Apple likes to think of itself as a leader in the technology space. And to be fair to the company, it is in many respects. For example, the company leads the electronics market in terms of profitability. Thanks to its branding Apple manages to extract vast sums of money from its consumers who don’t seem to mind dropping $600 on a handset or $1700 on a Macbook.
But in other respects, Apple is a follower. When it comes to research, Apple has traditionally been closed off and secretive about its projects. The majority of patents and research breakthroughs that come out of the company are done by a few “super inventors” working away behind closed doors in high-security labs. This approach to research means that Apple does not produce the prodigious levels of research output of say, Google or Samsung. And as a result, the company seems to always be playing catch up when it comes to matters of raw technology.
Nowhere is this pattern more obvious than in the current battle royale between the Samsung S8 and the upcoming iPhone 8. Samsung is feeling resurgent after the fiasco with the Note 7 last year and wants to reestablish itself as the main Apple competitor. Just as before, it’s strategy is to build the best damn phones possible all with the highest-specced hardware for seamless usability. Apple on the other hand, probably won’t push the boat out. Instead, it’ll look at what worked for Samsung and then take the things that it thinks its market will like and apply them to its new phone.
If you cast your mind back to 2012, you’ll remember that it was Samsung, not Apple that gave us the trend for phones with the large screens. Samsung introduced the Note, a phone that was halfway between a tablet and a standard iPhone 4 in terms of size and hoped that it would fill what they thought was a small gap in the market. It turned out that it was a rather large gap in the market, and now practically every flagship phone offered by the major companies is based on this original form factor.
Apple recently published a press release reported in Bloomberg stating the features that the upcoming iPhone would have. These include a larger screen, an OLED screen with accurate color representation, a glass and steel design and no more physical home button. Debates about the home button aside, the specifications of Apple’s new product sound remarkably familiar, don’t they? In fact, they sound just like the specifications of the newly released S8 – a phone which has hit the market at least six months before Apple’s response.
In a way, Samsung needed this. After half of all the phones it sold last year ended up going up in flames, the company had to prove to the market that it wasn’t a joke and that its products could be trusted not to spontaneously explode. The S8 is a return to form, and the phone is garnering universal acclaim, thanks to its technological lead over its rivals. Samsung may have six months in the lime light to consolidate its position as the market leader and take away some of Apple’s thunder.
Apple knows this of course. That’s why they sent out the press release. It was a kind of admission of defeat veiled in a promise. In effect, Apple has to promise the world with the new iPhone 8, otherwise, they risk some of their most dedicated fans jumping ship. Not surprisingly, the rumor mill has been highly active in anticipation of the next release from Apple. It is hoped that, like Samsung, Apple will use some form of facial recognition technology for unlocking phones and get rid of annoying passwords. According to http://www.icloudlogin.com/, security has become a major issue for many users, especially those who use their handsets for work. As such, Apple fans will be looking for a phone that updates traditional phone-locking systems with something a little more intelligent.
There is, of course, a risk that Apple won’t actually release a thoroughly revised model deserving of a new model number. In fact, if history is any guide, the company may instead choose to brand their upcoming phone the iPhone 7S – an intermediate model between the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8.
In the view of many, this would be a monumental marketing mistake. Given that Samsung has delivered with the S8 and given consumers next-generation technology, Apple’s base will be expecting a significant improvement over the iPhone 7. In short, they’re looking for revolution, not evolution.
According to http://www.financialexpress.com/, Apple’s focus is shifting more towards technology than usual. The company is flirting with the idea of having a more advanced OLED display than Samsung which would be an impressive feat, given that Samsung is the originator of the technology. This new fighting talk from Apple could signify their continued desire to be the industry leaders, or it could signify deeper problems at the company. Perhaps it finally realizes that it has to change its tack, from focusing on the ease of user experience to delivering high-end technologies. After all, it is a company that specializes in making flagship handsets.
Both companies will also be exploring the exciting new Y-Octa fingerprint scanning screens. The S8 released without this technology which, for many, was a disappointment. But it could be ready for later this year, just around the time Apple will be releasing their new model. Y-Octa is a technology which splits phone screens into several layers. One of the layers is actually a fingerprint scanner, meaning that your phone will unlock automatically as you touch it, rather than requires you to fumble the annoying fingerprint scanner at the back of the handset.
Samsung lost nearly $6 billion dollars as a result of the Note 7 disaster. Apple, however, could end up losing even more, not because of exploding batteries, but because it simply hasn’t been able to keep up with the industry leaders.