Can Galaxy S2 Hold its Own Against the iPhone 5?
The Galaxy S2 from Samsung has been the biggest Android sensation of the last 12 months and has also been the first phone to knock the iPhone 4 from its top spot as most popular smartphone in terms of sales. Samsung Galaxy S2 contracts are now selling more than those for the iPhone 4 in many places. The fact that the iPhone 4 is over a year old should not detract from the success of the Galaxy S2, a phone that is causing serious concern for head honchos at Apple.
But while the Samsung phone is enjoying enormous success the world over will it be overshadowed by the imminent arrival of the next iPhone? Apple is seeking desperately to have the Galaxy S2 banned from sale in many markets but it will be unlikely to succeed with this by mid-October, the rumoured release date of the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 will sell by the bucket load there is no doubt, but will it win over people who had been seriously contemplating the Android flagship from Samsung?
For the first time since the launch of the first iPhone in 2007 Apple is starting to play catch up in the mobile arena. This can be seen with some new features added into iOS 5, the iPhone’s operating system. Such features include a slide down notification tray and support for homescreen widgets, both ideas taken from Google’s Android operating system.
On the hardware side of things Apple seems to be trailing behind as well. This will be the first Apple phone to come with a dual core processor, while Android manufacturers were pushing the processing boundaries into double cores at the start of 2011. Apple aficionados will insist that the popularity and success of the iPhone is not due to technical specifications but its overall user experience, making this a moot point in their eyes.
Some of Apple’s most lauded features of the iPhone 4, including FaceTime video calls, failed to make much of a real impact in the minds of consumers. This is due more to the general lack of demand for video calling than anything specifically about FaceTime. The iPhone 5 will again feature an improved camera in the form of a new 8 megapixel snapper with 1080p video recording. Again, this is merely keeping up with the likes of the Galaxy S2 and the HTC Sensation.
The Galaxy S2 was one of the phones to steal Apple’s claim to produce “the World’s Thinnest Smartphone”. Considering that this was the central theme of much of the original iPhone 4 marketing it seems likely that they may attempt to win back the title, and rumours suggest that the iPhone 5 will indeed be much slimmer than the iPhone 4.
It is difficult to image smartphones being much thinner than the Galaxy S2 and still being comfortable to hold. If Apple were to attempt to reclaim the title purely as a vendetta it could prove to be extremely detrimental to the user experience of the iPhone 5. While nobody really enjoys a chunky slab of metal/plastic weighing down their pockets there are not many people who consider it essential for a phone to be able to fit into a brown paper envelope either.
There are other places where Apple may shine. The Retina Display of the iPhone 4 was one of the most gorgeous screens to be found on a smartphone and has the highest pixel density of any phone screen. Twelve months on and this is still the case, although the Super AMOLED Plus employed in the Galaxy S2 is the biggest threat to its status. With so much time elapsed it is quite likely that Apple may have made vast improvements in their screen technology.
But one thing seems certain. There has been much talk of Apple producing a larger screened iPhone to compete with the 4 inch plus Android devices currently dominating the market. While it seems like the iPhone 5 will indeed have an increase in screen size from 3.5 inches to 3.7 inches it is not about to jump passed the 4 inch mark. Apple is sticking to its guns when it comes to having a comfortably sized phone, despite the benefits of a larger screen in today’s entertainment focused smartphone market.
Apple has of course confirmed little to nothing about the next iPhone and so far details about what is in store are little more than hearsay. Because of this they may have plenty of unexpected wonderment up their sleeves when the device is finally unveiled in the coming weeks. From what details are currently available though, the iPhone brand for the first time seems to be playing catch up and following the lead of Android.
Even though the Galaxy S2 will no doubt remain popular for some time, at least until a Galaxy S3 or Galaxy S2 Pro is released, the iPhone brand still remains as strong as ever. With exceptional marketing and a position as the must have gadget status symbol the iPhone 5 is going to be a massive seller, regardless of what is finally unveiled at the upcoming Apple keynote.