|Orange is the new Apple|
|Friday, 09 September 2016 03:49|
Ishaan Gera's edit
With so much innovation, it's no longer apples & oranges
Whether the iPhone7 will help Apple breakthrough in the top-end smartphone market remains to be seen—its market share fell from 19.6% in Q4 2014 to 11.9% in Q2 2016 according to Strategy Analytics—though by all accounts there are some pretty smart new features including wireless Airpods, a dual-lens camera, machine learning and HomeKit that allows you to control all your devices at home through the iPhone7; and, apart from those who want to text while swimming, the new waterproofing feature is great in case your phone slips while in the pub or the loo. Wireless headphones are a dime a dozen, but Airpods have a built-in microphone and Siri can be activated with just a tap on them. Machine learning in the iPhone7 allows Siri to understand how you react to mail or SMS and it can suggest an answer as it reads your mail.
The problem for Apple, or indeed any other tech firm, is that with each new innovation rapidly becoming the industry standard, breaking through the clutter is becoming that much more difficult. Top-end Samsung and HTC phones offer great underwater experiences and though the Note 7—of the exploding battery fame—did not have a dual-lens camera, LG and Motorola offer this in their top-end devices now. Machine learning and suggested answers were something that Google experimented with in a very rudimentary manner with the InBox mail, but has now been vastly improved in its Nougat which, over a period of time, will be available to any developer through the Allo app—some older phones like the Nexus line will also get this through the planned upgrades over the next few months. It remains to be seen whether Apple’s HomeKit will be better than Google’s Home, but for consumers, the rapid absorption of top-end technology by all industry players can only be good news. Naturally, that doesn’t apply to just smartphones—till a decade ago, to use the automobile industry as an example, power-steering was restricted to top-end cars, now this is the norm in even entry-level cars and something similar is happening with airbags and ABS braking systems. For tech giants, it means getting that extra oomph is going to be that much tougher, and the period of exclusivity, that much shorter.