The cellphone consumer war is an ongoing battle between Apple’s iOs and Google’s Android with special reveals and longstanding snipes and swipes. So when Apple released the iPhone SE, there was a quite stir because reviewers didn’t receive their product copy until March 21, the reveal day. According to Fortune, the $399 phone has a lot going for it. It’s not just the tech and the gadgets, either.
From a consumer/user perspective, a 4.87-inch phone reasonably fits in a pocket and the matte/aluminum finish means a quick bag check will tell if it’s there for not. That’s a big deal when on the go. Think of it as an upgraded iPhone 4. The Verge’s Lauren Goode labeled the price point as a serious temptation since the higher scale “Android phones that can be had for less than $400.”
A mighty big push as last month’s Mobile World Conference introduced a lot of new items for a Google fan. Tech Times reports that the Samsung Galaxy Note 6 will be revealed in late summer or early fall. Samsung’s a strong contender on the market place, so it’ll be interesting to see how the sales numbers play out.
Of course, one of the main problems is price. The Note 5, which just launched last August, is almost double the price of the iPhone. Plus, brand or operating system may not be as big a deal for the average buyer. That may be a good thing, too. Competition brings a lot more to the market.
And as CNet points out, the small upgrades between the Note 4 and 5 may not be worth the investment. Not being able to add external memory may cause potential buyers to simply walk away. But a throwback to a liked model has the potential to snag a few new, or nostalgic, buyers. And the iPhone 4 and SE are comparable enough in size that Goode had to look at the phone to double check.
Tech Times also noted that 4 GB RAM is expected to be a 2016 standard. Is that a reason to upgrade as streaming services and content becomes more responsive? Older phones with less memory lag when trying to watch Netflix or live apps. So what’s to be done? Well, Samsung’s decided to up the ante to 6 GB.
If you have an older model Samsung that drags and lags on even basic apps like Twitter or Google Newstand, it’s a pretty big temptation to move to the latest. Personally, I have some decent experience with the lower end models. The one bonus of the latest carrier plan changes is that more of the higher end phones will be available for some consumers. For those who pay full price, the model remain out of reach.
But the iPhone SE can compete with the iPhone 6: a processor speed to keep people on their phones and becoming an advertiser’s dream in the new digital market. At double the previous 2012 version’s speed, Apple’s taking a bite out of that share, too. Battery longevity is a big deal, too. Ever tried to use an iPhone 3G? 2 hours and the phone was dead. Not to mention the long recovery.
At 5.7-inches on screen, the Android has a bigger screen and slimmer design, but it is worth the price? Depends on the customer’s needs, at least according to Apple’s CEO. “some people love smaller phones.” Highlighting a niche audience is smart as Galaxys and regular iPhones tend to increase in screen size—bridging a gap between cellphone and tablet. And how do you gain a loyal user? Mind the difference between smaller, low-level Android and pricy iPhone. Exactly what Goode predicted.
Yet price, size, and memory aren’t the only factors that help a buyer decide on who gets that cash.
When Tim Cook quietly revealed the SE, he noted that still pictures suddenly find motion in gif-style animation. For a casual user, the function may be nifty but not necessary. What will impress a buyer is the ability to take 12MP pictures with true tone flash. Apple just upped the selfie game, too. The retina display offers brighter, clearer pictures in the front-facing camera. But the Galaxy’s not out for the count since it takes pictures up to 15MP. Clarity is revolutionary in the day of recording injustice.
The winner of the press battle’ll be determined user need. Both the Galaxy and the iPhone offer products but different price points. The Galaxy comes with a stylus for the more business-minded users while the iPhone is a gateway into the company’s broader line up. Price, style, and unique features are aimed at pitting buyers against expectations.
But my prediction? The iPhone will gain a lot more ground since it’s no longer exorbitantly and the TouchID may be a little more intriguing after the FBI’s recent requests to unlock phones via Apple provided key. But the 32 GB and 64 GB of Samsung may be a deal breaker for an anxious Apple consumer…if you ignore the $739 price tag at AT&T.
Beware the iCloud, though. The iPhone SE is available for purchase on March 31.