If you believe Apple’s spin the iPhone 4 is the best thing since sliced bread. It’s not. They’ve added some great improvements but nothing earth shattering. They’ve obviously felt the need to go all out on the marketing spin.
The competition is already up in their face. Google is very happy with their Android platform that provides plenty of speed and is stuffed to the gills with features. The battle ground is clear.
- Mobile OS
- Hardware (sensors, input)
- Form factor
- Software distribution
Apple can now boast having the display to beat. They needed to up the ante because they were getting seriously outgunned in this area. Battery life is not something that’s been touted much, neither has memory or even storage for that matter. Memory no longer matters very much, users have enough, and battery life sucks for everyone. Sucking less isn’t a unique selling point.
The iPhone OS (now called iOS 4) is still ahead of the competition. However, the way software plays in the media is with feature lists. Even though we know that features lists are by no means an indicator of quality or even usefulness but people like keeping score. Apple for the most part has been able to match of lot of these features with iOS 4.
Design wise I’d be surprised to see another phone maker able to reach the previous benchmark set by the iPhone 3G. When I say design I mean, hardware, the OS, core applications and how they all work together. The new design sets it apart even more despite its industrial and minimalist aesthetic. I’d imagine Dieter Rams nodding his head in approval. The downside is that many consumers are not discerning design aficionados. This heightened design will sadly be lost on many.
The fact of the matter is that Apple’s greatest triumph is that they control the vertical. Apple is good in hardware, software, development, sales and they absolutely own the distribution with the App Store. That’s what makes it great. The problem is you can’t sell that, nobody cares about the vertical, all you can do is spin it. The iPhone was already great and they’re now running out of superlatives.