iPhone 5: A lost story!
Saif is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has been known for ages for its innovation and value addition to its products. Steve Jobs has nurtured and developed a culture in the organization which gives its employees to think freely, to think innovative. But since his demise it looks like the company is losing the trail left by its master. The latest release of Apple – iPhone 5 is the true depiction of how the company is fairing after his departure.
A lot was expected from the release of iPhone 5 and thus it saw sky touching figures in terms of sales as soon as it was released in the market. iPhone 5 in terms of number surpassed its 4S version’s month long figures in just 3 days. They have already sold around 5 million iPhone 5 and analysts are predicting that it might reach a mammoth figure of $170 million over the next year. This shows the popularity of the device, as no one even waited for the reviews to be released.
But to the surprise of many, a company known for its efficiency has delivered a system with lot of defects. Let’s take a look into some of the problems:
Battery: Apple promised the users with a better battery life during the launch. But the battery seems to die out as soon as one is on the 4G network and even faster with LTE on it. It literally drains the battery out in matter of few hours. If you are not using the phone and you leave it on the 4G network mode, then also the battery drains automatically at a relatively good speed.
Panel: Wintek, a Taiwan based manufacturing company, is one amongst the few to manufacture the panel for iPhone 5. Sources have mentioned that Wintek is finding a “Delayed bubble” defect in some of the iPhone 5. Although what this defect leads to has not been cited till now, but this surely doesn’t guarantee longevity of the product. Many have already reported a “Yellowish screen” (around 17-18 percent of the complaints).
Cosmetic: iPhone 5 arrived with a lot of defects, like scratches scuffs and few others. The analysis showed that out of a random 200 complain sample from twitter 71 percent of them were for the black model and 13 percent for the white one, whereas 13 percent did not identify their color.
WiFi: The majority of the users are complaining on the WiFi connectivity. The connection gets slow automatically and drops out more often than not. It is not the connection issue with the ISP (Internet Service Provider) as the other devices at the very same time seems to be working fine.
iPhone is already getting a good fight from Samsung via S III. The real competition will come with the launch of Nokia’s Lumia 920 and 820. Nokia is known for its hardware and has struggled primarily because of its software/OS, of late. But with the introduction of Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows 8, with its latest smartphone Lumia 920 and 820, it is surely an eye catcher. It has some unique features like wireless charging and its PureView camera with digital optical zooming features. They are expected to be less expensive than the iPhone 5, as per their website (only European Market known till now). These features and the pricing might draw many users away from Apple towards Nokia. This could mean that iPhone might not reach its expected sales of 170 million (expected by end of 2013).
After a few days, Apple also released its latest iOS 6 version. iOS has disappointed many because of its incapable Maps, incompatible Passbook applications, etc. Another major problem is its syndication with Facebook where users are complaining of mixed-up or lost contacts and hence emails are bouncing back (as emails by default on Facebook are firstname.lastname@example.org) and other syndication issues. “So many promises to make but do so less to keep it".
iOS is already facing a stiff competition from Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android's v4.1 - "jelly bean". Android is already the market leader with over 50 percent market share. They have upgraded the maps to 3D with a 45 degree rotation which is pretty exciting to look at. “Google Now” in competition with Apple’s “Siri” has upgraded itself. It scans your calendar and reminds you for your appointments. Also, Android has more applications in its armory than the iOS. Google is also launching its own tablet Nexus Q which will give Apple's iPad a good competition because of its pricing. This is the first time they are entering into the hardware segment because primarily they license their software to the other hardware manufacturers.
The other competition which is getting stronger day by day is Microsoft’s Operating System for phones - “Windows 8”. They are already launching Windows 8 with different phone providers like Nokia, Samsung and HTC. They are planning to launch Windows 8 on a full scale, targeting iOS and Android. Not much can be commented right now about Windows 8 because these are still early days but with the amount of money being poured by Microsoft in its advertising, it seems they have a lot of confidence in its ability.
Apple has been a company with an ability to deliver strong commitments. They will surely try and work out on the flaws which have caught a lot of attention. It will be interesting to see how they will be able to cover up these mistakes? Will these problems impact the expected Sales figures? Will iPhone 5 survive the challenges posed by Nokia's latest Lumia? The bigger question of all - Can they outperform Android and Windows in the near future with better innovation?
Saifnu has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Apple and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.If you have questions about this post or the Fool’s blog network, click here for information.