As the summer rolls around, we are expected to put the rumors to rest and see the unveiling of the newest iPhone sometime in June. What is exciting about this upcoming model over its predecessors is the fact that it may represent the biggest jump in technology since the smartphone’s inception. Reminisce with me as we look back at where we started with the first iPhone to today’s 3GS.
The iPhone 2G came out and wowed us with its sleek appearance and amazing touch screen. Mixed in with the fact that you were able to download games and applications to it, and you have a device that was second to none. Apple hit us with the iPhone 3G a year later. Once again, we were impressed with the slightly sleeker form factor, the new 3G speeds and simultaneous data and voice use. But that was pretty much where it stopped. The 3G wasn’t so much a leap in evolution as it was more of a baby step. The following model, the iPhone 3GS, offered only one major addition – a video camera that allowed you to edit and send video. At this point, users were not as wowed as before.
Meanwhile, Google introduced its Android operating system via the HTC’s G1, which launched on T-Mobile a little over a year ago. Phone geeks were amazed at its abilities and overall customization. But it didn’t really connect with mass consumers – that is, until Verizon unleashed a media blitz surrounding its Motorola Droid. Suddenly Android was on everyone’s lips. The platform was quietly revolutionary on one carrier. Now, there’s at least one Android device on all the major carriers, and several choices on most in the United States.
Since Google first jumped into the scene to now, it has experienced a drastic surge in the Android market share. According to a recent study from AdMob, Android phones jumped in sales and gained an overall share of 22 percent in just one year. The iPhone during that same time period experienced an 11 percent drop in share, holding now at 44 percent.
Should this be alarming for Apple fans? Nope. In fact, I argue that this was the best thing that could’ve possibly happened for iPhone enthusiasts.
We should be rejoicing. After years of dominating the smartphone industry, Apple is feeling the heat from a legitimate threat, so much so that the company has started making stronger and faster improvements with its devices. Could you imagine what this year’s iPhone would be like had Android not shown up? Maybe we would have received a better camera. Heck, we might have seen more storage capacity. But would that have been it? Probably. But the expectations on this next iteration of the iPhone are pretty high, and much of the predictions are coming from established media outlets and journalists.
On April 8th, Apple announced what the “Seven tent-poles” are going to be for the new 4.0 OS. But here is where I will tell you to stop and think. They also mentioned that there is going to be over 100 new user features. 100 new features! Sure I know that multitasking, folders and a universal inbox are in high demand; but what else does Apple have up its sleeves? Widgets? Maybe we will be able to customize the clock. How about giving us control to change icons or even relabel those icons. Whatever they have in store let us not forget, Apple is pretty secretive about their software before it releases. We will not know what they fully have in store for us until it is time to launch the new iPhone.
So the next time you encounter an Android fan, stop and thank them! That’s right, thank them for being so enthusiastic about their phones. Because without Google and its devout fanbase, it might have taken years before we saw multitasking and a universal inbox on your new iPhone.
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