I bought a new phone a few weeks ago, my first smart phone. I toyed with the idea for a long time and after lots of research finally settled on the Samsung Galaxy S2. I considered buying the iPhone 4 as a few people I know were suggesting it and I remembered the hype of its launch last year. But having checked out the phone, I wasn’t that impressed. It is showing its age now and it’s a surprise the iPhone 4 has been left 16 months and counting without an upgrade.
After comparing the latest iPhone with its competition, I was left feeling that its appeal is no longer based on merit but instead on the residual benefits of being the ground breaking smart phone when first launched. Apple is a trend setting company which has transformed boring technical products into easy to use fashionable tools. They have pioneered new forms of marketing and promoted their products as unique and designed for the discerning customer. This is despite the fact that Apple products are now ubiquitous and they are one of the largest companies in the world.
But Apple couldn’t have achieved their current position by marketing alone. Incredibly they have managed to launch ground breaking electronic products with good designs every few years. These varied from the ipod, the imac, the iPhone and the ipad. While a lot of the products had minor flaws, so far these have been small enough to be ignored by most customers.
The problem for Apple now is that the iPhone shows that the competition can quite quickly catch up and pass out the initial trend setter. If Apple are to maintain their dominate position and hard won prestige, they need to continue to come up with ground breaking products. This is especially important as Apple doesn’t manufacture its own products. Strangely some of their competitors actually manufacture parts for Apple.
I wouldn’t bet against Apple in the short term but they need to keep ahead of the pack over their whole product range or launch new ‘game changing’ products to maintain their dominate position. The relative obsolescence and slow replacement of the iPhone 4 is not a good sign for the future.
In any event Apple will be announcing their iPhone 5, (or an updated iPhone 4, it’s all a big secret!), on the 4th of October. Perhaps the long wait has been for a reason and the new phone will be another ‘game changer’. As the competition has caught up with Apple in the hardware department perhaps the surprise will be related to software. We will know next week. But it’s too late for me; I could only judge the phones available now, I am not going to wait for some Apple phone with unknown specifications and a secret availability date. Its a strange way to treat potential customers.
To finish for comparison I have listed off the main specifications of both phones:
Samsung Galaxy S2 iPhone 4
Size: 125.30 x 66.10 x 8.49 mm 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm Weight: 116 g 137 g Screen Size 4.3 inches 3.5 inches OS Android Apple ios 4.3.4 Chip Speed: 1.2 GHz Dual core 1 GHz Ram: 1 GB 0.512 GB Memory: 16/ 32 GB in phone 16/ 32 GB in p 32 GB card slot no card slot Camera: 8 Megapixel 5 Megapixel Video Capture 1080 p HD 720p HD Battery life: 610 hrs standby 300 hrs standby (using 3G) 8hr 40min talk 7 hrs talk