Who’s Got the “Next Big Thing”?
Tomorrow, the hype once again crescendos around Apple’s newest contenders in the smartphone war. Short of the official announcement, it’s hard to really know for sure what the new products will bring. From what we can glean, the 5c will offer a lower price point model with color options to penetrate new markets while the 5s will offer more stability, reliability and speed, higher camera resolution, and better graphics quality. Despite tomorrow’s news and the future of Apple’s new iPhone, one thing is undeniable. Samsung has taken over and now dominates the smartphone market, and it has done so aggressively and rapidly. They sold 71 million phones last quarter worldwide to Apple’s 31 million. Samsung’s phone division profitability topped Apple by $5.2 to $4.2 respectively. Since the launch of the Galaxy S4 last September, Apple’s stock price has tumbled from the seven hundreds to the low five hundreds. We predicted this one year ago, noted in our blog post, “Apple: Not the next big thing.” Among the things Samsung has done so well, it shortened development times and created an un-ending pipeline of exciting new products. They’ve continued to launch Galaxy brand extensions in products including tablets, cameras, and a watch as recently as last week. Not atypical of tech companies, Samsung has added feature after feature to “out-innovate” Apple. To some, “more is more.” Now, being able to automatically turn a video on or off just by detecting eye movement is cool, but is it really a game changer? This latest product update for Apple appears to be less about “cool features” and more about value, reliability, speed, graphics, and photos. Given the aggressive moves to add features by Samsung, and anticipating less than revolutionary changes for the iPhone, perhaps the best defense of Apple’s latest products (before even being announced) is to reinforce one of its core brand attributes: simplicity. Rather then adding more and more features of questionable or marginal value, focus on the few important things that really matter to users. For Apple users and much of the world, less has always been more. At the end of the day, it will be up to consumers to determine whether Samsung’s latest offering or Apple’s new 5 series phone is “the next big thing.”