The iPhone is the most popular and well-specified smart phone in the world. Like it or not, Apple knows how to make a product that's simple to use and well-loved by consumers. And where Apple goes, everyone else will soon follow -- as soon as the iPhone gained traction, Google announced its Android platform and Palm started work on the Pre.
These are the forefront of a new breed of mobile devices that put consumer-friendly customisation and Web connectivity to the fore, leaving Symbian and Windows trailing in their wake. We don't think the hardware is what makes these handsets leaders in their field, because each phone has a capacitive touchscreen, 3G and all the other bells and whistles. More than ever, the software driving them is the most important aspect of their user experiences.
To decide which was best, we borrowed an HTC Hero (currently the best Android phone), an iPhone 3GS and the UK version of the Palm Pre, and we used them until we could decide which did what better. But will there be a winner? Will one phone -- and its OS -- reign supreme?