Amidst smoke, mirrors, and marketing fluff, Apple announced to the world their latest smartphones yesterday. They debuted not one, but two new iPhones, the iPhone 5C and the iPhone 5S. In years past, Apple’s iPhone has been a piece of technology that all Android manufacturers strive to beat, a product that set the bar for others to measure against. Sadly for the Cupertino company, this is no longer the case.
Hey! This is an Android news site, why are we talking about Apple? Well, Apple just happens to be Android’s #1 competitor. It’s wise to see what the competition is doing from time to time.
iPhone 5C brings colors, cases, and disappointment
Let’s first talk about the iPhone 5C pricing. But first, what’s the C stand for? Color, Cheaper, Crap, you got me? The iPhone 5C was rumored to be a cheaper, plastic iPhone for those that cannot afford a brand new flagship phone and for those that live in emerging markets. Think China. The iPhone 5C is going to launch in China at roughly $735 USD. Many tech analysts were hoping the iPhone 5C would launch around $300 and compare to Xiaomi’s competitively priced Mi3 which launched at $330 just recently.
This has Wall Street upset as you can imagine. Investors were hoping for a cheap phone to compete with Android. Following yesterday’s announcements, Apple’s stock fell 5.44 percent, or $26.93, by end of closing today.
Besides upsetting investors, some consumers are upset too. The iPhone 5C is essentially an iPhone 5 with a cheaper, plastic back. It costs $99 with a 2 year contract. Verizon Wireless just discounted the old iPhone 5 down to $99. That’s right. Apple is charging $99 for a 1 year old phone that is cheaper to produce than the original one. Normally, Apple discounts the previous year’s iPhone without lessening the quality of the device. This is something entirely different.
Let’s talk about those cases. If you buy an iPhone 5C along with one of their official “Crocs” cases, the words iPhone on the back of your phone will now say ‘hon’. That’s just horrible product design. We all know that Steve Jobs was a perfectionist. If he were still alive, he would be firing people in their design department.
See how the Moto X compares to the iPhone 5 C
iPhone 5S brings marketing fluff and a better camera
The iPhone 5S is what you would expect from Apple. A phone that hasn’t changed that much from it’s predecessor, but includes just the right amount of marketing fluff to make it sound amazing. The 5S boasts a fingerprint scanner, the first smartphone to be powered by a 64-bit CPU and 64-bit OS, and a better camera.
Apple isn’t the first company to include a fingerprint scanner on a mobile phone. Motorola did that back in February 2011 with the Motorola Atrix 4G. The Atrix’s fingerprint scanner was on the back, but functioned in similar manner to Apple’s rendition unlocking your phone, but with a swipe. I won’t say that the feature didn’t do well, but Motorola has opted for different methods to use instead of fingerprints since then.
The Motorola Moto X and the latest Verizon Droid’s feature Bluetooth Trusted Devices which enable or disable your lock screen security based on a trusted device being connected or not. Is a fingerprint scanner a gimmick? Who knows? Maybe Apple will have better luck with it on the front of the device.
The iPhone 5S sports a 64-bit processor and 64-bit operating system. This marketing feat will be seen by most as something glorious and revolutionary since Apple is the first company to do it. When going to a 64-bit OS there’s a faster pipe between the processor and your RAM. Essentially, it is faster, that is, if you can take advantage of it. Remember, at this time only Apple apps have been rewritten to take advantage of this new capability. All non-Apple apps will need to be rewritten or recompiled to be fully 64-bit compatible and to truly be ‘faster’.
This is a feature that will only get better as time goes on. Additionally, Apple is future proofing their platform right now. They are preparing for the future by converging with the desktop. This is a good thing. Just don’t get lost in the hype. It’s going to take a while for it to really take off and to really seem that much faster.
Apple’s iPhone has always been known for their camera quality. The iPhone 5S is nothing short of that. The 5S camera features a 15% larger camera sensor and wider f/2.2 aperture which means 33% more light is used to take photos, producing less grainy images. The rest of the camera features take cues from Android OEM’s such as Samsung and HTC with burst mode, auto-image stabilization, HD recording, and panoramic capabilities.
iOS 7, now with more Android
We caught a glimpse of iOS 7 over the summer at Apple’s WWDC. Not a whole lot has changed since then. iOS 7 still reminds us of Android.
- The iOS 7 lockscreen and wallpaper are eerily similar. Besides the look of the lock screen itself, iOS 7 supports lock screen notifications.
- iOS 7 includes toggles to easily turn off and on your features of your phone such as WiFi, Bluetooth, Flashlight, Camera, or adjust your volume. You know, things Android OEMs have been doing for years.
- With iOS 7, Apple is debuting iTunes Radio which looks very similar to Google Play Music. You can create your own playlists and take advantage of recommended stations. However, Google Play Music All Access let’s you save full albums or tracks to your library where iTunes Radio doesn’t.
- Many Apple apps now feature navigation drawers which have been part of the Android guidelines for a while now.
- iOS finally has multi-tasking. You can easily bring up a list of background apps and view them just like you can in Android. Apple’s is a bit different though, based off of learning your uses and habits.
- The iOS calendar app looks very similar to Google’s Calendar app thanks to the Apple’s new flatter design mechanics. The Apple Mail app looks a lot like Gmail too.
iOS users will get iOS 7 on September 18th as a free upgrade.
Enough about iPhone, let’s wrap this up!
Apple is probably the best marketing company in the tech world. Apple is going to sell millions of these phones. They know what their customers want and if they don’t, they make sure to tell them what they want. With that said, it is a little disappointing to see Apple continue to fall backward more than they are stepping forward.
As for Android, this doesn’t mean a whole lot. Android has had a lot of these features before yesterday’s announcements. Android is a freight train that cannot be stopped and will continue to dominate emerging markets over the course of the next year. Who’s ready to compare the iPhone 5S to the next Nexus? I know I sure as hell am.