let me start this off by saying that I am not any of the following: An Apple Fanboy, android Fanboy, an internet troll with no life. I simply really like technology. In my house I have a Mac desktop (which I’m using to write this) 2 Windows laptops, 2 Android phones, a kindle, an I-pod nano and a partridge in a pear tree. So what did i want from today’s I-phone announcement?
I wanted to be impressed.
See, Apple does some things really well. it’s marketing is genius, it’s I-phone OS is easy enough for my 82 yr old grandmother to use and I-tunes is a solid heavyweight that’s redefined music buying. In 2007 when Apple released the I-phone, they made the first smartphone for the masses. Yeah, Blackberry and Palm had done smartphones for years at this point, but they were aimed a businessmen, not teens and soccer moms. LG had even done a smartphone called the Prada earlier in 2007, and to this day many people will claim Apple got their best ideas from the European only Prada.
But Apple did what those others couldn’t: it made the average American yearn for a phone. Apple enjoyed massive worldwide sales, worldwide acclaim and solidified their spot in pop culture history.
Skip to 2009 when a tiny little company named google released their first Android based phone. It was the Anti I-phone, made for geeks that wanted more freedom from their phones than Apple would allow. The G1 was released on T-mobile, and let’s be honest, no one really got excited. The phone had a ton of promise but it was deeply flawed and underwhelming. But Google was on to something, and Apple really wasn’t paying attention.
Now it’s 2011 and Google is dominating. 56% of all smartphones purchased are now Android based, and Apple is at a head scratching 28%.
So what happened?
It’s Simple. Apple puts out one phone per year, one operating system update per year and you buy it. Simple, to the point. And that system worked great in 2007, 2008 & 2009. But when 2010 hit and Verizon started putting out high-end Android phones, Apple ignored the writing on the wall. See here’s the problem: Apple announces a phone today. tells you all their specs, capabilities and advancements. Tomorrow morning Samsung, Motorola, LG, HTC, Pantech etc..etc.. all hold meetings and put a new Android phone into developement that beats every single spec that Apple announced the day before. Then, while apple is selling one phone for the next year, every other manufacturer forgets about Apple and competes against each other, building better and better Android phones seemingly every day. Now some people are frustrated by this, but this kind of competition in any market is always good for the consumer in the end.
So, getting geeky (er) and using a baseline, Apple really needed to step it up today. Arguably the best two smartphones on the market right now are the Samsung Galaxy S2 and the Motorola Droid Bionic. So they are what I-phone needed to beat. But they didn’t. The best case scenario is that they matched a majority of the features that these phones offer, but gave no definitive edge to the new i-phone. The majority of upgrades were software (99%) and almost every software enhancement announced was a copy of something android has been doing since day one. In addition to that, most of these enhancements will be available for older i-phone models via software upgrade two days before the new phone launches, giving the consumer even less reason to buy. Think I’m alone?
In the hours after the “new” i-phone was announced, Apple stock dropped 5%. ( Source )
And it wasn’t just investors, Twitter was on fire with I-Phone opinions, and they were vastly negative. Just for giggle’s here’s a few of my favorites
“So basically, on my next birthday i’m turning 16s instead of 17?”
“The only new thing in the I-phone 4S is the ‘s’, which clearly stands for suckers”
“Heard you liked the I-Phone 4 so much we released it again. Hey, if Disney can do it with the Lion King…”
“i will be selling “S” stickers to anyone that wants to upgrade their I-phone 4 more cheaply”
“I’m going as the I-Phone $s for Halloween and disappointing everyone by just wearing last years costume”
Now, in all fairness, Apple did put a pretty decent camera on and the Icloud has some nice merits, but once again, they are trying to claim they are revolutionizing the game by putting an ‘I’ in front of the name of a feature that everyone else already has. And that arrogance is going to continue to be their downfall. Because in three months there will be four new android phones with specs that blow the I-Phone 4S away, and when next year comes and apple announces their next phone, will as many people care? We’ll see if Googles future 75% market share finally knocks the chip off Apples shoulder.
Lastly here’s a funny little video about how Apple revolutionizes everything they do