What impact, if any, will the iPhone 5 have on the Android ecosystem?

September 13, 2012

Yesterday Apple announced their sixth generation generation iPhone, the iPhone 5. It has a larger 4 inch screen, it has a new A6 chip, and it’s the first iPhone to come with 4G LTE support. What should the Android world think about this new device? Most people’s reactions will fit under one of three categories: apathy, optimism, and fear.

Starting with fear, the new iPhone is now incredibly competitive with today’s flagship Android devices. People who thought that the iPhone’s 3.5 inch screen was too small will now have one less excuse to ignore this new model. One of our favorite Android phones, the Samsung Nexus S, shipped in late 2010 with a 4 inch screen. We absolutely fell in love with the form factor. It wasn’t too difficult to use with one hand, it could slip in and out of our pockets with ease, and, because it was a “Google Phone” it got software updates faster than any other Android device on the market. The problem with the Nexus S is that in today’s world it’s incredibly underpowered. That and it doesn’t have 4G LTE, which is critical for many Americans. Sure, there are plenty of 4G LTE Android phones out there today, but they’re massive. The Verizon Galaxy Nexus has a 4.65 inch screen, the HTC One X has a 4.7 inch screen, and the Galaxy S3 has a 4.8 inch screen. The iPhone 5′s display, at 4 inches, is a lot more manageable. And unlike smaller 4.3 inch Android phones, this new iPhone has an incredibly high resolution display.

On the other side of the coin, some of you are probably happy that Apple launched the new iPhone because it shows your favorite Android handset maker that it’s definitely possible to come out with a flagship device that isn’t the size of your face. One device that was recently announced that springs to mind is the Sony Xperia V. It has a 4.3 inch 720p display, a 13 megapixel camera, and the same dual core 4G LTE enabled Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 that’s inside the American variants of the Galaxy S3. We haven’t reviewed the Xperia V yet, but we’re pretty confident that it’s quickly going to become our new favorite Android phones because of it’s svelte size and incredibly attractive design. Maybe Samsung will try making the Galaxy S4 smaller because of the iPhone 5, maybe HTC will make a new One X that uses the same 4.5 inch display that’s in Nokia’s new Lumia 920. We can only hope.

And finally there’s the apathetic folks. You guys probably aren’t even reading this article since you couldn’t care less about what Apple is doing. That’s an incredible shame, because as much as we don’t want to admit it, Google takes a lot of ideas from Apple. They also take ideas from Microsoft, the handset maker formerly known as Palm, and many other companies that we’ve probably never even heard of. Sir Isaac Newton once famously said: “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” What he means by that is that his work was possible because of everything that mathematicians and physicists did before his time. Oddly enough, there’s nothing really in the iPhone 5 that we see can inspire other handset makers, but like we said earlier, we wish they’d pay attention to Apple’s unwillingness to make gargantuan phones.

Forgetting about the iPhone 5 for a second, what’s really important here is that the iPhone 4 is now free with a two year contract in America, and it’s “only” 400 Euros in Europe. It’s a two year old phone, we know that, but it runs the latest version of iOS and it’s price competitive with devices like the Samsung Galaxy S2.

We’ll have more to say about the iPhone 5 once we get our hands on one. We’ll play with it, point out the good things, laugh at the bad things, and count the days until Google announces their next Nexus device.

Comments

  • yarrellray

    I can’t help but laugh at this iphone 5 offering yesterday. It’s pretty pathetic atbest. Enjoy this priceless video.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u28sTUxk3jw&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    • Darktanone

      Apple knew early on in the game that it’s better to make incremental changes to your products at a slower pace, than to make radical changes at a quicker pace.¬†This is Apple’s way of establishing a look for the iPhone going forward that will create distinction between it and the competition. Anyone can make a big phone, but making a small phone containing all the tech of the bigger phones is the innovation. The familiar design will strengthen the brand in consumer’s minds and establish the iPhone as the only premium brand. Again, Apple is playing by their own rules. They’ve already reimagined and redefined the mobile phone industry that others are now, so-called, innovating. Now, that’s laughable!

