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?