This past week Apple released a new iPhone, and despite the fact that the new iPhone 4S looks remarkably similar to its last offering it sold 4m devices in 3 days!
The question is why? Despite the fact there is a plethora of innovation and hi-spec choice in the smartphone market the half bitten, glossy silver Apple still attracts the masses. It’s smooth sailing from here on right? We all made our smartphone choice in favour of Apple surely?
Not so fast, things are rarely simple in the smartphone world, after all there’s an oddly shaped green Android taking bites out of apples… Em Apple.
You could say it’s a battle of the ages, greater than Churchill vs Hitler, Coke vs Pepsi, Freddy vs Jason all combined….. At least in the smartphone world anyway (the late Steve Jobs once said he wanted to destroy Android and would spend all of Apple’s money in the process if need be, so you get the idea).
But if you’ve already invested in a hefty contract for the iPhone 4S, you may be regretting that decision after hearing about Android’s latest offerings. Both the Motorola Droid RAZR and the Galaxy Nexus pack super hi-specs, as well as the latest Android 4.0 OS.
That is unless you’re one of those people that simply have to own an Apple product just because it reflects your lifestyle or it’s stylistically in tune…… Blah blah blah. For the rest you may have very good reason to think your missing out if your one of those 4m early adopters.
After all the Android OS now powers the lion’s share of smartphones, Google’s mobile OS gained its enormous market share in part by distributing its OS across multiple third party manufacturers. The obvious downside to this third party approach is that there is no definitive Android device of choice. Some have better cameras than others, some prefer HTC’s Sense software overlay, others Samsung’s. Inevitably this leads to a hierarchy of quality, for many (like me) this is very confusing.
Apple Green With Envy?
Indeed Apple seemed to answer the Android onslaught with the iPhone 4S, and even though it wasn’t the Android destroying Überphone, many were fantasising over with the iPhone 5, reviews were pretty positive.
But many tended to see the 4S more as a decent update, with features such as its highly regarded new camera and the voice-activated assistant, Siri, and less on what wasn’t on show: A competitive 4-inch screen, with a proper home screen, fast 4G network capability etc.
Android 4.0 vs iOS 5
When Google recently announced they were to release an Android update called Ice Cream Sandwich (continuing the trend of naming their OS after deserts), for the first time, it showed a desire by Android to unify the look and feel of the OS across phones, just like that of the iOS.
Android 4.0 not only attempts to keep up with the iOS in terms of unified experience, its also looking to offer something more:
You can now place and re-size widgets on your home screen without going into apps. You can organise your special contacts into one nice folder. You can see your mobile data usage visually. There’s also some nifty features like a barometer (could create some interesting apps) and an app that allows you to unlock a phone with your face!
iPhone 4S vs Galaxy Nexus and the Motorola Droid RAZR
But ultimately it’s all about the actual phones right? And you cant deny how impressive the 4S looks on paper, so how does Android’s latest smartphone efforts stack up, well let’s see:
The iPhone’s 3.5-inch display is tiny compared to both the 4.65-inch Galaxy Nexus and the 4.3 RAZR’s screen (both are higher resolution) also while physically larger, the Androids offerings are both thinner and lighter than the iPhone 4S!
iPhone 4S specs: 800MHz dual-core processor; 512MB RAM; 16GB, 32GB or 64GB storage; 8MP rear-facing and VGA front-facing cameras; LED flash; 1080p video recording.
Galaxy Nexus specs: 1.2GHz dual-core processor; 1GB RAM; 16GB or 32GB storage; 5MP rear-facing and 1.3MP front-facing cameras; LED flash; 1080p video recording;
Motorola Droid RAZR specs: The RAZR is similarly impressive when it comes to specs with 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display and 1GB RAM
It’s hard to argue with the facts right? iPhone 4S is surely already behind the curve?
Obviously the title of this article was meant to be provocative, are Apple really scared? Most likely not, will Apple die-hards really be looking on with envy and regret? Well it depends on why they choose the phone. For many, and according to a recent article in the Telegraph the ready made iPhone design and interface simply makes them happier than the more customisable Android’s offerings.
But for the rest of us, things are very interesting, there are very real choices for our next phone upgrades and the winner isn’t clear cut.
But if I absolutely positively had to put money on a winner….
Well it has to be Google green. Where would you put yours?
Both the Motorola RAZR and the Galaxy Nexus are available in November.
The iPhone 4S is available now