Apple Shoots Own Foot with iPhone 4S; Bulldozes Clearer, Wider Path for Android Domination

by: Darcy LaCouveeOctober 5, 2011

Pretty much every ardent Apple fan is disappointed in Apple right now. Apple’s devices are more than just mere devices and, for many, are considered to be signature items that they are proud to own. With Apple failing to offer a landmark, ground-breaking new design, many in the world of Apple are not impressed with Apple’s latest offering–the iPhone 4S. What does this mean for Android, and for Android fans in general?

Here’s the quick breakdown:

  • The iPhone 4S fails to wow or impress both investors and fans.
  • Rivals like Samsung and HTC are expected to grab even more market share from Apple before Christmas.
  • Samsung’s shares immediately rose by 1.7% , LG’s by 0.4%, and HTC’s by 0.6%.
  • Apple’s suppliers are all declining in the markets, too.
  • Apple’s commitment is to their investors, and by maintaining the same manufacturing process as for the iPhone 4, Apple will make even more money off a product that looks identical.
  • Apple will grab more market share in developing, emerging economies, as sales have stagnated in the U.S. and Europe.

Rarely do smartphone and tablet manufacturers get a break this big. For the first time in a long time, the iPhone and Apple have failed to impress both fans and investors alike. With the Nexus Prime set to be introduced on October 11, and with Ice Cream Sandwich expected to be released one day before iOS 5, Apple’s loss is Android’s gain. It’s that simple.

Android is the leading smartphone platform globally, and for good reason. Hardware diversity, faster product release cycles, different price points, the immense popularity of free applications in the Android Market, and the overall customizability of the Android platform itself are resulting in more than 600,000 Android devices being activated each and every day.

Apple No Longer Market Leader

Innovative, quick to market designs are coming - with Android on board

Introduced back in 2007, the iPhone heralded a new generation for smartphones. With its emphasis on ease of use, aesthetics, and build quality, it quickly became the world’s best smartphone at the time. Since then, it climbed to a comfortable spot in terms of marketshare, and became a signature item, both locally and abroad.

With the announcement of the iPhone 4S yesterday, shares of Samsung Electronics , HTC, and LG Electronics–who all happen to make phones using Google’s Android operating system–rose yesterday.

It’s likely that these three companies, along with other Android handset makers, will capitalize on this new negative sentiment towards Apple. A quick look through the comments will reveal that Apple’s core base of customers–the earliest tech adopters and brand evangelists–are deeply disappointed, and in some cases downright angry and vulgar.  Their golden darling has failed to impress them.  They expected a newly designed, innovative product.

Android’s Opportunity

With Apple on the defensive now, companies like Samsung (with their extremely successful line of Galaxy devices), LG, and HTC are likely to become much more aggressive in promoting their flagship Android phones.

For Samsung, this will be the Nexus Prime. For LG, this will be the LG Optimus EX. For HTC, this will be the HTC Vigor.

Each and every one of these devices boasts of many technical advantages over Apple’s iPhone 4S.  More than that, analysts and ardent fans of Android all around the world are waiting eagerly to see what Google has done with Ice Cream Sandwich.

“Apple no longer has a leading edge, its cloud service is even behind Android; it can only sell on brand loyalty now,” said Gartner analyst C.K. Lu in Taipei.  “Users may wait to buy the next iPhone, if they can’t wait, they may shift to brands with more advanced specs,” added Lu.

With Apple releasing new devices in a significantly slower cycle than its competitors’, it’s unlikely that people will wait another 16 months for the next iPhone to present itself.  To the disappointment  of millions, the iPhone 4S is identical in form and look to the previous model.  Many were expecting a bigger-screened, thinner design of a smartphone that has not been updated for what can seem like an eternity in the world of mobile devices.

And, what about you? Do you think Apple still has a chance to compete with Android with their latest lackluster release?  Or did the iPhone 4S just slash away the thickets and make way for Android to move faster forward?

