Apple’s iPhone 6: Desperate times call for desperate measures

Published: September 20, 2014
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Instead of being the trend setter, Apple now seems to be in dire need to follow the trends set by Android phones, particularly the Samsung Galaxy S range of smartphones. PHOTO: REUTERS

Instead of being the trend setter, Apple now seems to be in dire need to follow the trends set by Android phones, particularly the Samsung Galaxy S range of smartphones. PHOTO: REUTERS Instead of being the trend setter, Apple now seems to be in dire need to follow the trends set by Android phones, particularly the Samsung Galaxy S range of smartphones. PHOTO: REUTERS

When the first iPhone was revealed back in 2007, it sent shockwaves throughout the world of technology. Everyone was awestruck by the meticulously and aesthetically designed smartphone – it was truly a revolutionary piece of technology.

From then on, Apple rose from its ashes and was back in the race. Its name echoed throughout the world. Who would have thought that a single phone could have such a cumbersome impact on the world of technology? Apple initiated a new era: the era of touchscreen smartphones. Other companies quickly rose to this occasion, and started launching their own lines of smartphones – only to be beaten by Apple every year.

Later in 2008 and 2009, the iPhone 3G and 3GS were revealed respectively. They stayed true to Apple’s nature; original and revolutionary. In 2010, Apple once again managed to astonish the world with the iPhone 4. With revolutionary features including the Retina Display, it came to be widely considered the best iPhone ever.

Up until the iPhone 4S, Apple was comfortably seated on its throne. Though the threat from Android existed, it was a matter of time until it actually impacted Apple severely. Unfortunately, Apple failed to ever surprise us significantly again with their newer phones, namely the iPhone 4S, 5, 5S and now the iPhone 6. The number of iPhone users dropped as the number of Android users grew expeditiously.

The demise of the iPhone is largely due to two vital factors – Google’s juggernaut Android and the loss of Steve Jobs. We may argue over whether it was the loss of Steve Jobs that made Apple lose its essence, or was it the threat from Android, but the fact remains that Apple has lost its charm.

Though Tim Cook, the current CEO of Apple, promised to carry on in the footsteps of Steve Jobs, it seems otherwise today. Instead of being the trend setter, Apple now seems to be in dire need to follow the trends set by Android phones, particularly the Samsung Galaxy S range of smartphones.

However, something which I find astonishing and which is quite laudable is that it really took one heck of a push from numerous companies to dethrone Apple as the smartphone king, namely Samsung, HTC, LG and Sony. And this was all possible solely due to Google’s Android, an operating system which helped revive many companies from the ashes and which further helped strengthen Google as one of the strongest companies today.

Steve Jobs was always envious about Android. He once stated,

“I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product”.

Perhaps he knew the cumbersome threat from Android right from the beginning.

Now, let’s imagine a hypothetical situation in which Steve Jobs is still Apple’s CEO. Would Apple be faring any better? The answer would most probably be no. Though there would undoubtedly be some difference, perhaps a sprinkle of originality, Apple would still have been dominated by Android in the long run. The demise of the iPhone due to Android was inevitable.

At the same time, it is definitely much of Apple’s fault itself too; though it kept on its tradition of stellar marketing, always being able to grab a large number of sales, what it lost was its main ingredient – originality. Up until the iPhone 4, Apple was true to its nature. However, after the iPhone 4, it seems they have lost that touch. Where yesterday Apple used to label its products revolutionary, today we hear monotonous words such as bigger and faster, as though it is trying to catch up to the trends set by Samsung.

Unfortunately, the iPhone 6 revealed recently is the biggest let down by Apple in recent years. With its unveiling of the iPhone 6 Plus, it is evident that Apple really isn’t following in the footsteps of Jobs, who always disliked bigger phones and said,

“You won’t be able to get your hand around them… no one’s going to buy them”.

Apple’s newest line of smartphones shows hints of desperation to catch up to the current trends. Even though Apple may still be able to grab large numbers of buyers, it has let down its most loyal fans – those who used to relish the revolutionary features of the iPhone.

Muhammad Usama

Muhammad Usama

A student with a wide range of interests including technology, current affairs, history and writing. He tweets at @gadgetmaniah

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • aaronautical

    The reason Android took dominance over Apple and will continue to for a while boils down to simple economics. Google’s CEO was on Apple’s board and saw his company’s business model threatened by the world moving away from desktop PCs to mobile. They had to act and duplicate what Apple was doing. The ones to respond first and built out their iPhone clones were able to do so relatively quickly because they didn’t have to pay for the OS. Or so they thought. Microsoft makes more profit from Android because of its patents than Google does.

