On Tuesday, Apple officially unveiled a new pair of iPhones, specifically, the iPhone 5c and 5s. The company didn't pull any real surprises at the announcement, as many of the features and talking points related to the two phones have been circulating the internet as rumors and leaks for months now. Last month, Examiner reported of Apple's multi-phone intentions and nearly all speculation was confirmed. Yes, there is a cheaper iPhone 5; yes, there is a faster iPhone 5. However, while the latter may look nice and shiny, Tuesday's Apple reveal was notably lackluster.
With the iPhone 5c, Apple is trying to open itself up to a broader demographic. They are doing this largely to compete with other phone manufacturers, such as Samsung, in developing countries. For years Apple marketed the iPhone as a high-end phone for the elite of society and, for the most part, it was adopted as such. Then, Google gave the mobile world the Android OS and everything changed. Suddenly, there was competition for the throne. But while Apple struggles to keep the crown on their head, Motorola, LG, Samsung, Nokia, etc. have swept up the low and middle-class markets all while making their presence known at the top.
Evolution isn't for profit or even for innovation. It's for survival and Apple is trying to survive.
Apple may have finally pulled the veil from over their eyes; they are losing market-share and their answer is the iPhone 5c. That's what it comes down to. Beyond the gimmicky color options, it's a re-branded iPhone 5 running iOS 7 that is cheaper to build. Apple is hoping this will translate into greater profit margins, even by offering the phone for only $99 or $199 (depending on the amount of memory chosen) with a 2-year contract since they can market it to those in developing countries. It's worth noting that without a contract the 16GB iPhone 5c is available for $549 and the 32GB model is $649, higher than many consumers and investors had expected. Compared to the iPhone 5s' prices, however, those of the 5c are indeed cheap. The 16GB 5s is available for $199 with a contract ($649 without). The phone also comes in a 32GB model for $299 ($749 without) and a 64GB model for $399 ($849 without).
Investors are pressuring Apple to maintain innovation, but has Apple delivered? Yesterday, the stock market closed with Apple shares down 5.44%. Shouldn't they have increase after a new product announcement? The bottom line is that Apple failed to impress. In June, CEO Tim Cook called iOS 7 "the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone." That may be true, but perhaps iPhone users don't realize that their operating system has become increasing more like that of Android phones with each new release, and the latest iteration on these new iPhones is the most reminiscent yet. One must not confuse adaptation for innovation. Evolution isn't for profit or even for innovation. It's for survival and Apple is trying to survive. The new iSight camera is an improvement over previous generations of iPhones, but at only 8-megapixels Apple again fails to exceed the status quo. For example, the Motorola Droid Bionic was released approximately two years ago and has an 8-megapixel camera. The Nokia Lumia 1020, a Windows-powered phone, was released a couple of months ago and boasts a truly impressive 41-megapixel camera. When is Apple going to push the envelope again like they did when they released the original iPhone in 2007? Yes, the iPhone 5s can shoot in slow-motion and has a dual-LED flash, but several other phones currently on the market already have these features.
The one thing the new iPhone 5s truly has over any other device out there is Touch ID, a fingerprint scanner built into the phone's Home button. The phone stores your fingerprint information (Apple claims this information remains solely on an individual device and is not stored anywhere else, cloud or otherwise) and allows the phone to be unlocked effortlessly. It can also be used to confirm identity for iTunes or App Store purchases. Of course, developers will fiddle around with the technology and most likely unlock its true potential, but is this really the best Cook and the gang can do? You can't start another mobile renaissance with increased security measures and a faster processor. You start them by taking real risks, such as Google with Google Glass. That is innovation, even if it ultimately fails with consumers.
The new iPhone 5c and 5s are available for pre-order on September 13 and 20, respectively.