      • abhi

        if they make big screen who buys ipads….. and if one buys ipad why to buy iphone….

        • Darktanone

          I don’t understand what you’re trying to say.

      • Arturo Carter

        uhh, I don’t want an iphone. Their idea of innovation and your’s, is a little on the restricted side for me. I mean dude, My iphone buddies struggle to share anything with all that copying and pasting links and such. I’m not gonna get into a deep comparison. Apple can keep their philosophy of innovating if it works for them and you. I’ll take the cutting edge stuff google and the OEMs provides.

        • Darktanone

          Apple’s idea of innovation is why you love your Android phone! Why it exists in its current state!¬†Without the industry changing innovations the iPhone introduced to the world, ¬†you’d be stuck with a Blackberry derivative! ¬†So what is it about their innovation you don’t like? Remember, “Slow and steady wins the race”.¬†

          • http://www.facebook.com/joel.luna.5243 Joel Luna

            Slow and steady wins the race for the blind masses who want to be led. But those of us who prefer change and cutting edge technology know better and we’re ready to taste whatever goodies Android has to offer because right now we’re getting more bang for our buck. The iphone 5 is going to have the same shell and software 2 years from now while Android will only continue to innovate and push the boundaries.

      • yarrellray

        Pretty weak response

  • Anirudh Singh

    you want android to start goin back to smaller screens cos iphone didnt launch a big enough screen? ! are you kiddin me?

    Note 2, 4.1 JB, FTW !

    • AshdChap109

      Exactly what I was thinking!! Before this iPhone 5 launch all I saw everywhere was people loving the huge screens that it is the thing now. But since iPhone didn’t go larger we have to follow after that?…WHAT? I love my S3. I would never get rid of it for the 5. Not saying I will never get one just bc but I would never give up my big beautiful screen BETTER resolution and customization. Nope.

    • 3dfreek

      dude… I’m with you… I’m absolutely loving the idea that the iPlop only has a 4″ and that’s only because of one statement that jobs made a million years ago (“3.5″ is all my iSheep will get/need” or some such), when the iPlop’s limited abilities were state of the art… now I can get so much more on my S3 screen and it’s big enough to read… take nearly an inch (.8″) away and I need a magnifier… hmpf

    • Ivan Budiutama

      agree, size does matter, if Apple wants to keep the screen size small then it is their choices, there is no reason for others to follow (and threatened of being sued). Well at the very least, make both choice available

  • Jeff Alberda

    Yes Android needs some great smaller options, but mostly for small girls. My wifes sister just got a Galaxy S3 and she laughed yesterday when I told her that Apple thinks its too wide.
    All the iPhone5 launch did for me was confirm what I have been thinking, that Apple hasn’t had any ideas.
    Am I the only one who saw a lot of the Nokia Lumina in their new iPod Nano?

    The iPhone5 is still a solid offering but gone are the days when Apple was heads above the rest in term of hardware and software. Now if only we can get OEMs to abandon skins, offer their skins as a downloadable custom UI, and make updates prompt and reaching back to older phones.

  • LivinFree

    None, Android is moving forward on its own just fine and still innovatin. Apple has lost there innovation as of late as we can see with this release. IMHO this iPhone 5 is a total failure for an update. Big deal they increased the screen size a 1/2″ which is still behind the 8 ball in todays standards. YAY…..NOT, they put a new plug on it so everyone gets to buy new stuff yet again so Apple makes more $$ of the iSheep clan. the processor is nothing special for this day and age, the headphone jack is in a dumb location as well. About the only worth while update was going to LTE on it finally.

    • 3dfreek

      …and they will no doubt get sued multiple times for LTE =)

  • reddragon72

    Everyone is missing the point with the screen. The only benefits you will get out of it is movies will no longer be scrunched up. Because the screen is still the same width it means current apps and futures app won’t really gain anything from it. The only use for games could be putting the controls on the sides but your viewing area is still a bismal 3.5 inches lol

    • 3dfreek

      call me in 20 years… kids can read 1.8″ screens does that mean we all should? I’m not a young person and I love that I don’t need glasses to read 4.8″ S3… just because you don’t want it bigger doesn’t mean you’re everybody… just sayin’

      • reddragon72

        ummmmm… I think you fired this at the wrong person or miss read my post. I am clearly cracking on the screen and those that say it was a perfect move for Apple to not run with everyone else and remain true to their design. This is what I have been reading on tons of sites and it is just to funny how defensive people can be about the Iphone..

