Having watched the iPhone 4S announcement, it’s clear to me that Apple is unmatched in overall phone quality for most people: designing everything from the processor silicon, to the camera lens, to the app ecosystem puts them in a class of their own.
The only hope for competitors to make a better phone is to concentrate on niche markets: Geeks who want full control of their phones have the Google Nexus line. Some will swear by their physical keyboards, integration with proprietary cloud apps, or their enterprise-secured OS.
But if your needs are like those of most of us, no matter your budget, there is nothing out there that, on a whole, beats an iPhone.
(Before anyone accuses me of fanboy bias: this post was written from an Android phone, and I have no idea what I will buy next. I’m in that geek niche where there is still a heated competition.)