On June 27th, 2007 Apple released the first iPhone, the first multi-touch interface smartphone. More than a year later on October 22nd, 2008 the HTC Dream became the first Android powered touch screen phone, and so started the heavily contested smartphone race. For many years the major competitors have been Samsung and Apple. For many years Apple has led the race as the most successful smartphone in the US. But is Apple falling behind?
Beginning in the first fiscal quarter of 2010 Android had taken the lead for global sales of phones. Since that time the increase in total sales of Android products versus Apple products has been striking.
At the end of 2012, Apple’s total phone sales were $135.9 million. By the end of 2013, Apple’s total phones sold had grown to $153.4 million. Pretty good, right? Well let’s take a look at Android’s phone sales for 2012: $219.7 million. Wow, that has stomped out iPhones sales for 2012! What about 2013? In 2013 Android sold 313.9 Million phones.
The iPhone has held its ground in the United States due to a loyal fanbase and killer advertisements by Apple’s marketing department. But, Apple isn’t one to take to innovation. Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, stated in an interview, “Improving is not Apple-style innovation.” Apple is losing ground because they only make what they know how to make.
The current flagships for Apple and Samsung are the iPhone 6 and the Samsung galaxy S5. The technology inside each phone determines which phone is the most advanced.
Both phones are competitive, and while the Galaxy is definitely the more advanced phone, with its larger phone screen, larger battery, and 12 megapixel camera. The iPhone 6 is still in the race because of its loyal fanbase.
Samsung has something in store for Apple though. Recently Samsung has taken the next step to make the next innovations with the Samsung Galaxy S5, but they have also introduced a new phone that is very similar to the iPhone. The Samsung Galaxy Alpha mimics the iPhone in more ways than one. With an aluminum casing, the exact same screen size, and a smaller overall build the Alpha has copied the iPhone in several key ways. Samsung is looking for innovation and also providing a cheap alternative to the iPhone. The iPhone lists for $650 dollars without a 2-year contract, but the Samsung Galaxy Alpha will most likely list for considerably less, as is the current trend with the Galaxy S5.
The iPhone is more expensive and is basically the same phone as the last version—and then there are a number of key features the S5 has that the iPhone does not have.
The S5 has an improved wireless transmitter that actually allows for better access to cellular 4g networks. While Android was the first phone to accept 4g wireless in 2010, it was more than 2 years before the first iPhone that would connect to 4g. Android was also the first to offer a fully functional landscape mode for horizontal typing on their phones. In 2010, Android embraced bigger screen size, allowing people to type in landscape mode. Apple only adopted this feature for the iPhone 6. The S5 has a 12 megapixel camera versus the iPhone’s 8 MP camera. One of Apple’s biggest “new features” is Apple Pay. This allows you to pay with your phone, by sending your bank information to pay stations. Android offered similar capabilities back in 2010.
Apple came into the phone game very strong and fast. In 2007, they provided a phone that was revolutionary, but they haven’t improved their product much since then. Apple’s loyal fanbase will always be willing to pay $600 for the newest phone, but Android is offering a wide array of competitive phones, many of them better.
- Thomas Winkleman