Other What would the iPhone look like today if Android never existed?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by darksithpro, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. darksithpro macrumors 6502a

    Oct 27, 2016
    Always wondered this... Lets say Alphabet never made the Linux fork "Android" and instead all you had was a fragmented mess of competing distros from Samsung LG, Motorola and the rest. Do you think the iPhone would look and function the same as they are today?
  2. vertical smile macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

    Sep 23, 2014
    I think they would have followed the unique design that they had prior to the iPhone 6.

    The iPhone until then was very unique in design from the competition. Of course there were sone copycats after the fact, but every iPhone since the 6 could be easily confused with Android phones at launch.
  3. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    Things more than likely would be the same, or close to it, given that Apple was going down whatever path it had for iOS prior to all happening.
  4. vertical smile macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

    Sep 23, 2014
    Not counting the SE which got its design from the iPhone 5*
  5. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    Apple has always been it’s own entity, so I’m not sure if they would necessarily deviate because one thing wouldn’t exist over the other. But I always think competition is such a great thing, because it provides a unit of measurement for these competitors to see where the advancements are leading and what the consumer is favoring. (I.e Camera, Animoji, Augmented reality, etc.)
  6. JPack macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2017
    Five years ago, Apple and Google were embroiled in about two dozen patent lawsuits.

    Eventually, both agreed to drop all lawsuits because it was quite clear both parties were borrowing from each other.

    iPhone would be a lot different today, starting with the search and Siri functions.
  7. I7guy macrumors Core


    Nov 30, 2013
    Gotta be in it to win it
    Maybe a better question is what would android look like if the iPhone never existed?

    I can’t answer such a rhetorical question.
  8. AustinIllini macrumors demi-goddess


    Oct 20, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Alphabet (Google) didn't make Android, they bought it.

    Android's open source nature has allowed OEMs to develop their own features which become rolled into the OS longer term. As a result, Android benefits from having a collection of ideas adding their own features. A number of these features came to iPhone later. The following features would likely either not have happened or happened at a slower clip
    • Large displays. The demand for a large display was popularized by the Galaxy Note line of phones.
    • Wireless Charging. Numerous Android manufacturers implemented conductive charging, increasing demand
    • The use of an OLED display. Apple ships the best LCD displays, but OLED has been on Android for a long time and demand finally reached Apple.
    • Edge to edge displays. Another Samsung development. Without Android manufacturers, it is hard to imagine Apple would rush to develop this kind of device
    • Home button removal . See Edge to Edge display
    From a strictly software standpoint, Android beat iPhone to a number of features which likely would have developed more slowly on iOS if Android didn't exist
    • Multitasking
    • Larger screen support - Apple perfected multitasking slowly, but the iOS 4 version of multitasking would probably have been tolerated a lot longer if Android didn't support true (also ridiculously battery draining) multitasking
    • Over the air updates - Android has always supported OTA updates. It's unclear whether or not Apple would have moved to OTA updates if their competitors weren't already doing it.

    All this goes without saying that Android has borrowed heavily for iOS. The black slab screen design was an iPhone creation. The iOS interface drove Android to develop Holo and then iOS 7 spurred Google's material design paradigm. iPhone is the reason the Pixel line exists, the reason Samsung devices aren't plastic, and the reason for most major standards getting adopted.

    It's give and take. I, for one, don't feel like one OS has an advantage over the other as to which ripped off the other. We, the customer, benefit from both OS development.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 7, 2019 ---
    Android devices would have probably looked like Blackberry devices, at least at the beginning. Although, I would argue Palm was on the right track and iPhone was on the front end of a trend that was probably inevitable. iPhone just did so much right.
  9. pika2000 macrumors 601

    Jun 22, 2007
    - Apple maps would’ve never existed, and Apple continues using Google as its stock Maps app
    - Plus size iPhones would’ve never existed.
    - Increase storage for the baseline model would’ve been delayed. We probably would still have 16GB as baseline, or just 32Gb at best.
    - Apple would be the dominant player in smartphone share as the likes of Samsung eg al sucks at software, and would never come up with anything big.
    - Windows Phone will be the second smartphone OS platform, and the likes of Samsung will reluctantly use it since they cannot do any better.
    - Palm WebOS would be a distant third minor competition, and they will still exist being the underdog with niche fans,
    - Apple would still be going the similar path on most things. My guess is without Android, we will still have the iPhone XS today, but no Max version and probably with just 32GB storage for baseline model.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 7, 2019 ---
    It will be just like a blackberry. There are plenty of evidence and pictures on the prototype of early Android phone prior to iPhone announcement.
  10. cnev3 macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2012
    We need competition. Jobs sums up why perfectly here:

  11. sdwaltz macrumors 6502a

    Apr 29, 2015
    I'd say that has more to do with Android device manufacturers copying Apple's design.
  12. vertical smile macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

    Sep 23, 2014
    Not really.

    I’m referring to the iPhone 6 at launch, there was Android phones that looked like the 6 design prior to the 6 launch.

    I vividly remember excitedly going to MR to check out the results of the iPhone 6 event, scrolling through the updates, only to be first confused by the photos. I thought the iPhone 6 was an Android phone.

    Yes, since the iPhone 6 launch, the differences between the phones became even more blurred, but up until the 6, the iPhone design seemed really unique to me.
  13. Vjosullivan macrumors 6502a


    Oct 21, 2013
    I would be disappointed if Apple had chosen a path from the outset and were just following it like robots, come what may. Much more realistic would be to expect that they, like everyone else, were watching everyone else and seeing what worked and what didn't and adjusting subsequent models accordingly.
  14. Shanghaichica macrumors G4


    Apr 8, 2013
    I think Apple do look at what other OEM’s are doing and sometimes copy certain features but they are quite disciplined when it comes to sticking it a path/schedule. They don’t rush things or move things forward. They stick to the plan and implement things on their own schedule.

    To be fair being the only OEM that runs iOS they have a lot more freedom to choose their own path. Android OEM’s are in constant competition to each other so they have to react quickly to what a competitor is doing or risk getting left behind.
  15. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    Apple is following a path that they have laid out and they do adjust things because they watch the market.

    But the goal of their path is not rooted in the present. The path they are on is to the device of the far future. All these iterations of iPhones we see right now are just intermediate steps towards that goal.

    The problem for Apple-tech oriented people (such as those on this forum) is that no-one outside of the chief designers and admins at Apple know what that ultimate goal is. I imagine it's not even something that can exist yet - except as an illustrated concept. The technology to make it real either isn't there or is in it's infancy.

    But one mark on the roadmap we do know about is buttons. It's been mentioned that Apple always intended the iPhone to be clean of physical buttons. With the X and the XS and XR variations Apple has moved closer to that.
  16. Hieveryone macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    I think Apple would be different in some ways. I feel like androids are so darn big and maybe that’s why iPhones got bigger? I don’t really know.

    But I also feel like competition is good overall at least for the buyer in some ways.

    Like if a competition comes out with “great new feature A” then other people will like well dang we gotta get something like that in our phones to keep up.

    Otherwise they may never do it or even think about it.

    Folding phones for example. Samsung might have been like we gotta step our game up. Gotta do something big.

    And while there might be some difficulties it’s still interesting to see all of it.
  17. AustinIllini macrumors demi-goddess


    Oct 20, 2011
    Austin, TX
    I would guess iPhone would only be a 4.7 inch display at this point.

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16 January 7, 2019