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Wednesday January 17 12:00 AM ET

Smartphone Showdown
Apple iPhone vs. Palm Treo

By Brian Briggs

Other tech sites will bore you with in-depth "technical details" and performance specs in their product analysis.  At BBspot we pull back from the boring benchmarks to compare the superficialities, and we do it all on a single page.

Apple made a splash at MacWorld with its iPhone announcement, but how does the iPhone stack up against other established smartphones? We haven't had our hands on either device, but that hasn't stopped us from passing judgment before. Read on and find out who won this showdown.

Names

iPhoneiPhone - iMac, iLife, iPod and now iPhone? I understand the need to have a consistent brand, but couldn't a company as creative as Apple come up with a better name than this?

Treo - With a name like Treo I'm not sure what to expect. Is it a musical group? A menu special at TGIFriday's? Three wise men?

Advantage - iPhone (at least I know what it is)

Domain Names

iPhoneiPhone.com - First they don't have the trademark to "iPhone," now they don't even have the domain name? Talk about preparation. At least it goes to a phone site.

treo.com - Redirects to Pfizer's site in Swedish. Not even a picture of a phone on that site.

Advantage - iPhone

Terrorist Watchlist

Which phone is on the terrorist watchlist?

iPhone - No

Treo - No

Advantage - Tie

Google Fights

The best two out of three wins...

The iphone is the coolest - 527,000 results

The treo is the coolest - 317,000 results

A simple battle won by the iPhone. No surprise there really.

Winner: iPhone

The iPhone is nothing but hype - 303,000

The Treo is nothing but hype - 129,000

The iPhone may be the coolest, but it could just be all hype.

Winner: Treo

TreoIf I were stranded on an island I could burn my iPhone to keep the wolves at bay - 162

If I were stranded on an island I could burn my Treo to keep the wolves at bay - 324

Winner: Treo

Advantage: Treo

Marketing Pitch

Marketing pitches are annoying, which smartphone's pitch is the most annoying?

iPhone - The iPhone is "revolutionary" and "pioneering" and it "ushers in an era of software power and sophistication never before seen in a mobile device, completely redefining what you can do on a mobile phone. "

iPhoneTreo - The Treo "delivers everything you need... at blazing fast broadband-like speeds." And "with this user friendly solution in hand, you can stay connected and productive on your terms."

It's BS to the extreme in both cases, but "broadband-like?" What the hell does that mean?

Advantage: iPhone

Most Likely to Appear as an Animated Character in the Next Pixar Film

iPhoneiPhone - With Steve Jobs at the head and the next film entitled "A Smartphone's Journey," I think we'll be seeing iPhoney the Wonderdevice, before Treo the scruffy but lovable three-headed flight attendant.

Treo - No chance.

Advantage: iPhone

Virtual Coin Flip - Best of 11

The virtual coin flipper was used at random.org. I chose the Colombian 500 pesos coin.

TreoiPod - Heads

Zune - Tails

Results: H-T-T-H-T-H-T-T-T-T-T

Advantage: Treo

Conclusions

The iPhone lives up to the hype and beats out the Treo 4-2 with one tie and wins our Technical Award of Excellence.

See our other showdowns.

iPod Vs. Zune

Firefox Vs. Internet Explorer

Bush Vs. Kerry

Radeon X800 Vs. GeFORCE 6800

and

Windows 2000 Vs. Linux

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