After years of all but avoiding any mention of its mobile competitors, Apple has launched a new site that highlights iPhone's advantages as a smartphone, similar to its "Get a Mac" campaign that took on Windows PCs.
The new site, linked to a "Why iPhone" menu on the iPhone web site, is headlined "there's iPhone. And then there's everything else." Apple has also drawn attention to the new site in an email campaign.
Award winning, all of them
Apple notes that iPhone has, in "every study since the first iPhone was introduced," been ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Consumer Smartphones" by J.D. Power and Associates in a series of eight studies, based on criteria that includes "performance, physical design, features, and ease of operation."
The company also highlights its "meticulously considered" engineering, stating that iPhone is "make with a level of precision youâd expect from a finely crafted watch, not a smartphone. As a result, iPhone feels substantial in your hand and perfect in your pocket."
A third feature Apple touts is the iPhone's Retina Display, which Apple says "ushered in the era of super-high-resolution displays."
It adds, "Once you see a Retina display, youâre never satisfied with anything less. Yet it remains a feature found only on iPhone and other Apple products."
Life of the battery
A fourth differentiation Apple outlines is the company's battery technology, which it notes provides "great battery life" without "a great big battery."
The site says, "itâs extraordinary that we fit such a powerful battery into such a thin and light design â all thanks to Apple scientists who created unique battery chemistry instead of settling for a large, off-the-shelf option."
At today's Engadget Expand conference, representatives from HTC and Samsung were asked on stage whether the exchangeable, monolithic battery was dead, particularly given the ease of recharging any phone via USB and the inconvenience of needing to power down a device in order to swap out its battery pack.
Also noted by Engadget's hosts was the advantage of packing the most battery capacity possible in small mobile devices. That's something Apple has long touted as an advantage in battery-integrated iPods, then the iPhone, then iPad and most recently even in high end MacBooks, even while the industry at large fretted and complained about the loss of replaceable batteries.
While integrated battery designs were touted at the event as the clear route for future devices, nobody on stage made any mention that this was something Apple had pioneered and promoted through years of criticism.
Instead, the concept was associated with Samsung, represented on stage, which has adopted Apple's use of non-replaceable battery designs in the same way it has appropriated Apple's other inventions, designs, marketing, software and retail stores right down to the design of icons and packaging materials.
Chips and wireless
Apple also cites the iPhone 5's "powerful but not power hungry" A6 chip, noting that "it makes quick work of even the most graphics-intensive apps, and high frame rates make gameplay feel smooth and downright real. And the A6 chip works hand in hand with iOS 6 to be extremely power efficient. So you donât sacrifice battery life for speed."
In wireless, Apple touts the iPhone 5 as delivering "ultrafast wireless and LTE," stating that "Apple engineers not only created a way to fit LTE in the thin iPhone profile, they did it in a way that optimizes battery life, too. Dual-band 802.11n accelerates your Wi-Fi experience. And because iPhone 5 supports more networks all over the world, you can connect at blazing-fast speeds no matter where you are."
Samsung has upped the ante in wireless by adding support for even faster "wireless gigabit" 802.11ac WiFi networks that are just beginning to emerge (which Apple hasn't yet supported in any of its products).Samsung's latest Galaxy 4S announcement upped the ante in wireless by adding support for even faster "wireless gigabit" 802.11ac WiFi networks that are just beginning to emerge (which Apple hasn't yet supported in any of its products).
However, Apple's support for global LTE networks (introduced with the iPhone 5 and spread to the iPad 4 and iPad mini after a limited introduction on the "new iPad" a year ago) is notable in that it erases 4G LTE as an exclusive feature that many Android phones could claim as an advantage over previous models of iPhone.
Most popular camera
The "iSight camera on iPhone is the worldâs most popular camera," Apple notes, highlighting that on Flickr, iPhone 5 is the third most popular camera, after the second place iPhone 4 and the first place iPhone 4S.
Samsung recently announced its new phone with an 13 megapixel sensor (a feature other manufacturers already have in production. However, Apple points out that "while other smartphones simply tout large amounts of megapixels, taking great pictures is about so much more."
Its new site states, "the 8MP camera on iPhone 5 captures great photo data, and the hardware and software work together to make behind-the-scenes image and color adjustments. So itâs easy for anyone to take impressive photos in various lighting conditions."
The only App Store
While Android enthusiasts have focused on "sideloading" of apps and content from various sources (including Google Play and Amazon's Appstore), Apple describes itself as the "one trusted source" for apps, music, movies and TV shows.
"With iPhone," the company says, "all that content comes from one source: Apple. The iTunes Store is the worldâs largest and most trusted entertainment store. And the App Store is home to over 800,000 apps â all reviewed by Apple to guard against malware. Other mobile platforms have a myriad of fragmented store options, resulting in availability issues, developer frustration, and security risks."
iOS 6: advanced and actually updated
Apple next profiles the iPhone's iOS 6 as "the world's most advanced operating system," stating that its "innovative features like Siri and FaceTime plus built-in apps make iPhone not just useful but fun."
Apple also points out that "iOS updates download right on iPhone, so the latest iOS version is just a tap away," an allusion to the fact that phones running other platforms, particularly Android, typically ship with outdated software and that their vendors rarely deliver any of the security fixes and feature updates that Google and its Android partners make available.
Google's "Android Update Alliance," a 2011 effort to encourage its licenses to commit to providing uses with at least an 18 month upgrade period, failed immediately. Ars Technica observed this winter that the program "resulted in exactly zero improvements to update timeliness."
That article, which examined the update policies of a variety of manufacturers and carriers, apologetically declared that "the notion itself of software updates after hardware release is still a relatively new concept, let alone the idea that hardware owners are entitled to feature-based updates," despite the fact that the article was written five and a half years after Apple first introduced rapid rollouts of free, comprehensive updates to mobile phones, a practice that it has continued into its sixth year of iPhones.
"Itâs clear that the need for update improvements plagues the entire Android ecosystem"The article noted that "some phones, for one reason or another, never received updates during their lifetime. For the phones we selected, this wasn't a result of bad timing eitherâall phones we looked at had Android updates available to them within a reasonable time frame relative to the handsetâs release, but for one reason another, the carrier or manufacturer never got around to pushing one out."
It concluded that "itâs clear that the need for update improvements plagues the entire Android ecosystem."
Siri and iCloud
Also outlined by Apple as significant differentiators of the iPhone are Siri and iCloud. "With Eyes Free," Apple notes, "you can use Siri to get things done in your car without taking your eyes off the road. You can speak naturally to Siri â it understands what you say, knows what you mean, and helps you do the things you do every day."
Apple also highlights that iCloud takes the experience of using iPhone that much further," stating that it "stores your content â your music, photos, apps, mail, contacts, calendars, documents, and more â and wirelessly pushes it to all your devices."
The company adds, "iCloud is seamlessly integrated into your apps, and it all just works. So youâre up to date everywhere you go. All you have to do is nothing."
Support from real people
A final reason Apple gives to buy iPhones: "Every iPhone comes with support from real people who know everything there is to know about iPhone and iOS â people you can call at 1-800-MY-APPLE or speak to in person at your favorite Apple Retail Store whenever you have questions or concerns."
Apple's unique control over iPhone's customer service experience, something Steve Jobs made a priority at its launch, risking rejection by carriers who fought against giving this up to Apple, is now a key differentiation.
"With other smartphones," the site states, "youâre not sure where to go for help. Call the manufacturer, and they tell you to call your service provider. Call your service provider, and they tell you to contact the OS developer. Getting answers shouldnât be that hard. And with Apple, it never is."