NEWS ANALYSIS: Apple's iPhone 5 is a test case for other vendors looking to compete against it. But what could rival smartphone makers learn from the iPhone 5's design.
iPhone 5 is launching Sept. 21, ringing in what could be the biggest technology
launch of the year. Moreover, according to some analysts, Apple could sell as
many as 10 million iPhone 5 units during its first weekend of availability,
making it the biggest smartphone launch this year.
meanwhile, will be sitting on the sidelines watching consumers flock to stores
worldwide to get Apple's device. In the meantime, other manufacturers' devices
will remain on store shelves, bypassed by the legion of consumers eyeing only
Apple's products. Indeed, it'll be a sobering weekend for Apple's challengers.
perhaps the introduction of Apple's own iPhone 5 can be an educational opportunity
for smartphone makers. From the iPhone's design to its launch schedule, there
are many ways for competing manufacturers to learn how to create and sustain a
successful smartphone brand.
are some lessons
vendors can learn from the iPhone 5
1. 4G LTE is a necessity
it was only the iPhone 4S on store shelves, it was just fine for competing
vendors to leave 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology out of their products.
But now that the iPhone 5 has delivered it, customers will think less of any
products that don't offer the ultra-high-speed option.
2. Reviewers drool over design
reviews matter immensely in the technology space. If a product gets a glowing
review from several sources, it'll likely be successful. If it gets negative
reviews, it could fail. The iPhone 5 earned high marks nearly universally. One
of the chief reasons for that was its design: Reviewers adore the way the
iPhone 5 looks. Although competing vendors can't copy the iPhone 5's look, they
can certainly come up with something of their own that's impressive. Doing so
might just help their products get noticed by more folks.
3. Build a consistent experience
the last five years, Apple
has done a fine job building a brand behind its iPhone
. Consumers know what
they're getting from an Apple product because the company has built a familiar
experience around its smartphone. Other handset makers, however, have largely
failed to do that. To them, pumping out as many smartphones as possible sits at
the center of that strategy. That needs to change. Now, more than ever, Apple's
competitors need to create a true "brand" around their products and deliver
something interesting and appealing that folks won't find elsewhere.
4. Say so long to 3-inch displays
iPhone 5 comes with a 4-inch display, trumping the 3.5-inch flavor found in the
iPhone 4S. What does that mean for other vendors? The 3-inch display is all but
dead. While Apple wasn't first to go to larger screens, its move to a 4-inch
screen in the iPhone 5 validates the move for all others in the mobile space
who must now match or top that in their products.