With device manufacturers and processor makers all set to show off their latest at the Mobile World Congress which kicks off at Barcelona today, Apple is looking at some stiff competition. Among the favorites this year are Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 – a strong contender against the iPad Mini, and LG’s Optimus G Pro, featuring a 5.5 inch screen with full HD support, a quad-core processor and LTE connectivity.
Chip manufacturers are not far behind in pushing boundaries. NVIDIA plans to unveil its new Tegra 4i chip, which is capable of delivering faster processing power along with an energy efficient design and integrated LTE. ST-Ericsson is set to feature their new quad-core chip called the NovaTHOR L8580; operating at a whopping 3GHz. All signs point to an abundance of high-power and high-performance devices for the consumer to choose from.
This may not be good news for Apple, who in the past years has relied on the clear distinction between devices for business and pleasure. This is no longer the case today, with a large number of utility packed devices allowing users to mix business and pleasure in the same device. Apple is also increasingly drawing flak for no longer bringing the latest and greatest innovations to the iPhone. The iPhone’s processing capabilities, though not insubstantial by any standard, are easily eclipsed by the latest Android flagship devices. Though the difference in terms of real world use is minimal, more and more users have started waking up to the fact that Apple just isn’t cutting edge anymore.
Not too long ago, Blackberry lost its once-significant market share to Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android powered devices. Now, the iPhone will have to compete in the market to stay relevant with better looking, more beautiful and larger devices. Large screen devices such as Samsung’s Galaxy Note have proved to be extremely popular among a significant percentage of smartphone users with recent numbers showing that such “phablet” devices account for nearly 20% of all smartphone shipments. With Apple’s CEO Tim Cook comparing Microsoft’s Surface tablet-cum-laptop to a flying car that doesn’t exactly soar, Apple is not likely to make a phablet device of its own. Apple’s iOS platform, which is still a top choice among developers, might be a defensible advantage, but in the long run Apple may be missing out on a large chunk of the smartphone market.