September is here, and the whiff of the new iPhones has taken over the smartphone world. And why shouldn’t it? After all, Apple has just launched the new iPhones, and the air is rife with curiosity and excitement. Some – perhaps, many – might find this obsession with a single device very odd. After all, on paper at least, Android devices seem to be on par, and some would argue even ahead, of the iPhone in terms of sheer specs (bigger, higher resolution displays, more RAM, sensors with more megapixels and larger apertures, bigger batteries…and so on), and well, all in all, they sell more as well. And yet each year, all the tech eyes (and a lot of non-tech ones, too) get glued to their screens to get a glimpse of the new iPhone as they get announced. Step into the market, and while the latest models of the iPhone obviously remain in the spotlight, even the versions that are not-so-new, get a lot of attention.
It has been around for more than a decade now and despite all the barbs shot at it by the competition, the iPhone remains special. Why so? Well, these seven factors might have something to do with it:
Inspiring a lot of design imitation…or flattery
A lot of what the idea of the iPhone is about stems from the way the series has looked over the years. Just like certain features, Apple has also managed to bring certain smartphone design elements in the limelight which were then scooped up by the rest of the world like free cakes. The chamfered edges, glass bodies, and even the notch which was termed “hideous” by many were then picked up by almost everyone. Apple may not have been the first one to introduce all these design features on a smartphone, but it surely got into the spotlight once they got on the iPhone.
There were times when the world was disappointed by the way certain new iPhones looked, perhaps because they were too similar looking to the previous generations or because the design just did not appeal to the critics, but what cannot be denied is that whatever Apple brought in under the cloak of an iPhone was often used as blueprint for the rest of the world’s phones to be followed. What’s more, an old iPhone seldom looked less premium – we have people still swooning over the iPhone SE, for God’s sake.
Crazy consistent, rather than crazy colorful, cameras
While many consider the Pixel smartphones as the best camera phones in the market right now, the iPhone wore that crown on its head for a very long time and remains perhaps the most popular camera in the world. Let’s face it, despite having the critics on its side; the Pixel phones have repeatedly failed to get the attention of the masses – one thing the iPhone camera has had in the bag for ages. And with good reason. The cameras on the iPhone have been known for being consistently good and well ahead of their time. The device revolutionized how the world looked at smartphone cameras – what used to be just another feature on your phone became a USP and something which played a big role in deciding the fate of a smartphone.
And it is not just the quality that the iPhone cameras brought to the picture (pun intended), they also highlighted features that changed the way the world used the smartphone camera. Touch to focus, panorama, slow motion, time-lapse, portrait mode, and lighting, all were features that changed the smartphone camera ball game altogether. In the day and age where it was assumed that only professional cameras and DSLRs could take great pictures, Apple brought in the “Shot on iPhone” campaign that changed that perception. Significantly, in a world where beauty mode, saturated colors, and filters overwhelmed the true picture, the iPhone’s cameras focused on being realistic and consistent. There were cameras that could deliver far more dazzling colors and much more detail, but the iPhone’s cameras always managed to deliver the most realistic picture. Again and again.
Dem democratic software updates
Just like every year sees a new iPhone, it also sees a new version of iOS, the software on which the iPhone runs. This is also one of the things that give iPhones an edge over the (mainly Android) competition. Yes, Google also releases a new version of Android every year but most Android phones do not receive this update for various reasons. This is not the case with iPhones. When Apple releases a new version of iOS, the software update rolls out on all compatible iOS devices within a few days.
What’s more, it is not just the latest generation of the devices that get the update; Apple has been known to update even 3-4-year-old iPhones. For example, users who have the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus (which were released back in 2015) will also receive the forthcoming iOS 13 update. What’s more, unlike some software updates that tend to be buggy, iOS updates even improve the performance of even these oldies more often than not.
Sailing smoothly even after years
One of the biggest complaints with most Android smartphones – even high-end flagships – is that they tend to slow down after just months of usage. Now, this is one problem iPhone users do not face. Often for years. Yes, Years! The iPhone is known to be one of the very few smartphones in the market today that hardly ever slows down, even after years of usage. The credit for this is often given to the regular software updates that the brand rolls out available to even the older variants. The fact that both hardware and software of the device comes from a single brand also helps the cause unlike in an Android phone where the two come from different companies most of the time, leading to updating delays as well as other issues. If you buy an iPhone, you can rest assured that it will keep ticking over smoothly for a while. And yes, even the latest apps will more often than not run well on your device.
Security is Apple’s priority
With data becoming a virtual weapon, selecting a smartphone is not just about specs and features, but also about data safety. And Apple’s obsession with security and privacy is pretty well known. In fact, it is one of the USPs of an iPhone, so much so that Apple has created full-fledged ad campaigns of privacy alone, a department most Android phones prefer not to address in-depth. While it is not impossible to hack into an iOS device, the chances of an Android device getting hacked are always much higher.
A great example of Apple’s dedication to security can be seen in its Face Unlock feature. While Android phones too have this feature, they use it mainly only to unlock the phone, and many even warn consumers against depending too heavily on it and suggest the use of fingerprint scanners for transactions. The iPhone, on the other hand, is the only smartphone in the world that allows you to use your FaceID to not only unlock your phone but even make payments and has no reliance on fingerprint scanners any more (forget about moving them under the display and so on). Tells a story when you consider that it is almost two years since Face Unlock was made popular on the iPhone.
That Appy App Store
While there is no denying that both Android and iOS are immensely popular, it is often observed that developers have a clear preference for iOS when it comes to creating apps. Yes, these do move to Android at a later stage and often get many more downloads there, but all too often, iOS users get apps (sometimes even those from Google) before their Android counterparts. Developers generally tend to prefer developing apps for iOS because the hardware and software configuration of each and every iPhone is well known, which makes it easier to design apps fort them rather as compared to the scattered Android environment, where an app would literally have to play well with hundreds of devices, with dozens of processor, RAM and memory permutations and combinations.
The App Store is also reputed to have better security, making it more difficult for unscrupulous developers to sneak malware into it. Yes, Apple does take its own time to clear apps, but users do feel more secure for the delay. The chances of finding dubious apps on the App Store are lesser than on Google Play.
Better resale value
iPhones may cost more than competing Android smartphones, but once you are done with your iPhone, there is a good chance that you would get a better resale value for it than an Android smartphone of a comparable price. That perhaps stems from the belief that iPhones are considered premium and also because (check earlier points) the brand does not just abandon an older model as soon as a new one drops in. As we have pointed out earlier, even 2-3-year-old models are kept updated with the latest software, ensuring they keep working smoothly. The result? People are willing to pay more for an older, used iPhone than for perhaps any other device. They know they are getting something that not only has a premium connotation but is merely old, not outdated.