"The iPhone wasn’t as good as many of the other phones the likes of Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Motorola were selling to the mobile networks..."
Define good: less functionality for sure, but the user interface, easy of use, quality of construction and the way the whole device just flowed was bordering on the magical at the time, compared to the crud the existing incumbents thought was acceptable. Do you remember just how bad Windows CE was?
Everyone's well and truly caught up now, and some have definitely surpassed Apple; and Apple under Tim Cook no longer has that single-minded vision needed for true greatness. Tim Cook would make a fine COO, but he isn't CEO material, and it shows.
As a long term iOS user, I'm sadly watching it get worse and worse with each software release due to sloppy bolt-ons (the new lock screen and everything that resides on it), ill-thought out UI design (the Music and Maps apps are now beyond terrible for example) and poor quality, buggy coding (everywhere). But the first iPhone was a revolutionary game-changer and it is disingenuous, mean spirited and short-sighted to write otherwise.