I was going over the things that are actually new with the iPhone, and the only thing I could come up with was that it has a touch screen as the primary interface (which is cool!).
I was looking at comparing iPhone and Windows CE but someone beat me to the punch. I think there is an alpha geek somewhere that is just deciding what becomes the next big thing, regardless of what exists. I am not sure who decides what is cool these days but the CE has been boasting these capabilities in small mobile devices for a while, it seems to me that marketing, and primarily, hype is even more relevant than the product itself.
Until I watched this video I honestly thought that the iPhone represented a paradigm shift in mobile devices. It is an improvement to be sure but is it changing the course of tech history? If the hype is to believed, then yes.
"There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about." - Oscar Wilde