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TheStreet Open House

5 Big Blemishes for the Apple iPhone 4

No.5: A skimpy camera

As smartphone challengers like HTC, Motorola (MOT) and Nokia (NOK) embrace the megapixel race with 8-megapixel and 12-megapixel cameras, Apple's new iPhone keeps it cheap with a 5-megapixel model.

This will be a bigger point of contention this week when Verizon (VZ) and Motorola unveil the Droid X Wednesday, the newest Google (AAPL) Android phone, which features an 8-megapixel camera. Android phone giant HTC has also been generous with 8-megapixel cameras in its Droid Incredible and Sprint's (S) EVO.

Meanwhile, Apple, always the laggard in cameras, won't enter the 8-megapixel class until next year when it debuts a sweet Sony (SNE) camera in its 2011 iPhone. But by then, who knows where the rest of the pack will be?

No. 4: No Swype

If you've seen Swype or used it, you know why this omission makes the list. Typing on a touchscreen is a challenge as the flat glass surface offers few clues to where your fat fingers are precisely making contact. It's an error-prone process that gives one a longing for the raised keys of the BlackBerry keyboard from Research In Motion (RIMM).

But the Swype keypad software helps tame the new medium. Swype follows the pattern of your finger movements to type words or predict words without the usual hunting and pecking.

Apple did wonders with the touchscreen, but Swype makes it more useful for those among us who like to type.

No.3: Video calling

Okay, it's not totally bait and switch, but Apple's hot new iPhone video calling feature, FaceTime, comes with lots of asterisks and a limited applicability.

Say you want to video chat with someone using the Apple iPhone 4. That someone has to have a WiFi connection and he has to use the same application on his own iPhone 4. You're looking at a small club of people -- not exactly an application of global Skype-like proportions.

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