Tag Archive: iPhone 5


LG-logo-Android

Just a month ago I read somewhere on the web that “considering LG’s dedication towards its incredible work and consumer response especially in the mobile segment, it lets us witnessed very soon that the company (LG) will also be in line along with Apple or Samsung to generate maximum revenue from its mobile sector”. And finally, that day has come! Strategy Analytics has confirmed that worldwide smartphone shipments have reached 210 million units that shows the growth of 36% annually in just the first quarter of 2013. The Major market share was captured by the top giants Samsung and Apple obviously however, they were followed by LG at number three for the first time ever.

According to the report issued by the researchers team of Strategy Analysts, Samsung, Apple and LG shares were as mentioned below:

Brand

Smartphone Units Sells

Market Share in (%)

Samsung

69.4 Million

33.1

Apple

37.4 Million

17.9

LG

10.3 Million

4.9

Currently, LG is wooing the market with the Optimus G Pro while Samsung looks all set to rule the roost again with its powerful Galaxy S4. The Korean manufacturers have some strong competition from Taiwanese company HTC with their super stylish HTC One and let’s not forget the iPhone 5 which has been around for a while. In essence, all these companies are pushing hard for market dominance. However, it all comes down to the decision of today’s customer who is well informed and nitpicky and can easily differentiate between the different flagship mobiles.

Now LG’s unit volume might look meagre as compared to that of Samsung and Apple but the truth is that it is a big step in the right direction as these sales show that end users now have a much more positive outlook towards LG mobile as compared to the insipid response from previous years. It is also the perfect catalyst for LG to constantly improve and increase its market share in the coming years.

Despite my critical ascertainment with Apple’s persuasive legal course as a hindrance to innovation in the Smartphone arena, there’s no denying the fact that the latest avatar of the iPhone has been a runaway success. With Apple alongside its various carriers receiving close to 2 million pre-orders within the opening 24 hours and analysts expecting the sales to reach the 10 million mark within the week, the hype and curiosity surrounding the iPhone 5 is greater than ever.

And the way Smartphone markets work in US is what makes for an interesting reading for an average Indian mobile user. All the major mobile carriers namely AT&T, Verizon and Sprint have collaborated with Apple to sell their newest offering on no-commitment as well as 2-year contract plans. A no-commitment plan is similar to purchasing a new iPhone without any network services for 649$ (34,663 INR) while a 2-year contract means that the customer ends up paying just close to 200$ (10,682 INR) with a monthly data and call usage plans of between 85$-100$ (4540-5340 INR). Yes, the first part of a contract agreement is enticing enough to get your budget restraints wagging but it’s the premium monthly charge which translates to the analyzed fact that every iPhone 5 user will be able to actually take full benefit of his device after a good 9 months after purchase without burning a hole in his pocket.

From a consumer’s perspective, it is a good enough deal as they are getting the latest gadget for a knockdown price and willing to part with a substantial monthly amount for it. And you can’t blame them considering the phenomena an iPhone is considered in US. Some experts have even quoted iPhone 5 as the “new cash milking cow for the mobile carriers”. The contract system is a camouflaged and nifty business practice which allows mobile carriers to give products like the iPhone at subsidized prices and recover the costs and make handsome profits via the contracts. And with most of the phones in these contracts not being unlocked, change of carriers becomes increasingly hassle some once the contract period expires. But hey, Apple might just launch a new iPhone till then to keep the cycle running!

What I have always wondered is why mobile carriers have not been able to tap in on and successfully replicate this business model in India. And the latest advancements in the local Smartphone arena showed me exactly why. One, we are spoilt for choices both expensive and cheap when it comes to selecting a handset so this ideally leaves the companies at risk when it comes to subsidizing the handset costs due to numerous handset launches and upgrades. Secondly, Indians are not the splurging kind and are very particular about their cell phone plans; be it Prepaid or Postpaid. “Call per second” is a good example of that. And most importantly, the shelf life of a Smartphone being used by an average mobile user is 12 months at maximum which leaves the contracts proposition less profitable. Reliance and Tata Indicom have already tried this with low-end CDMA offerings which ultimately failed to excite. And even though Nokia is providing a few handsets with such contracts, it is not preferable for majority of the mobile users.

So the much awaited iPhone 5 has finally been launched after Apple’s powerhouse victory over Samsung in the patents infringement lawsuit. The US giant’s latest offering had been hyped up to no extent by company’s PR and tech analysts alike. So does Apple’s newest iPhone really justify the hype preceding it? In my humble opinion, not really!

I start first and foremost with the design. The various designs leaked for the new iPhone depicted an overhaul job with sleeker lines and a bigger screen. Well, it does have a half an inch lead screen as compared to its predecessor iPhone 4S but that is about it. Apple, who takes pride in innovation, has just about done the opposite. The design is staple Apple and if anything it looks like an elongated version of the 4s. So no brownie points for the phone’s make. Even the Camera hasn’t been upgraded from the 8 MP with the only addition being the Panorama feature. Maybe the much anticipated Optimus G would have something to say about that. But it’s not the exterior design that is the USP of the phone but what it runs on. The iPhone 5 comes with the 4G LTE enabled iOS 6. Instead of me going over the details, it better you get it from the official Apple website here.

 

Now without trying to sound like I am bashing Apple, we have to look at the cold hard specs available. There is nothing revolutionary or path-breaking about the latest iPhone. In fact, overall it has come as a major disappointment. Most of the features except the iCloud are majorly available in major high-end Android handsets. I do not believe in accepting blatant reshuffling being termed as innovation and I think any Smartphone user would have the same opinion. Sadly, the Apple Samsung lawsuit is just a precursor to how things will get even uglier between the Smartphone giants as just a day after its release, Bloomberg Business weekly has speculated Samsung and HTC to now sue Apple over 4G LTE and ADC communication patents. Even Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniack has given a nod of disapproval to the recent verdict stating patents and technologies should be shared to bring the best products for consumers.

 

Apple’s act of dragging its competitors into lawsuits is not helping anyone. They may gain a financial and moral victory for trivial patented rectangles but the bigger picture is that it’s a depressing regression of innovation.

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