Apple’s iPhones are exceptionally popular. Apple sells insane amounts of them every quarter and has done since...well...since it first started selling them way back in 2007. Apple’s model is simple and the iPhone is its cash cow, so the company is very careful when it comes to changing things, which is why we get incremental updates between each new redesign.
Say what you want about Apple, its phones, and Jony Ive, but the formula -- a very simple formula -- works. Apple has grown its phone business gradually over the past four years and the net result today, largely thanks to it successfully tapping China, is a HUGE amount of sales and an even bigger pile of revenues and profits.
Apple was first out the gates with a true, touchscreen smartphone, one that captured the public’s imagination. It was the first, yes. But Google and its legion of hardware partners quickly rose to the occasion, pumping out a myriad of handsets. And it was Google and its hardware partners that really pushed the innovation curve regarding phones.
Just look at how fast things changed between 2010 and 2015, compare the HTC Hero to the Samsung Galaxy S6 EDGE. The evolution has been phenomenal. And one thing has always been abundantly clear since, well, around 2011 -- Android phones have much higher specs and a lot more hardware jammed inside them.
Whether you’re talking about display resolution, application processors, connectivity or memory. Android always forged ahead in front of Apple. Hell, Android even did proper multitasking before the iPhone. Ditto for giving users access to higher amounts of memory and more control over their handset’s system settings -- something that has still yet to happen in iOS.
I use an iPhone at present, but from 2010 to 2014 I was pretty much Android through-and-through with occasional dips into BB10 and Windows Phone. And the reason for this was simple: I liked testing out and using the latest specs, hardware, and new types of connectivity like BLE 4.0 and NFC. But I also noticed something else while living in the Android camp for so long…
Apple’s iPhone’s, almost since they first launched, have ALWAYS been at least one or two generations behind current Android flagships. Just look at the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and how they compare to the LG G4, Samsung Galaxy S6 and LG G4. Or how Android phones, well, not all of them, have had water resistance and wireless charging for years.
I’ve been using the LG G Flex 2 for the past couple of weeks, for example, and I am completely infatuated by the device. I LOVE the way it looks and I really like its curved display, the way it contours around my face while making calls, and how it feels in my hand when using it for things like texting and web browsing.
Part of me thinks the G Flex should be LG’s flagship line of phones. I certainly prefer the way it looks compared to the LG G3 and LG G4, despite the fact its specs aren’t quite as good. I never thought I’d buy into the curved display thing, but I do really like how LG has implemented it here -- it doesn’t feel like a gimmick as much as Samsung’s EDGE series does. It actually ADDS something to the experience -- and not just aesthetically.
You can say the same thing about display technology too, or why it took Apple SO LONG to switch to ever-so-slightly larger display panels. Google’s Android partners, notably Samsung and LG, are responsible for this shift in consumer attitude. It is because of them we have big phones with QHD panels on the front of them. They have changed the way we view the phone and what to expect from a display, while Apple, at least for the past few years, has simply followed its nose, claiming it knows best, before eventually -- almost as if it is under duress --conceding that, yes, maybe it is time to do an iPhone with a normal-sized display.
You definitely DO NOT need QHD panels and I know a lot of people hate 6in displays on phones. But the point here is that if you want an iPhone with decent specs, a thing we actually got this year, you NEED Android brands like Samsung and LG because they’re the guys that truly drive the implementation of better hardware and specs inside iPhones, albeit at a much later date.
I know, I know. Apple sells more phones. But that’s not the point here; the point is much simpler: without Android phones, without this type of competition, the iPhone of today would probably look and feel more like the iPhone 4 than the iPhone 6. Just look what happened to BlackBerry phones when they had a monopoly on the mobile space prior to the arrival of Google and Apple (answer: diddly squat).
Android is good at introducing bleeding-edge technology, hardware, and specs to the market and making that stuff seem like something everyone and his dog wants on their phones. Apple's just better at selling it in droves to consumers across the globe. Plus, Apple has the added benefit of controlling EVERYTHING that goes on inside its ecosystem, including ALL financial transactions.
So, the moral of the story here is simple: if you want to know what Apple’s iPhones will be like in 2016 and 2017, just look at modern Android flagships today. That’s what Apple’s been doing these last few years which is why the iPhone 7 or iPhone 8 will probably be water and dust resistant and have 3-or-4GB of RAM and a QHD display.