Apple, Apple, Apple!
Once again Apple is dominating the headlines with new iPhones and once again the masses were disappointed and their stock dropped as a result. As much as I didn’t want too, I find myself feeling compelled to add to the din of Apple critics. Well let’s get started shall we?
Apple’s Hardware is Solid
I sincerely hope that every single soul reading this is past comparing the hardware of one mobile platform to another. Comparing them is comparing Apples to oranges to bananas. Seriously. Stop it. One of the advantages of having a vertically integrated system like Apple is that the software running the new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c was optimized for the custom-built hardware powering it all. Windows Phone 8 has the same advantage. Whereas Android is customized by the OEMs to run on hardware that all their competitors have access too. This is why it takes a quad-core Android phone to run as smoothly as a dual-core iOS device. It’s not better. Just different.
Of all the hardware improvements detail, it is the 64-bit processor that should have Apple fans most excited. This will enable much more powerful apps and games to run at even higher speeds. Your laptop should be very worried right now. Especially if you plan on buying a new iPad (whenever that comes out).
The new camera is a welcome upgrade. Larger pixels do indeed mean better dynamic range and low-light performance. However, don’t be bragging about your new camera to owners of the Nokia Lumia 1020 because the Finns would still wipe the floor with Cupertino hipsters. Why? The Nokia Lumia phones have one very significant advantage. Optical image stabilization. But Apple does have image stabilization, Iveites will protest. Actually not really. What Apple is doing is essentially boosting the ISO while taking an 4-bracket HDR to compensate for the increased noise. They are then using processing (thanks in no small part to that 64-bit chip I suspe jct) to algorithmically eliminate noise. What Nokia does is actually move the lens elements to compensate for your shaky hands. Add that to the oversampling that Nokia does and I am willing to bet that 8-out-of-10 Apple fans would pick the Nokia images out of a line-up as the best. That all being said, we will have to wait for a photography site to do an in-depth shoot-out to see who’s best.
iPhone 5c, thy Name is Woe
Ok. Let’s not kid ourselves here. Apple did not make a whole new iPhone with the 5c. They took an iPhone 5 and stuck it in a Nokia Lumia-inspired polycarbonate body. In fact, Nokia’s sharp and snarky marketing department won the internet Tuesday with this FANTASTIC tweet.
And then there are the cases which have a 5 x 7 grid (did you catch that easter egg?) of circles cut out in the back. Apple is marketing them as a fun way to customize your phone, I am calling bullcrap. Somebody was trying to make margin and figured that by pouring that much less material into the mold they could save x number of dollars.
Which brings to me to the price of the iPhone 5c itself. It’s too darn high. In fact it’s too high by about $150 for an unlocked device. IF Apple was serious about building market share they would have sold the 16gb model for $399. Apple is too US centric by concentrating more on the subsidized price and not the unlocked price. Instead they chose to market the device at a cost that is normal outside the US where most people buy their phones unlocked anyway.
iOS 7 makes iOS Modern (Finally!)
After two years of playing second and in some cases 3rd fiddle in the innovative symphony of mobile, Apple is now on par all things considered. Yes Apple is using features found on Palm OS, Windows Phone 8 and Android but guess what? Everyone else is doing the same thing. There is truth to the adage that good artists copy and great artists steal. Android and Windows Phone are no less guilty. Anti-Malusites will complain about Apple claiming to be innovative but again, Android and Windows Phone are also guilty.
Apple is now a parody of itself
This I think is Apple’s biggest problem. Apple is so hard trying to maintain the cool and hip vibe that it cultivated up until about 2010. Now, in the US at least they are the entrenched player, the IBM of the mobile world. To wear out the comparison horse, I would say that Apple is the Windows of mobile in the United States.
I think the overall staleness of the brand is costing them. In fact check out this chart from Quartz titled The Chart Tim Cook Doesn’t Want You To See. It is enlightening. It is also interesting to note that Apple is not doing pre-orders for the iPhone 5S. This is likely to force people to wait and the lines of yester-year that have since become a symbol of this generation. I think they they’re forcing the point if you ask me.
Apple’s overly earnest videos worked well the first couple of times they did them but now…seriously? Those videos make me want to punch Jony Ive in the face. And can somebody get that man a razor? You can’t tell me that he is so busy that he can’t take 5 minutes to shave his scruffy mug for a major video advertisement. The recent Kit-Kat video is all the richer for the videos Apple put out today. If you haven’t seen the Kit-Kat video watch it. Now.
iOS 7, the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s represent a good evolution of a mature and relatively stable product line. They will be welcome improvements for anyone looking to upgrade. I think they waxed hyperbolic at times and threatened to become disingenuous but Apple fanatics won’t care. Why? Because it’s an iPhone.