I'm curious, are you still on the same device?
I think that the revolutionary change that Apple brings to this situation is the accessibility. For Palm, and WinMob, a PC was usually necessary to install new applications. (Not sure about BlackBerry, Symbian, or the other common Phone OS environments.)
For an iPhone user it's 2 taps and maybe a password, and boom, there's your app. Microsoft has obviously seen what this means for users; they have an app store coming. Google made it a launch feature for Android too, and IIRC even Nokia will be getting into the act for Symbian.
IMO The current crop at 1024x600 is useable, if not ideal. Like the OP implied, if I have to do anything resembling heavy lifting, I'll tether my phone to my Aspire One, and do the job from a "real" machine. Much like how my phone is always at my hip when I leave the house, the A1 is small enough that I usually just grab it on the way out of the house and toss it in the back seat of the car, just-in-case. (And in lieu of my much larger, but much more capable ASUS notebook.)
But 90% of my mobile web use is fine from the phone itself. The A1 still isn't really usable standing upright, or any place where I can't locate a surface on which to place it.
Ya know, a 15 inch screen sure is nice when I've got a place to sit. And yeah, it does provide a nicer browsing experience than my little WinMob phone.
But firing up my notebook is not at all as convenient or quick for doing a quick price check, whipping off a one or two line e-mail, checking a quick headline, checking movie showtimes, or doing a restaurant search. Even given Opera for WinMob's slower render times (to speak nothing of Pocket IE which is slower, or Safari which appears to be significantly faster) I can still get most MOBILE tasks done in less time than it takes your typical notebook PC to finish boot device detection.
Apple users might get there quicker from sleep with a macbook, and I know how much y'all love your macs, but even the staunchest of fanboys isn't gonna lug around a 2lb air where an 8oz iPhone would do the job. More to the point, the macbook isn't a constantly connected device either; it'll need a data card or wifi to get there.
Different needs, different users. iPhone users obviously value portability over browser experience. (Being a longtime WinMob user, I don't necessarily agree with the device choice, but I agree with the sentiment...)
But hey, thanks for assuming that our mobile data needs and wants are nothing more than "ooh shiny thing."
Never heard of blackface?
But seriously, wasn't there a Fox show about just this sort of "Racial Trading Places" kinda thing recently?
Somebody please mod the parent up?
Several fundamental differences:
- DS apps cost a heck of a lot more than your typical iPhone app. Perceived value alone will account for more usage of most DS games.
- DS apps can be traded in for credit, or even returned to some retailers if sub-par. AFAIK you can't do that with the appstore.
- Barring signal range, the iPhone is constantly connected. The DS needs wifi to get online. (Yes, iTouch, blah blah...) Since it's so easy to get AppStore products, the perceived investment is lower.
All that aside, this might also just indicate your taste in gaming. I own all of the current and previous generation of consoles, and more than a smattering of handheld devices, including a DSLite, and an iPod Touch. And I can say in all truthfulness that when it comes to hours spent gaming per console, I've spent more time gaming on my DSLite than I have on all the other systems.
I'd be able to say all the other systems COMBINED, but the number is skewed...
The DS offers just the right combo of portable convenience and depth to its gaming that it wins my attention. Most of the iPhone games I've tried have been just a little to lite for my tastes.
Now all that said, if Nintendo has proven anything with it's Wii, it's that there's quite an audience of people who like to play lighter, more casual fare. Apple is doing a great job of capturing large swaths of that market. IMHO, these are also folks who are just as likely to move right on to the next neat game. (That's merely my observation, not an indictment or accusation.) And if so, so what?
Apple has been paid. The developer has been paid. The user received the application. By my standards, this is the best possible conclusion!
All the reports I've been reading on this topic seem to judge this to be a bad thing; I'm not sure it's bad at all, merely a reflection of the tastes of the iPhone community. The parent poster likes his games on PS2, with all the advantages (complexity, control, graphics) that it confers. I prefer a little more meat than the iPhone, but place portability at a premium. iPhone users obviously like things fresh and new.
Isn't it nice that this market is big enough to fill all our needs?