iPhone 7 : The Change Up ?
So the iPhone 7 recently came out and went through it’s regular routine of criticism and jokes. Though the latest edition of Apple’s smartphone does see few new features, it doesn’t fail us altogether. In fact, it has definitely raised the bar for every smartphone company in the market. Here’s a brief analysis on some of the widely talked about issues on the new iPhone:
- The iPhone 7 is significantly different than the iPhone 6
While people may feel that the iPhone 7 isn’t a big jump from the previous iPhone 6, this is in fact untrue. The iPhone 7 has had significant improvements in comparison to it’s predecessor in multiple areas. To prove my point, let’s consider the Android Makers’, i.e. Google’s, flagship phone, the Nexus. The latest phone in this series is the Nexus 6p and if you compare it with the Nexus 6, the two latest successive editions of the Nexus, the only noticeable difference is the improvement in the camera quality and the fingerprint scanner. Apple had both these features covered in the list of improvements to be made for their iPhone 7. In fact, the fingerprint scanner came out in the Nexus only after Apple first introduced it in their iPhone 5s. But that’s just one case. Comparing successive models of any Android smartphone series, you’ll find the improvements to be minimum. Apple on the other hand has come up with a number of new features and improvements : the new taptic engine, a highly improved camera with the new telephoto lens, a much faster Quad Core A10 chip with 3 GB RAM and let’s not forget the IP67 water resistance rating. So why then does the world see a failure in the latest iPhone? Think on this, the number of Android Smartphones in the market far exceed those by Apple. In fact, this quarter, it was reported that Android smartphones have a whooping 88% market share while Apple only has a 12% share. This definitely tells us that Android Smartphones have flooded the market and so you’ll rarely see people comparing two smartphones from the same series. For example, every time a new Samsung Galaxy Model gets released, most reviewers would compare it to the latest iPhone or any other ‘non-Galaxy’ phone out there. And so, people rarely get a chance to notice the difference between smartphones in the same series. Part of this can also be attributed to the fact that most Android smartphone manufacturing companies have multiple series, and so by releasing phones more frequently through multiple series, they blur the focus of the consumer on any one of these series. This is in contrast to Apple which, not unfortunately, has only one series : the iPhone.
2. The removal of the Headphone Jack
While many of you are aggravated by the move, Apple, by doing this, has actually proven to be the most forward thinking innovator in the Market. Apple has always had a uniqueness in their products along with a tendency to be different from the rest, and here’s how they’ve done it again. Now, the 3.5 mm jack was an age old technology which worked on analog audio. Imagine this, we’ve been using a technology that’s outdated in every sense. Sure it gained huge popularity, but it eventually had to go. Why did it have to go? Take the VGA connector. Worked on Analog Video. It came out in the year 1987 as a standard on the IBMs. Then 16 years later in 2003, the HDMI connector was introduced. We switched from Analog to Digital. We SWITCHED TO A BETTER TECHNOLOGY. And isn’t that what technological development all about? Phones get better every year, and sooner or later we all had to switch to a Better Technology just like how android smartphones are switching to the USB-C Port because it’s a better technology. In fact, the USB-C connector supports transmission of video, audio, power and data all at the same time, just like the lightning connector. And so the real question here is, Why would we not want to switch to a better technology? The lightning port can deliver much better audio quality and can deliver power along with audio. So you can use your noise cancelling earphones without having to charge them every time. Another dimension to this argument is the concept of a wireless world. Apple has been gearing towards a wireless iLife since a long time now, and this is one of it’s biggest moves in an effort to reach that goal. The increased independence of the new Apple Watch and the introduction of Air Pods are other aspects to this. Maybe in the future, it’s just a watch and two pods whilst completely eliminating the need for a phone…who knows. But we have been moving towards a wireless world for some time now. In fact, wireless earphones/headphones take up 31% of the market share with an increasing 2% every year. So in another 10–20 years, wireless headphones will be dominating the market and this is just a step towards that! But, apart from the visionary reasons of shifting to the lightning port, an important reason for this move is to create a new revenue stream for Apple by charging headphone manufacturers with a Royalty so they can use the patented lightning cable technology. So maybe they aren’t so full of vision as I might think…
3. So, did they go wrong somwhere?
While the iPhone 7 is great on it’s own, there has been a decrease in Apple’s Market Share by 21% QoQ as opposed to the the android market which has risen significantly. Now when you break this down, when the iPhone SE released, it performed pretty well in the market and resulted in an increased market share for Apple. BUT, it’s entry into the phablet industry through the iPhone 6 is where they might have gone wrong. In fact, Apple saw a decline in it’s phablet share both YoY and QoQ. Up until the release of the iPhone 6, Apple was, in it’s own way, unique. It was the only major smartphone company to not have entered the phablet industry. Some people would buy their phones simply because they fit in your hand. But by the time they released the iPhone 6s, I stopped ‘seeing’ the difference between the iPhone and popular Android smartphones which were also priced at much cheaper rates. So it raises the question that whether the iPhone 7 should have undergone a complete structural design change, just like the the iPhone 4 or the iPhone 6 co consumers could ‘see’ a significant difference from the other smartphones. Maybe that’s where they went wrong…
As a user of the iPhone 5s, I would consider buying the 7 if not for the exorbitant price, while if I were a 6s user, I probably would think of sticking to the same phone
.All in all, the iPhone 7 is a great product with some great new features but a not so great image in the current market.