The consistent success of iPhones confirms that users are willing to pay a premium for a quality product. Apple has been traditionally known for its aesthetics, ease of use, intuitive designs and seamless integration of hardware and software that made it a nearly $150 billion company with a market capitalization of $627 billion. When Steve Jobs died, analysts were sceptical about the new chief Tim Cook’s ability to deliver the goods.
Nevertheless, Apple for now is smiling with its new iPhone 5 that sports a larger screen, a faster chip, a better operating system and camera, longer-lasting battery, metal back and support for Long Term Evolution or LTE networks (a 4G standard) besides the usual 3G and Wi-Fi technologies. But for those wishing to upgrade, the “Lightning” dock connecter will mean shelling out extra money.
With the pricing on par with iPhone 4S, the iPhone 5 that will be sold from 21 September in nine countries, should have many takers. But users in India, unlike those in China, will have a longer wait, but sans the LTE rollout in the country, an upgrade to iPhone 5 can hold.
Analysts estimate that 6-10 million iPhone 5 units will be sold in the first week of hitting the shelves, indicating that the smartphone war is only hotting up. And, with it, the patent battle. Apple, according to a Thomson Reuters release, has filed over 1,000 patents since the launch of the iPhone in 2007—over 450 pertain to smartphones and 500-odd for mobile camera and user interface technologies. Samsung has over 4,000 patents. Nokia had filed a suit against it in 2009 for patent infringement, while Apple had filed a patent lawsuit against HTC in 2010; Microsoft chased Google’s partners offering Android-powered products, and Google-owned Motorola Mobility has a patent case pending against Apple. Late last month, a South Korean court ruled that Apple and Samsung had infringed on one another’s intellectual property and owe each other damages, while a US court jury awarded Apple over $1 billion in damages, which Samsung is sure to appeal against.
The stakes are high. In 2012, Samsung toppled Apple, riding on the success of Android that had a 64.1% global market share in the April-June quarter (43.4% a year ago). Apple, with its iPhone 5, hopes to remedy the situation. The dark horse in the game remains Nokia with its new Lumia phones, powered by Windows Phone 8.
What ensures Apple’s continued appeal? Tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org