Apple's iPhone Lagging Farther Behind Latest Smartphone Models

NEWS ANALYSIS: Apple has lost its edge as new phones arrive in the market that are faster, easier to use, have better screens and do more than the iPhone.

During the time that I was testing the BlackBerry Z10, one thing struck me as I was putting it through its paces. This device was better in many ways compared to the Apple iPhone 5 I’d used a couple of months ago.

The photos I use for checking screen resolution were at least as clear if not clearer than Apple’s highly touted retina display. The browser was as fast as or faster than Safari, and on the BlackBerry I could use Flash when I needed it and turn it off when I didn’t. But mostly it was just easier to use, and it worked better.

But it’s not just the BlackBerry Z10 that’s coming out on top. Nokia’s Lumia 920 has a display that’s at least as good as what’s on the iPhone, and the Samsung Galaxy S3 is nearly the same. Now there are reports that when Galaxy S4 reaches the market that its display will be far better than Apple’s. A quick look at the specifications of the phones that are hitting shelves now shows clearly that the iPhone is falling behind. Each of the iPhone’s major competitors has a faster processor, more memory for the dollar and features that the iPhone can’t touch.

Last year in a series of television commercials making fun of Apple, Samsung pointed out that the support for NFC (near field communication) in the Galaxy S3 makes moving data between devices quick and easy. But Samsung isn’t the only company with NFC. The Nokia Lumia series of phones has had it available since last year. BlackBerry has had NFC available for even longer. But where’s NFC at Apple? Maybe the 5S will have it when and if it’s announced this year.

I could go on, but I won’t. There’s a lot more to making a better smartphone than just specifications. After all, you need good design, you need a manufacturer that’s committed to supporting their product, and you need a good supply of apps to make the phone truly useful. There’s no question that the iPhone has a lot of apps, and that’s one reason this device has kept its strong position in the market.

The Galaxy also has a lot of apps and the sales figures indicate that Samsung’s Android phone is outselling the iPhone. BlackBerry doesn’t have the app support that Android and iOS devices enjoy.

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash is a freelance writer and editor with a 35 year history covering technology. He’s a frequent speaker on business, technology issues and enterprise computing. He covers Washington and...