Apple has a somewhat uphill battle to win back the smartphone war. Yes, let’s admit it that they have fallen behind and in their own words “Consumers Want What We Don’t Have”. As smartphone market explodes across the globe, Apple is finding it hard to stay relevant in emerging markets. India and China are large mobile markets. The sheer number of people living outside the United States makes the global play important. A lot of what Apple does is magic in US, but does it work globally?
Why Small Screens Is A Problem
Apple has relatively smaller screens on its smartphones today. Android has taken the smartphone screen to over 5″ and anything below 4.5″ isn’t really a flagship phone anymore. While Apple need not compete with Android on specs, but consumers now want larger screens. Imagine an entry level consumer who uses a Micromax Canvas phone with 5″ screen. It costed him Rs 10,000. Over the years he would upgrade and as he looks to get a high end smartphone, he is already used to LARGE screens that that would eliminate iPhone from his choice list. Evolving smartphone users are used to large screens, apart from that Androids ecosystem has them covered very well with Dual SIM and Free apps. Small screens is becoming a vicious circle for Apple.
Why Making A Larger Screen Is A Problem
Apple has its entire branding and following around usability. A 4″ screen is usable and I would admit that Android phones with larger displays aren’t as easy to hold. But that’s me. Most Android users as we know are used to larger screens, for Apple to appease them, would they upset the millions of ardent iPhone addicts who are comfortable with a 4″ screen? Increasing the screen size would come with a great risk to Apple.
Cloud Is Key
When it comes to Microsoft, they may well be behind everyone competing for the smartphone market, but one edge they do have is Cloud Services. Arguably, Microsoft is more attuned to cloud based consumer services than Apple. Google has nailed Mail, Search, Docs, Maps etc so well that people want to be in their ecosystem. The only one that comes closer is Microsoft + Nokia. Cloud isn’t an easy domain, Apple’s Siri lags badly when compared to Google Now in India. The accent recognition & no of tasks it can perform is better than Siri. Apple Maps may be getting better in US, but it is not even in consideration when it comes to a country like India. Is Asia on Apple’s radar? Do they understand this market? That would be key and we have our eyes on iOS 8 to get answers.