Samsung Galaxy S4 May Be The Final Nail in Apple’s Coffin
For the better part of 6 years, since Steve Jobs took the stage at Macworld 2007 to unveil the first iPhone, Apple have been comfortably wearing the King of Cool crown in the smartphone industry, dictating the market and educating customers of what’s cool and what’s not. Throughout the period, we’ve seen many other manufacturers tried to come up with what they claimed as an ‘iPhone Killer’ and failed miserably, from Motorola Droid, Blackberry Storm 2, to Google nexus. However, no one can be the top dog forever. Ask Nokia or RIM who were once seem untouchable at the top. Just like them, Apple’s starting to lose its shine, and Samsung might finally be able to get out of their shadow, and put the dagger in Apple’s reign this week when they announce their new flagship phone: Samsung Galaxy S4.
The Missing One More Thing…
Many believe that Steve Jobs’ Resignation in 2011 marks the end of an innovation era for Apple. So far, this theory sadly seems to hold true. The last few products that they’ve introduced to the market were no slouch, but they’re missing that innovative punch that’s always been the main ingredient in Apple’s identity. The introduction of Siri was probably the best wow factor that we’ve seen from Apple since Retina Display. Don’t get me wrong, Siri is a great feature, but just nowhere near enough to push the ship in this ever-increasing competitive market.
Then, there is this predictable pattern in the iPhone’s update cycle: Major hardware update every two years and incremental software or ‘S’ update in the year between. This trend can be clearly seen on both iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4S, which many critics and even their most loyal customers think is plain boring and not worth the upgrade. In 2012, things were gone from bad to worse for Apple, when they blurred the line with the supposedly major update iPhone 5. Customers see it as just the bigger and faster iPhone 4S… plus with what they think (at that time at least) a better native Map App than Google Maps. This decision, as you know, lead to the controversial dismissal of the iOS Father and Apple’s Vice President of iOS, Scot Forstall.
Apple desperately need to find that missing ‘one more thing’ magic back in order to stay on the top, and consider that Google, HTC, and Samsung have massively up their game in the past 2 years, Apple just can’t afford to introduce another ‘S’ upgrade this year. If you’d like to specifically read more about this, head over to iMore as Rene Ritchie has perfectly captured this issue in his blog post.
Samsung and Their Massive Marketing Budget
Samsung Galaxy S3 was perhaps the closest one to live up to the term ‘iPhone Killer’ so far. With the help of their unlimited marketing budget, Samsung really banging Apple’s door and ready to take over their crown anytime now. I’m probably one of the most hardcore Apple fans there is, but I can’t deny the fact that, with the likes of Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2, Samsung is really starting to take over innovation wheel from Apple.
In just less than 48 hours, Samsung will release its new Samsung Galaxy S4, which can also mark the day that Samsung finally kill off Apple in the smartphone battle. Rumor has it that it will sport a ridiculous 8-cores processor, over 400ppi display and other crazy innovative features like: floating-touch display, automatic eye-scrolling, and 3D camera. They perhaps only need to make one out of all those too-good-to-be-true features real to put Apple in a check-mate position. As advertised by Samsung, the next big thing is perhaps no longer coming from the Big Brother Apple, and we’ll figure this out in just hours from now.
Technology Meets Liberal Art
Apple once convinced the world that technology alone was not enough, and that it was the combination between technology and liberal arts that makes up a great user experience, not hardware specs or software capabilities alone. This message was clearly aimed to the aggressively growing Android-based smartphones that usually boast on the technical specs alone as their main USP. This was true a few years back, but since the introduction of Jelly Bean update, the gap between iOS and Android is closing in. At the same time, Apple seem to have taken their eyes of the ball on the hardware technology department.
All and all, I think Apple really need to go back to the basic, and start to relive the core values that they once believed and offered to their customers. More surprises, less predictable.