I’ll never forget the first time I saw an iPhone. I was sitting on a London tube on my way into the office, glum faces all around, and a copy of that morning’s Metro newspaper in my hands. Perusing the colorful images and light-hearted reading, I spotted what appeared to be a handheld device which was almost entirely screen. Not only was it one large screen with not much else, it appeared to be a touchscreen. With colorful icons.Icons I wanted to press.Desperately…
When I found out that it was Apple’s new iPhone, it was immediately obvious to me that this gadget was going to be a huge hit and I absolutely could not wait to own one. Much to my surprise, my fellow tech journalists were trotting around, high on their horses, talking about how this device was going to be an epic flop. I was confused. Really? But
Several months later, the iPhone had just about revolutionised the entire planet. Mobile phone companies were desperately struggling try to cover up the embarrassing failures they’d been releasing for years whilst consumers had all but forgotten about the downright disgraceful interfaces they had been forced to endure prior to the iPhone.
It’s taken many more years still, but finally it looks like one mobile phone manufacturer has managed to both catch up with and outstrip Apple’s iPhone. It was recently announced that the Samsung Galaxy S3 has overtaken sales of Apple’s new iPhone 5.Are we seeing a new revolution? The sales figures speak for themselves. Let’s take a look at some other points as good examples which may have contributed to Samsung’s latest achievement.
Ever since the introduction of Windows Vista on the PC, the concept of widgets has been ever-popular with consumers. Widgets on the Android phones add a level of customisability desperately missing on iPhones unless user jailbreak.
2. Where’s the back button?
While the single home button on the front of the iPhone is unarguably an elegantly simple and intuitive implementation, ‘back buttons’ (such as those found in your web browser) are just downright useful. You never realise you missed one until you use an Android phone.
Unless you’re a jailbreaker of iOS devices, you have to sync your music and other files using iTunes. The ability to drag-and-drop photos and other documents is practically a God-given right and this feature missing from iTunes has been one of the biggest jokes in consumer software development since the operating system in the Motorola Razr.
4. Swype Texting
The Galaxy’s Swype texting feature is just about one of the most glorious methods of data input ever created by man. Apple seriously missed a trick on this one.
5. Branded Amongst the iSheep
Because of the way Apple executes its product marketing, many analysts, marketers, bloggers and general naysayers have had an absolute field day in creating negative marketing to label Apple-lovers as people both assaulted and blinded by their gadgets to the point where they ignore the facts surrounding the economics. Apple products are delicious, but they simply cost too much money and nobody wants to be taken for a fool,especially in the middle of a recession.
While there are numerous other factors that have contributed to the triumph of Android and Samsung’s Galaxy S3, many of them are iterations or variations of the above examples. In many respects, Apple has become afflicted by the sheer power of its own marketing machine. We hope that this recent loss for Apple spurs it on to become more flexible with regards in its elegantly-crafted offering and provides for consumers an iPhone 6 which genuinely revolutionises the market once again.