It was not long ago that Apple was considered the top dog in the smartphone market. From its revelation of the original iPhone in January 2007 it was met with worldwide applause and critics praised it from the design to the OS and the cool factor it possessed. Apple was now leading the pack in a world that was dominated by Nokia which was once the world’s largest mobile developer. Nokia has since gone through the wringer losing ground to Apple before starting to re-emerge under the new ownership of Microsoft Mobile.
Fast forward to 2014 and it looks as though Apple may have run out of tricks from its goody bag. The newest models of the iPhone namely the 6 and 6 plus debuted a few days ago. Looking at the device and reading the spec sheet there is not much to say that makes the device stand out from the current flagships being offered by rival companies namely Samsung with the galaxy S5, Google with the Current Nexus 5, HTC with the gorgeous looking One M8, Microsoft with the Lumia 930 and even LG’s G3. All of the above mentioned already had NFC support on previous generations of their devices from 2012 something Apple has only just added and they are all offering full 1080p HD screens with exception of the G3 which is offering a sharper super high resolution quad-HD screen.
There has been what I consider complacency from Apple in the last few years and maybe a bit of hesitation to push the boundaries of innovation after having enjoyed a very good start to the smartphone game. Where others dared to go Apple simply appeared to stand back and ride on past glory whilst running in and out of court suing a handful of rivals. The acquisition of Beats Audio Electronic could bode well for them in the future as that produced great sound technology for HTC. However that remains to be seen.
Nothing from the presentation seemed new or innovative. It all seemed to be a run to catch up with the rest of the pack. From the bigger screen to the introduction of Apple pay, of which I have my doubts considering the iCloud scandal, fitness tracker and the so called reachability a feature already found on Samsung, it all seemed lacklustre and very un-Apple like. The new phone is thinner which they were keen to point out but that’s not even a record amongst the thinnest phones around.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. The high end build quality remains the same they do deliver a premium looking device however HTC’s One M8 looks better and more polished arguably. There are improvements to the camera and the introduction of better slow motion capture and a host of other features but the resolution remains at 8 MP, Whilst Microsoft’s current flagship packs a hefty 20MP pure view camera which is excellent and even better in low light scenarios. The image quality on the new iPhone remains to be seen.
Lastly there was no wireless charging or sapphire glass or even waterproof feature introduced with the new device yet others have pushed the boundaries and brought in such features. One might say that Apple is Apple and will sell a lot of devices however the appeal of the rather large 5.5 device remains to be seen. Apple has a good eco system much like Google and Microsoft and should keep most of its customers however a few may have already jumped ship. The innovation ship has sailed and Apple remained at docks.
They did introduce the Apple watch which got standing ovation from the crowd but that’s another article to come.