  • Wings

    Competitive my ar__.. with what Android. Apple is in the grave with Jobs.

    • iphone!!~

      if its in the grave how come they make more money than any other company if thats the case i would like to die and be in the same grave as apple, wouldnt you?

  • Viruswrap

    What iphone 5-hit? what impact? looks to me like an inferior device compared to the latest android smartphones now availalbe. crApple has totally lost the plot, I’m glad that I chose wisely heading the android path!

    • Darktanone

      That’s because you’re looking at where the puck is instead of where it’s going. You’ve been trained to think that way by Google’s marketing, and you’ll be surprised when it turns out to be a hit with consumers, the press and achieve greater sales than its predecessor. Already online preorders have sold out in about one hour. Initial sales are expected to hit 10 million in a few days.¬†

      • http://www.facebook.com/joel.luna.5243 Joel Luna

        We all ready know its going to sell like gangbusters, thats not the point. Is Android worried about what the iphone 5 has to offer? Of course not because Android can no longer be stopped as the hardware and software has finally matured to trump what Apple has to offer.

      • Ivan Budiutama

        and you actually sounds like Apple marketing but oh well, I am actually trying to say that you might be on the wrong community here, I think there are a lot of “i” forums and community out there to rant about how good apple is.

  • arcwindz

    Well I don’t like the 4 inch Iphone, but i do certainly agree that I’ll need a smaller high-end phone, I’ve been searching for months and can’t found a decent 4,3 incher with a high-end spec
    well there is the xperia v, but guess what? it doesn’t come to my country! and there is Razr m but it is kinda meh…
    I am just hoping no one will ever step the boundary of 4,7inch(or4,8 if u will) and still calling it a mobile phone

  • Southrncomfortjm

    The GNEX screen is the perfect size for me. What I hope Android OEMs take from Apple is the emphasis on shrinking components to make the devices smaller while maintaining the same screen size. Imagine a GNEX 2 with the same size screen, but a bit less bezel and heft, better battery and 2GB ram? I’d dig it.

  • Dtysthriders

    I would never sacrifice my lrg screen for a smaller one.

    • leoingle

      agree 200%

  • iphone!!~

    SMH.. all these iPhone haters everyone know that the iphone is better than any android in my opinion except for the widgets and some freedom but the speed, non-lag, style, materials, durability, marketing, compability, and accessories that the iphone has to offer i will never change from it

    • leoingle

      Extremely opinionated. I disagree with half of the things you put.
      Speed – i dont know what deivce you have tried, but the last 3 android devices I have had are no way slower than the iphone I had.
      non-lag – see speed.
      durability – seriously?? every time you turn around, you hear somebody crying about the screen cracking with iphones. HTC tops them in durability.
      marketing – who cares about marketing?? Marketing does not help the end user, it helps the company selling it.
      compatibility – one phone, one os. either it is made for it or it isnt. wtf does that have to do with compatibility??
      accessories – one again, same phone. I dont care that they have 6 of them named something different, it’s still the same phone. so of course they are gonna have more accessories. with android, you have variety, there is a phone for everybody’s liking. You dont get that at Apple. Some people care about the actual phone more than accessories. But accessories is a sore subject with apple users right now, so enjoy buying your 30 dollar adapter or 40 dollar cable.

      • carlisimo

        Most of that is true, but I gotta say the Galaxy SIII has a bit of lag just flipping between home screens, and you’d never see that on an iPhone that’s less than two years old. With an A15 cortex processor and a lighter OS, the iPhone5 will probably be faster than the GSIII anyway.

        • leoingle

          Well any lag the S3 has, you can blame Samsung on that with TouchWiz. Because I have CM9 on an almost 3 year old Samsung Captivate and it has zero lag. The biggest setback to the Android world is the manufacturer’s overlays without a doubt. That why I am all about pure/AOSP Android.