    The first Androids were horrible. The reason they went to a bigger screen was because Android did such a poor job of font scaling, so they had to go bigger. And because there is so much anti-Apple sentiment and the screens were a significant differentiator, they found the niche that sold well. And Google had the resources to keep iterating improvements until is was a good enough clone and in some cases had surpassed iPhone’s offerings. The iPhone’s are overpriced. But so is a Rolex. But all those smartphone companies envy their profit. Even Samsung. I do. I also enjoy my iPhone. People are less interested in phones and more into a mobile, wireless networked computing device with the largest screen you can still fit in your pocket and hold with one hand. All this desperation you speak of is just a company responding to the market. May the best ideas win.Recommend

  • Dante

    It really was Samsung that dethroned Apple, not just Google’s Android. Android is available on many different handsets, but only one company took the challenge head-on, and won it.Recommend

  • Usman Mahmood

    At this point in time, I believe that a shift towards bigger screen for Apple was inevitable. Apple users had been restricted to a 4-inch screen at the time other brands had gone up to provide 5.5 inch screens or above.This remained a major complain for Apple users. Hence, in order to simply survive this extremely competitive market, Apple had to enlarge their screen size to 4.7-inch that is the norm for today’s smartphones. However, the introduction of iPhone 6 Plus was questionable. Instead of flooding the markets with different sizes of the same product, they should have waited and focused more on making the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 a more impactful product, so that the customers could get more than just an upgraded screen size.Recommend

  • FAM | فہد | 法赫德

    Well, Apple is still the king, iPhone 5s sales were higher than galaxy 4, and iPhone 6 will definitely beat galaxy 5.Recommend

  • Hassam Tahir

    When was Larry page on the board of Apple? Making up history as well? And android has been long before ios. The first working prototype was in 2003 while apple started work on ios in 2005, the same year google bought android and decided to go mobile and after three years of further development commercially launched android.

    So no you are absolutely wrong when you say google copied apple.Recommend

  • Hassam Tahir

    Wrong. S4 has shipped more then 40 million units in the first six months surpassing the sales of iphone 5s. The only area where iphones 5s had more sales were carriers. Right now the current record holder for most sales in the S5 so no Apple is not the king.Recommend

  • iPhone guru

    Please do proper research before writing anything on blog. “The number of iPhone users dropped as the number of Android users grew expeditiously.” Apple’s sales from iPhone is reaching new heights dear! iPhone 6 alone took 4 million order ONLY IN FIRST DAY! Just because you don’t like iPhone, please dont assume that every one hates it. I am buying every iPhone from iPhon4 till 5s and love each n every model. I can’t wait to buy 6.Recommend

  • Taha

    I don’t get how ‘Android’ is compared to ‘iPhones’ when one is software and the other is hardware. Compare Samsung S5 with iPhone, or any other phone for that matter. Compare ‘Android’ with ‘iOS’, and when it comes to UX, iOS still reigns king.
    It isn’t about being first but about getting it right.Recommend

  • Guest

    Apple introduced SIRI with the iPhone 4s which was later copied by Android, so the 4s was also revolutionary…Aplle’s sales have increased with each new phone which tells that they are going in the right direction. As for the market share captured by other companies, if there is almost a same product manufactured by different companies then the customers are surely expected to be divided among the companiesRecommend

  • faizan

    I disagree….i guess it is android… All android phones are doing good though samsung best of them but all because of android….today samsung use their own o.s they’ll flop overnight so its a power of android.Recommend

  • faizan

    Its all because of apple’s old fame….if things continued this way apple’s sales also gonna come downRecommend

  • aaronautical

    Eric Schmidt was CEO of Google at the time and he sat on Apple’s board when the iPhone was being developed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Schmidt#Apple

    The first Androids were Blackberry clones. The first ones after Google bought them were iPhone clones. Those were the first ones in customer’s hands. Recommend

  • Queen

    I think iOS is still more preferable than Android. Apple’s sales have increased considerably since the launch of iPhone 6. I have iPhone 5 and I am ready to buy the iPhone 6 Plus.Recommend

  • Aasim

    Well, Ipone 6 and 6 plus are up against note 4 and note edge.. Note edge looks more promising than the Iphone.. Better camera, power of andriod and revolutionary screen design..Recommend

  • http://www.roadtohotel.com.com Khuzaima Ismail

    I so agree with FAM !! Apple is King. Many friends in my circle that are crazy about APPLE products and so are frequent users of iPhone commented that they are not happy for iPhone 6. They simply said, its not what that they were expecting. Still, check out the latest iPhone 6 prices in Pakistan at http://www.vmart.pk/apple-iphone-pakistan/ .Recommend

  • Khuzaima Ismail

    To be honest, APPLE products are awesome. For the 1st time I am using apple products i.e. iphone 6 and its cool. Recommend

  • H Q

    any and every revolution in today’s fast world is short lived. however, people expect technology-miracles to go on longer, which is not possible.

    Kudos to Apple for revolutionizing the phone industry. However, Apple’s winning streak ends here, the world will carry on the legacy of the great Jobs. May his soul rest in peace.Recommend

  • imran

    iPhone lost the battle when Steve jobs died.. he was the genius behind iPhone, iPod and iPad.. I don’t think we will be able to see any revolutionary invention from apple in the future, it’s highly unlikely.. although I sincerely think Android is better because Google is like Tech-God.. and nobody is beating the
    m for at least like a decade..Recommend

  • http://www.cellcom.ca/en Anna

    I dont know but feels like going back to Blackberry Recommend