Where has Apple taken the biggest step back on the iPhone compared to the competition?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by saintforlife, Apr 27, 2016.

  1. saintforlife macrumors 65816

    Feb 25, 2011
    With iPhone sales falling YoY for the first time and people complaining about Apple's lack of innovation, where do you think Apple has fallen behind on the iPhone design/features when compared to other top end competition?

    The iPhone 6S camera comes to mind for me. By all accounts the Samsung Galaxy S7's camera is much better and for me that was a surprise because Apple had always managed to put some of the best cameras in smartphones.

    Any other areas stick out to you guys?
  2. The Game 161 macrumors P6

    The Game 161

    Dec 15, 2010
    Failure to improve the product. Obviously lacking behind in camera but also screen quality and features. I said I would never go Samsung again but what they have brought out this year has been impressive with note 6 to come
  3. ARizz44, Apr 27, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2016

    ARizz44 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 28, 2015
    Chicago, IL
    I agree on the camera. I feel that simply boosting the MP on the 6S model without touching the aperture is apparent in the picture results. Also, I think the much overused adage of "it just works" has jumped the shark. Quality control issues along with operating system bugs have become more prevalent while on the android side, the days of lag have seemed to diminish and the stability has caught up to iOS if not surpassed it.

    I have been and continue to be pro iOS since inception...but even I find myself watching Apple events and rolling my eyes at the continual "it's really cool, it's really awesome, for the first time" references that Schuler and friends continue to use.
  4. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    The decline in sales is simply due to the fact that the market is saturated i.e. most people already have a smartphone. Upgrade cycles have also become longer because new generations are bringing less and less vital features i.e. your current phone can already do everything you need it to do and a new generation is only marginally better. This is a phenomenon affecting the whole smartphone industry, not just Apple.

    You could argue that with better specs and features Apple would take some sales away from Samsung, but I think that would be marginal since the majority of the decline is due to market saturation, not Apple's incompetence against its competitors.
  5. bufffilm Suspended


    May 3, 2011
    This plus just common sense features like more battery life and loosen the reins on what users can do with settings, etc.

    it's sad that Apple has locked down so much...
  6. The Game 161 macrumors P6

    The Game 161

    Dec 15, 2010
    Think problem is Apple have relied on the brand selling for itself which it has but with Samsung bringing out two awesome phones with phones starting at 32GB with SD card slot it makes more sense money wise

    If Apple start iPhone 7 at 16GB they will lose even more customers
  7. bpeeps macrumors 68020


    May 6, 2011
    Apple's locked down features, while a negative in many regards, are not a contributing reason to falling sales. It's pure and simple, market saturation.

    What I would like to see in the next phone iteration: redesign, better screen, reduced bezels, screen integrated touch ID, higher quality camera. Until this phone arrives I'll likely stick with my iPhone 6+ or consider switching to Android.
  8. bufffilm Suspended


    May 3, 2011
    The s7 is indeed very nice (Samsung really listened to the complaints), but word is still out on the battery life.

    Better than the s6's certainly but ???
  9. The Game 161 macrumors P6

    The Game 161

    Dec 15, 2010
    Dunno all people who has the edge at least say it's on par with 6s plus if not better
  10. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    I'm just curious about why you see Apple sales falling as an indicator that Apple is no longer appealing to it's customers.

    Rather than as an indicator that almost anyone in the world who needs or wants a smartphone has already got one, some of them more than one (or two or three).

    Sure, there is evidence that a techno wall has been hit, but when most everyone is happy with their current smartphone why would they buy another?

    And I am speaking of the average smartphone customer, not people such as us who discuss these things in internet forums.
  11. bufffilm Suspended


    May 3, 2011
    Of course it's not THE reason for the falling sales but I feel in their striving to innovate feature-wise, Apple has dropped the ball with making the software just as good.

    I'm of the opinion that my next phone will be amoled...hopefully it will be an iPhone but if android continues to get better, anything can happen.
  12. bpeeps macrumors 68020


    May 6, 2011
    "Contributing reason" does not mean "the reason" and I carefully structured that sentence to make that distinction.

    But I agree with you, my next phone will be amoled as well.
  13. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    the 1/2 inch plus at the top of the 6+ and 6S+.
    I am not a fan of the power button on the side either. the number of times I have hit that button while taking pictures or picking it up is staggering.
    I would like a split screen, not necessarily 50/50, maybe 85/15 so you can have texts open while surfing or watching something.
    How about forcing apps to landscape?
    How about fixing shuffle, 400+ songs on a play list and I hear the same 50.
    The performance and functionality has matured enough that upgrades are slowing and something I didn't think of until an Att rep mentioned it.

    With the new plans such as Next, the cost of the phone is apparent to the consumer.
    What, my bill will go up by X amount of dollars if I want a new phone?
    Now multiple that by 2+ new phones and most parents will say no. "We just got the cell bill so it's reasonable"
  14. bodonnell202 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 5, 2016
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    While I agree that Apple needs to up it's game in the camera department, and the screens are lagging the competition a bit (although I still think 1440p is overkill on a 5ish inch device), I don't think those things would have made a difference in sales this year. Apple got back many of the people who only switched to Android because of the bigger screen with the iPhone 6. The smartphone market is nearing saturation, and while I think if Apple plays it's cards right it can maintain iPhone sales near 2015 levels in the coming years (through driving upgrades and luring fence sitters away from Android), the years of record iPhone sales every year are over. Despite Wall Street's expectations it's not possible for iPhone sales to grow every year indefinitely...
  15. I7guy macrumors P6

    Nov 30, 2013
    Looking at Central Park@550 feet
    I basically like iPhones. Apple is the all-around winner for my business. And that the "only made" 40b while "losing" market share is quite an achievement.

