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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Is Apple Losing Its Dominance?


With the Samsung Galaxy SIII winning the smartphone of the year award, now is a perfect time to raise the question as to whether Apple is finally going to lose the dominance it has held in the mobile industry for years.

This question was first raised after the release of the iPad mini, saying that Apple was giving in to the competition. I am currently writing this article on said device and I'm adamant that it's one of the best products the company has produced. Despite this, I can't deny that the release of the iPad mini is somewhat 'un-apple like' and really goes to show how competition from Samsung and other mobile companies may finally be considered a threat to the almighty Apple.
So the short answer to the above question is yes, I think Apple is starting to lose it's dominance in this fiercely competitive market, but I think I can do a little better than just leaving it there, so now let's move onto why this has happened.

I think the main cause of this problem is that Apple have been desperately clinging on to the brand loyalty of consumers and in turn failing to create some sort of sustainable demand for the products. After all, each new iPhone is only marginally better than the one before, and people are starting to get a bit annoyed about it.

There has also been a rise in the purchasing of older generation iPhones, due to the reason mentioned above. If the performance of the iPhone 5 is only a bit better than the 4, many people will buy a second hand iPhone 4 instead. You would think this could benefit apple as more people are using iPhones, but the problem is that sales of the newest generation device will be challenged by competitors.

This scenario directly relates to me. I have an iPhone 3GS. It was £90 and is basically as fast as the iPhone 4 and much better value for money, see my point?
The second reason that Apple may be starting to go downhill is design. The IOS software is very nice, but it's fundamentally very similar to the original version we were introduced to back in 2007. I'm not saying the software isn't brilliantly designed, but when it comes to a mobile interface, consumers want to see change. We want to feel like we have the latest bit of technology at our fingertips, and Apple just aren't delivering.

The final and most important reason is that whilst Apple have kept the same design, their competitors have been doing the exact opposite. We've seen an almost constant stream of Android updates, as well as voice recognition that can easily compete with Siri, and not to mention a maps application that actually works.

Just before I end this article I think it's necessary to mention what will likely happen now the Apple bubble is bursting.
If Apple have any sense (which I'm sure they do), we'll see a fall in prices for their devices and hopefully some genuine changes to iOS. Hopefully Apple start to realise that they actually have to put some effort into developing their products, and the benefit of them doing so will benefit us consumers.

We will have to wait and see, although knowing the frequency of Apple products release, we won't be waiting long.
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