Is the PR hype that Apple has wallowed in since the launch of the 1st iPod suddenly become its worst enemy after the Company failed to deliver a much hyped iPhone 5?Instead of a brand new iPhone that will compete with the popular Samsung Galaxy S II or the HTC Sensation, Apple has chosen to primarily deliver upgrades to the iPhone 4 including some that analysts claim are catch up fixes for the now popular Android OS.
And has their attempt to legally cripple Samsung and other manufacturers on the basis of Apple touch patents created an anti Apple vacuum, that is set to swing the once mighty Apple army of fans in the direction of Android or the all new Windows Mango OS, which is set to be launched shortly on phones that have larger screens and are thinner than the iPhone.
In a cheeky move earlier today, Nokia booked splash advertising on Fairfax Media web sites to show off their new Windows designed phones. The marketing appeared right next to the Apple iPhone 4S which had the headline “Spot the difference”.
The editorial went on to say, hear that sound? That’s the collective whine of millions of Apple fans around the world who had been primed for an iPhone 5, only to receive … an iPhone 4S.
Apple has had about 16 months to plot its new iPhone but the new model is an evolution rather than a revolution of its predecessor, hence the name.
On Wall Street, Apple’s keenly awaited announcement of what was tipped to be a new iPhone initially disappointed investors and within minutes the stock was marked down 5%.
A quick flick through comments made by Apple iPhone users after reading about the new iPhone 4S reveal a ground swell of anti Apple comments. Instead of the usual ‘Wow’ it appears that Apple have ignited a problem that could result in a big move to Android devices.
For the tech giant to remain competitive they need to keep inventing and that’s a tough gig, as Sony has found out in recent years.
The first major announcement since Steve Jobs stood down as CEO, the new man in the seat, Tim Cook, did his best to hype the new iPhone 4S but failed win over the media and the analysts.
The iPhone 4S looks very similar to the iPhone 4 but includes a faster chip, a better camera and a voice-recognition feature that takes dictation and processes naturally asked questions such as “Do I need a raincoat today?” and “How is the Nasdaq doing today?” said Apple executives as they demonstrated the new voice offering, which is very similar to what Google has already in their Android OS.
Jan Dawson, Chief Telecom’s Analyst at Ovum said “With so many false rumours about what it would announce, it was almost inevitable that the announcement itself would disappoint. The hardware upgrades should improve performance considerably and keep the phone competitive with the latest Android and Windows Phone devices, but none will blow users away”.
The problem for Apple is that people who purchased the original iPhone 3 and early adopters of the iPhone 4 are now coming off contract and most want to buy a new phone. Do they buy an upgraded iPhone 4 or do they join a groundswell of consumers who are buying Android phones from the likes of Samsung, Motorola and HTC because they are thinner, lighter and have a much bigger display screen?
Mr Cook, under scrutiny in his first meeting with the press and analysts since succeeding the ailing Apple founder Steve Jobs, maintained his low-key style and said the critical advantage for Apple was its ability to combine hardware, software and services “in such a powerful yet integrated experience”.
In addition to the new handset, Apple said the fifth full version of its iOS operating system for iPhones and iPad’s would be available free from October 12. It has tighter integration with Twitter, less intrusive notifications, and a Newsstand application that refreshes magazines and newspaper content.
In services, Apple said it’s previously announced iCloud storage system, also free from the same date, would automatically download purchased songs and apps from iTunes to all devices owned by the same person.
The phone business now provides nearly half of Apple’s revenue, or $13.2bn in the quarter that ended in June. The company took in $6bn from its less than two-year-old iPad line and just $5.1bn from sales of its Mac computers, mainly notebook models.
Maybe, just maybe, Apple has made its first mistake since the launch of the new iPhone.