    Nobody can predict where sales are going to go. I would like to see Apple make 170-200b this year just to shut the critics up.
  16. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    It's cost. Simple as that.

    People are now seeing the actual price of the device separate from there phone contract and having an oh **** moment.
  17. Infinitewisdom macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2012
    You "market saturation" pundits seem to ignore the fact that the market is NOT saturated, particularly in places like China. Realistically, there's very little that can change from year to year in terms of technology and Apple has set the bar so high. Where they're falling behind is just in perceived innovation. Not actual innovation, but perceived innovation. I find this a failure of marketing both at the design stage and after a product is developed.
  18. jimbo1mcm macrumors 68000

    Mar 21, 2010
    Had a bunch of phones, both android and apple, including the 6S Plus. My current Galaxy S7 Edge is so far superior to the current Apple product that it is laughable.
  19. Armen macrumors 604


    Apr 30, 2013
    In my opinion I think the end of contracts (In the US at least) has contributed to the decline in sales.

    It used to be that every 2 years all I had to do was come up with $200 and sign a 2 year contract and I'd walk away from a a local Apple store with a brand new iPhone:

    - I was easily able to come up with that money by just selling whatever iPhone I had at the time.
    - I've been happy with my Verizon so extending my contract for an additional 2 years was a no brainer.

    Now if I want a brand new iPhone:

    - I either pay $800 up front (64GB model + AppleCare) or
    - pay an extra $38/month for 24 months on my wireless bill

    Suddenly the iPhone SE and other premium phones made by Xiaomi and Huawei which cost around $400-$500 sound more attractive.
  20. Pakaku macrumors 68000


    Aug 29, 2009
    Saturation + an artificial assumption that phones need to be upgraded yearly + yearly releases = stagnation.
  21. cola79 macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2013
    Apple just needs to stick with it's philosophy. Mobile payment is coming and after the first global robbery powered by androids absence of security, people will buy iOS phones like bread and butter.

    Today features and hardware are of non interest for the consumer, as even low cost phones can do what flagships of two years ago could do.

    It's all about security and safety of personal data. Android can't offer this. It was designed to collect data and is as open as open can be. To fix all vulnerabilities they would need to rewrite it from scratch.
  22. bransoj macrumors 6502a

    Jul 31, 2013
    I would go along with this as well. A good part of sales being down is due to the fact people arent upgrading as often. I'm possibly a prime example, my first iPhone was a 3GS i ran for 3 years then an iPhone 5 for over 3 years only changing to a 6S in January. My wife had a 4 for 2 years and is currently going into her third year with an iPhone 5S. I have friends who are keeping phones longer now as well having paid off contracts to save some money just paying the line rental without paying a phone off because the one they have is perfectly fine for their needs.

    The fast development of smartphones initially has died down partly because is there anything else we really need them to do? Ideas are running out and a lot of the new stuff is gimmicky for the sake of it being there to be a new feature. The next big leap in smartphones will be when someone makes a breakthrough in battery\power technology on them to vastly improve battery life but until then its going to be a case of sticking more megapixels on a camera etc which outside of hardcore users who want the new phone each time folk will just upgrade as and when they can or need to.
  23. thewitt macrumors 68020


    Sep 13, 2011
    There is no surprise here. The 2 year upgrade cycle driven by "free" phones through the carriers has basically stopped, so people will upgrade less often.
  24. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Its less about a failure to innovate and more about saturation. This issue was coming like a rumbling train. There's only so many customers and apple has affectively reached those who are going to buy one.
  25. petvas macrumors 601


    Jul 20, 2006
    Mannheim, Germany
    I think Apple is now a different company than when Steve was alive. I know, many people will start saying "don't start now with the if Steve were alive story", but the truth is that Apple has lost an amazingly gifted personality, that had the ability to make black look as white into our eyes. He had a charisma that few people have..
    I was a very big fan of the iPhone but the last two years I switched to Android. I see many reasons for that:
    • iOS: After iOS 7 Apple took a bad turn. I do not like the UI and its slow animations. I do not like the pseudo multitasking (I am talking about background running processes). I hate the iOS keyboard.
    • Displays: While the iPhone display is excellent, it is not as sharp as the 2K displays out there.
    • Sound: We are still using mono sound. Just look at HTC or the Nexus 6P..
    • The home screen: Boring...
    Apart from that, what has Apple brought to market after Steve died? What are the exciting new products that made us go wow?
    The Apple Watch might be selling ok, but technology wise is a big failure. It offers almost zero value and is more of a gimmick.
    What about 3D touch? If Apple were serious about it, they would include it in every iPhone model available for sale.
    The iPhone SE? Using a 3 year old design (which was great though)?
    What about the iphone battery case? What a bad design!!!
    The only really great product is the new Macbook.
    It looks like Apple has no ideas where to go from here. Their products are disappointing and lack the specific magic of the past.

    I have the feeling that Apple needs a new technology leader. Johny Ive is definitely not the right one, and Tim Cook is a numbers guy.

    Apple still produces some fine hardware, and OS X is still a great operating system, but even that has taken a hit the last years.

    iCloud Photos is a badly implemented idea. iCloud Drive is slow.

    I hope, I really do, that Apple amazes us in the future with great products that are far superior from the competition. Currently I am using a Nexus 6P and I cannot imagine myself going back to an iPhone, even if I am deep into the Apple ecosystem.

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