Being the first mover in a field can obviously provide you with a tremendous advantage but only if you get it right. Judging by the response from the rest of the industry, Apple certainly got it right with the iPhone. Decrying the product before it was even released masked a degree of nervousness from the existing handset makers who had seemingly taken their eye off the ball and stopped innovating. Nowadays most smartphones follow the form factor of the iPhone and the result has become patent minefield with companies resorting to sue and countersue.
Palm have suffered badly in recent times, their “iPhone killer” simply hasn’t lived up to scratch. “Killing the iPhone” is a flawed approach and I think Microsoft have been smart enough to realise this with their Windows Phone 7 Series.