We’re still hours away from what will probably be Apple Inc’s most important announcement of the year, but I’m making a wager: nothing they go over, no bullet points they unveil, no ‘magical, revolutionary’ features their newest phone has, will prevent them from losing even more mind and marketshare to Android. Their announcement today is a reaction to their steady decline (or really, lack of ascent) with an iterative product. Are you putting money on Cupertino’s biggest deal, because it sure seems quiet here…
From the word that the new iPhone 5 will be on three American carriers (with Sprint throwing down $20 billion to secure it) to a thinner profile and a larger screen, more features than ever (again, rumored) seem to be a response to the variety of Android phones on the market. Last year’s iPhone 4 release brought us a more delicate phone with some much-publicized antenna issues. Sure, the display was sharper, sure the camera was better, it was also a quality phone. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t enough to stem the competition’s growth.
But how can you do that when you release one new phone model a year? The major outlets are already writing about the iPhone 5’s announcement with some doubt and right fully so. When the iPhone 4 released, Android had only been on their Droid-powered winning streak for eight months. Now that they have a phone for everyone on all carriers, Apple sticking to the same old, same old is going to get old very quick. Any new feature will be easily outdone by a competitor within months and fans will still be stuck with the same iPhone to select from. The tech titan has argued against splintering the market and creating a divergent iOS experience (something we see with each new iPhone model anyway, but whatever) and yet Android finds itself reveling in doing those very same things.
I’m sure Walt Mossberg is going to love the hell out of it, but the iPhone 5 announcement won’t be Apple leading the market, it’ll be Apple catching up.