  • Anonymous

    I can see why the fanbois would be disappointed. The new iPhone 4S probably doesn’t represent enough of an upgrade for a lot of the iPhone 4 owners while Apple may pick up some 3GS owners looking for a new handset. I wouldn’t mind betting that there are several people out there that have been patiently waiting to get their hands on a highly anticipated iPhone 5 and for these people a 4.3-inch+ screen at HD (720p) resolution on an Android handset will be looking mighty tempting right about now. It seemed to be blatantly contradictory that they hailed the new hardware and stressed that it had an upgraded GPU which is still going to be driving the same old screen as its predecessor.
    For me though the icing on the cake, above and beyond the hardware issues, is the fact that several of the new features they are heavily promoting for IOS 5 already exist in Android.
    From where I’m sitting the future for Android is looking pretty good and lots of interesting goodies on the horizon. To finish off this year for the Android fans we get ICS, there’s a new HTC, the Nexus Prime and just maybe the Transformer 2.

    • This wasn’t aimed at iPhone 4 owners though. They’re still on contract for another year. This is aimed squarely at iPhone 3G/3GS owners who are off contract. That being said, I’ve asked around my office, and not many Apple heads are all that excited, and one or two have been asking about my Epic Touch… :D

  • Abc

    My intuition isn’t always right – but this really feels like a turning point to me. Apple are no longer able to make the impressive leaps in the portable computer field that justify premium prices.

  • Apple an the iPhone 4s are a joke. All they have done is give the iPhone 4 a slightly faster processor and an excuse why 4g isn’t necessary and scam people into paying top dollar for the same phone.

  • The Nexis prime is going to crush Apple. Maybe instead of breaking into people’s homes and suing everyone maybe you can actually innovate for once Apple. All hail Android

  • Anonymous

    Totally glad I made the switch over to the droid side. Another disappointment from Apple. Got my X2 last week from the site for free. I dont think they were sold out and I didnt see a promo end date.

  • Seems to me that Apple is repeating the same mis-steps as previously made with Apple computers… it’s OUR hardware, and we control it tightly. Nobody else makes an Apple phone or uses our OS. Sound familiar??

    How many people own Apple computers today, vs. the IBM clone Windows PC… which Android seems to be modeled after- and that “run what you brung” method of domination is destroying Apple in the market every day.

  • Apple knows they are no longer ahead in innovation, now they are just trying to get as much longevity as they can outa their products and sucker as many people as possible into their ecosystem before the competition pulls even more ahead.

  • Jon Garrett

    the saddest thing about all this is that even though the iPhone 4S is sporting last year’s Android phone’s specs, people will still line up at 4AM on launch day at every Apple retail store and every AT&T store to buy this lackluster phone.

    whats even worse is that those same people wont even look twice at phones like the S2 and Prime. they only want the iPhone 4S just because its an iPhone.

  • Eugew23

    What’s disappointing is that when Apple makes aproduct that doesn’t quite satisfy, Apple fanboys think it is the end for them. They don’t consider something else as an alternative. A diehard Apple fan will not consider a phone from Samsung or HTC or even Motorola. On the flip side, Android device owners seem to be more open towards trying a new product. I myself have a Droid 2 Global, and although I am quite satisfied with it, I wouldn’t mind trying out an iPhone myself. Android Authority writer Matt Sabatini said himself that he loves the iPhone, but wouldn’t get another if he had the opportunity. Apple fans need to know to open that dull wits of theirs and consider trying an Android device. Nexus Prime, anyone?

  • YoPauly

    Hey Darcy,

    I think you spoke too soon, and you should update your post. That’s what you get for posting something before you’ve given it time to actually report facts rather than opinion.

    The iphone 4S has surpassed everyone’s expectation, even Apple. It may not be an iphone5, but even after weeks of its release, you still can’t walk into a store and just boy one. I don’t see waiting lists for any Android phones.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m still on the fence, currently with an iphone 4s, wondering about the Rezound and/or Galaxy Nexus, but the big mistake they made (for me anyway) was not make them world phones.