Apple is hoping its new iPhones will help it snatch market share from Android handsets likes Samsung’s Galaxy range. So, just how is the change of tack from releasing just one high-end handset at a time, to giving consumers more choice, going down with critics and potential buyers?
Well, reviews and reaction so far has been mixed, with some saying Apple has not been innovative enough, and others saying they can’t wait to get their hands on a flagship iPhone 5S or cheaper iPhone 5C.
The unique selling point of the iPhone 5S is its new fingerprint reader. But AllThingsD says the technology should be utilised more. “Perhaps the most surprising thing about the fingerprint reader on the iPhone 5S is the fact it can only be used to do two things – unlock the phone and verify iTunes purchases,” said the site.
The Verge, meanwhile, says potential buyers could have security concerns. “Apple says your fingerprint will be stored on the device and never uploaded to its servers,” said the tech site, “but privacy advocates will likely have additional questions for the company.”
But Matt Warman, who writes for the Telegraph believes Apple has demonstrated it is still at the top of its game with the new scanner, and the 5S’s 64-bit processor. “These are two ideas no other technology has successfully executed,” he says. “If Apple wanted to demonstrate that it’s still got some sort of mojo, these are good ways of doing it.”
Apple has introduced the cheaper iPhone 5C in a bid to give its devices wider appeal. In particular, the Californian tech giant is hoping to get a stronger foothold in the lucrative Chinese market.
But most commentators feel that Apple hasn’t gone far enough with its price point. Cnet said: “With its plastic back, the iPhone 5C was apparently going to be the most affordable iPhone yet. I personally wouldn’t call £469 affordable, but I suppose that depends on your outlook.”
Engadget said the price could still mean the iPhone 5C “may not turn out to be the device for emerging markets”.
The iPhone 5C is set to be a lot cheaper with a contract package, however. O2 has announced two deals – including a deal where you can get a 16GB iPhone 5C for £50, if you pay £32 per month.
The Guardian’s Charles Arthur likened the 5C to the iPod mini, saying he was expecting it to become one of Apple’s best sellers. “I think Apple will sell a lot of them rather like it did with the iPod mini when it offered that in many different colours. People thought that was quite expensive at the time but it was Apple’s best-seller until it introduced the iPod Nano. I think the iPhone 5C is going to be just as popular.”
The next few weeks, and months, will show whether Apple’s move of offering consumers two models has been a good one. T3 certainly seems to think so. It said: “It’s true that we pretty much knew the score before Tim Cook even stepped on stage. But now that everything’s out in the open, my gut reaction is that Apple has made a shrewd move by offering a little bit of choice to consumers.”