Monday, December 9, 2013

Why the New Generation of iPhones Are a Bigger Game Changer Than They Seem

The latest iPhone devices – the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C, have been getting very good reviews in terms of their usability, style and build quality. However, one thing that the iPhone buying community seems a little bit disappointed by, is that these devices didn't offer, from many people's point of view, a radical departure from the last generation.
While Apple have completely redesigned their graphical user interface with iOS 7, the new operating system that is featured on both new phones, as well as on recent iPads like the iPad 4 and iPad Air, the iOS 7 system can also be installed on some older iPhone models, so isn't really a 'feature' that is exclusive to the new gen. However, there are a few things that actually do make this generation of iPhones more of a game changer than they may seem on the first pass. Here are some of them:

Fingerprint Scanning That Works

One of the most interesting new features of the iPhone 5S (the cheaper 5C doesn't come with this), is that it is the first iPhone to have a fingerprint sensor. Fingerprint scanners on tech devices that are used to verify that you are the owner in place of passwords are nothing new – laptops have had them for ages, but on a phone, they are quite a novelty. It is likely that Apple waited this long to implement a scanner because they wanted to make sure it worked properly. Their people have been quoted as saying that if things like this don't work well, people just disable them, so it is vital to get them right before you put a product out there in people's hands. They took a similar approach with Siri, the voice activated digital assistant. Lots of phones had voice recognition long before Apple came out with theirs, but they wanted to ensure Siri was a cut above what other phones offered.
While, like Siri, the fingerprint sensor probably won't turn out to be perfect, you can pretty much guarantee it will be better than the one on your old HP laptop from 2007, and you can also be pretty certain that it will set the bar so other manufacturers are sure to start putting sensors like this on their own smartphones.
As a word of caution: while there are new security features in iOS 7 and the 5S does indeed protect your data using your fingerprint, these things only really help after your phone has been stolen, and they sadly aren't likely to get you your phone back. For this reason, if you are buying an iPhone, you should always insure it with a mobile phone insurer. The UK website is a good place to start if you want to look for quotes.

An iPhone For People Who Don't Want to Pay For An iPhone

From a business perspective, perhaps the most interesting thing about this generation of iPhones was the introduction of a two tier model in terms of pricing and specifications. Blackberry have been doing this forever, with one set of handsets made from plastic which tend to be cheaper and are appealing to businesses to buy in bulk as company phones, and then the slicker looking aluminium phones which users can choose if they want more quality and style – both ranges work the same and have the same features, they just are designed on a budget and premium model two tier strategy. Other manufacturers like Samsung offer a whole range of different handsets below their flagship model, but we know Apple are never going to do that!
So why have Apple decided that 2013 is the year they want to make iPhones more financially accessible? It isn't that they are trying to shed their image as a fairly expensive, top end company – the iPhone 5C isn't cheap enough to put it in the 'budget' category, and they have been making cheaper lines in term of iPods for years (the Nano and the Shuffle being much cheaper than the top end iPod Touch, though also very different). Instead, it looks as though they have decided that diversifying by making a cheaper product that will no doubt be popular in emerging markets, as well as with teens (the colourful designs certainly seem to have been created with young users in mind), they lose nothing but capture a whole new user base. Apple are outsold by Samsung and other Android devices hugely in developing countries, which are a huge market, and the new 5C may just be the perfect product to help them raise their market share in places where people just aren't willing or able to spend hundreds on a new phone.

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