The iPhone 4S came out last autumn, and was an evolution rather than a revolution. There was a faster chip and Siri, but the 4S looked just like the 4 that was launched in 2010.
Samsung Galaxy S3 vs iPhone 5: What Apple may want to consider
Apple looked a bit lazy and so Samsung lept ahead in the design stakes this time around. Disregarding the legal tussles, let’s get down to basics.
People were surprised that the iPhone 5 didn’t launch last autumn, but Apple is actually sticking to its usual pattern. In 2008 there was the iPhone 3G, then the iPhone 3GS in 2009 with the same form as the 3G. This is known as the double whammy release cycle. Apple lets out a new body in one year, then follows the next year with the same body but enhanced internals the next.
The year that Apple spent on the design sidelines meant that its rivals surged ahead and took a turn at being the edgy ones for once.
Now we’re in the new phase of the cycle with the 4 & 4S double whammy out of the way, and we have a few ideas for features that the iPhone 5 could borrow from the Samsung Galaxy S3. After all, the S3 is bigger than the iPhone 4S and has a design that makes it seem as if Apple’s design gurus were having an off day.
The iPhone 4 really does look dated now. When the first leaks hit the media, many reckoned that it was a clunky prototype or engineering model. The Samsung Galaxy S3 looks sleek and polished, and feels good in the hand. The iPhone 4S looks and feels like an ice scraper, and that aluminum bezel looks battered in no time.
The iPhone 5 could take a few leaves from the S3 book. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has a great body – that amazing 4.8” screen, the NFC chip, the LTE speed and all the Android wizardry that iOS hasn’t cottoned onto yet (think Swype and CyanogenMod 10, custom launchers, a more human sounding Google Now among others). If you happen to be near an LTE tower, you’ll LOVE the 4G/LTE speeds in particular.
Of course, design-wise, straight or curvy comes down to individual preference, but Apple has been doing straight for two years now, and the iPhone 5 isn’t set to be different, it seems. Taller, but straight. Still.
So, the iPhone is still leading the market and Apple’s still the world’s most valuable company, but does this double whammy rhythm need to change? The hardware and design of the iPhone needs to be redesigned every year to stay ahead of the competition in our opinion, and Apple needs to both listen to customers and watch its rivals. Otherwise Android may continue at its accelerated pace and Apple may end up a little too comfortable with its iPhone strategy (think BlackBerry).