        • http://www.facebook.com/joel.luna.5243 Joel Luna

          Just wait til it gets Jb in a month or so.

    • 3dfreek

      call me after you try to shove ur 5 in ur trusty dock… compatibility? I always thought that it was cool that everybody in the world had a cool dock for the iToad but they forgot to put the “compatible” plug in it… I’ll stick with my bluetooth speaker setup

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/FWBHCM6QS65XYXJCHPSVBOD5YU William

        USB is generally more compatible than iphone docks.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/FWBHCM6QS65XYXJCHPSVBOD5YU William

    The iphone 5 looks closer to Android. Hmm?

  • meetzman

    Firstly, full disclaimer is called for. Have posted this message on another site. Secondly, I am, and have been an Android user for numerous years. Several devices, rooted, and crack-flashed to no end, but let’s be completely honest here. For an “out-of-box” experience, my vote would go to the iPhone. As a complete “smartphone”, user experience-wise, I think the iPhone is a great device. My personal preference would be to run vanilla JB (skin-adverse, I am) on the S3, then stack Google Now up against Siri, and get away from the media storms, as well as “The best phone!!!!!” fan-boy flame wars. Love to see the proc specs for the iPhone (A6?), but hazarding a guess, not far off from Samsung’s offering. But again, Apple is playing catch-up, instead of bringing bigger and better to the table. At the end of it all, dependency on ecosystem will dictate sales, plus I love
    the excellent point Jimmy Kimmel made (look up the clip, on Google…LOL!). Will make no difference as to what is manufactured and sold. The marketing machines will continue to churn. Litigation, and comments (THINNEST PHONE EVER) made out of school. Bide your time, if possible. November is coming soon. My advice. If you want to make an INFORMED purchase, wait the next month or so, do your research, and buy WHAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000183131898 Reno Rozay

    IPHONE 5 IS A SLEEPER NOTHING TO BLINK AT THEY NOT CHANGING WIT THE TIMES ANDROID GOT THIS 500 MILLION IN STILL GOING

  • http://www.facebook.com/nithin1993 Nithin Gowda

    apple knew that they cant compete with samsung using thier iphone 5 so they struggled so hard in legal battles …
    who knows they might have bribed that bitchy judge

  • Former iPhone User

    Who are these people that say phones like the GS3 are oversized? I’m a 5’8″ asian guy and I can use most of the GS3′s functions with one hand (other than typing). The pictures of Josh T. from the Verge holding the iPhone 5 with one hand look ridiculous. The iPhone looks like a medium sized eraser. Who want’s a tall narrow phone. You have to turn the iPhone to landscape to get any reading done.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/FWBHCM6QS65XYXJCHPSVBOD5YU William

    A friend of mine said that I don’t need usb or sd card, because of the cloud.
    BTW, he started drinking the Apple Kool-Aid. I hope I can treat him. :(

  • goonie

    Quick note: Google Scholar search engine’s theme/slogan is standing on the shoulders of Giants. You sir are a fanboy. http://scholar.google.com/ :p

    PS I could care less what the iphone does, and I have big hands. Itll be a cold day in a HtRolaSung inferno before I make an Iphone my daily driver. Maybe for my wife, sister mom and gram that will work, but me and my pops rock droids. Big Ones with Big Processors, Big Batteries and Big TiXXies…..ehem please omit the last one….wrong category.

  • Ivan Budiutama

    a big NO, at least have both choices available. I’m already comfortable with my 4.65″ screen of my Nexus

  • http://twitter.com/martyfarty Martin Power

    As a previous GS2 user – absolutely loved the phone but not gone for the successor GS3 just not a step forward. The one thing Samsung need to do is increase it’s premium feel. That Apple has chosen to only incrementally increase their device is not surprising to anyone who knows apple and fits in with their ideals. I prefer more cutting edge stuff but each to their own. However until Google gets a grip with Android updates this is the one issue that defines the gap between them and Apple and as such sees lots of defections which is a shame.