering the new iPhone 4G indicates that Apple has, once again, been able to outsmart the lumbering competition.

One industry commentator, Adam Leach, at the market research firm Ovum, said: "In three short years the iPhone has become the industry benchmark for high-end smartphones and the fourth generation device will only reinforce this view."

Leach believes that the success of the iPhone is down to a number of interrelated factors.

Firstly, Apple has created a device with a genuinely unique user experience, and one that consumers still find engaging and easy to use. Secondly, Apple has wrapped this user experience into a well designed and sleek form factor. Thirdly, the company has created an end-to-end platform that integrates Apple's own services (e.g. iTunes) as well as third party services onto the device (through the hugely successful App Store).

But Leach warns that the iPhone 4G does face stiffer competition than its predecessors. The rise of Google's Android platform over the last two years has been phenomenal and is allowing manufacturers to create appealing alternatives to the iPhone; critically, at cheaper prices. Article