It’s a funny old world. It seems only yesterday that Apple were breaking the mould and trailblazing off into the future whilst the rest of the consumer electronics world sat there, dumbstruck.
It seems, maybe, that its Apple’s turn to be dumbstruck. Recent events have not really gone Apple’s way:
- Android gaining a greater marketshare, not just of units but of people actually using the devices properly (until recently that wasn’t the case).
- Price disparity: comparable Android device are now less than half the cost of Apple devices.
- Not much in the way of new products; in the last year we’ve had a new charging cable (pain) plus slightly faster processors … and IOS7.
- IOS7 more like Android. Launched with lots of new (to Apple) features that, broadly, came from the Android world, closing the product gap.
- Over-priced entry-level iPhone 5c costs £120 more than the previous entry-level model, iPhone 4s. And it’s plastic.
- Erosion of the mini-tablet market from the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire, both of which can be found for about £100. Versus £270 for the iPad Mini.
- Investor concern over pricing and lack of innovation.
By comparison, the Google Nexus 4 is £160 and comes with wireless charging, 8mb camera, huge 4.7″ screen and NFC communications, it’s closest Apple competitor is the iPhone 5c, which costs £470. Three times the price. That is nuts.
I’ve used both type of devices and whilst I still prefer the Apple Experience, I’m not sure if I’d throw any more money into Apple devices. Anecdotally, I bought a Nexus 7 in July for £95 and use it heavily – it’s good, and for less than £100 it’s amazing! Once the gap in applications on Android devices is closed (there are some apps I need that are either crummy or non-existent on Android) there is little reason to spend twice the amount of money on Apple in the future.
For Apple to maintain it’s lead in the portable device world it really needs to up its game. You may recall that Apple created this segment only a few years ago and it would be shame to see them go the same way Nokia went.
By Martin Dower