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10 years of the iPhone: What's next for Apple?

04 Aug 2016
Mariah - amaysim blogger

Mariah

amaysim's content guru

With falling iPhone sales in 2016, it’s been a tough year for the tech giant. In the lead up to its tenth anniversary, the only question now is – what’s next for Apple?

When Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone back in 2007, many of us decided then and there that we needed to get our hands on one as fast as we could – despite the hefty price tag and not really knowing exactly what it could do. iPhone fever was born, and whether you’re an Apple fan or not, there’s no denying that the iPhone has completely changed the ways we interact with each other and consume information.

Cheaper Models

Apple has had the developed world on lock for some time, but companies are now turning their attention to emerging markets. Positioned on innovation with a price tag to match, the iPhone isn’t seeing as much success as Apple’s hoped for. Meanwhile, companies like Samsung, HTC, Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi are bringing out functional smartphones with good technology for a significantly lower price – it’s no surprise they’re winning in emerging markets.

Maybe the future for Apple depends on the uptake of the iPhone SE and future ‘cheap’ iPhones. The iPhone SE is smaller than other iPhones and has almost identical features, but with a much more humble price tag. It’s not for everyone, but that’s the point – it’s aimed at new buyers in emerging markets. There’s no guessing how long Apple will be left behind when it comes to cheaper handsets and emerging markets, but they’re making some important first steps.

Upgrading

It’s no secret that Apple devotees are well, devoted. They line up in rain, hail or shine to get the newest model, write blogs about them, keep their iPhones within arm’s reach and get a glazed-over look when they talk about iOS. But if they’re that devoted, why aren’t they upgrading at the same speed as before?

Recent stats have shown that half of all iPhone owners haven't upgraded to the iPhone 6 or 6S. Why? Long-term contracts might have locked some devotees in with their current mobile provider for up to two years while they pay off their phone. Maybe we’ve just reached peak iPhone – the market is over-saturated and we literally can’t even buy anymore. Or, are weak exchange rates and fears of economic slowdown making us all hold on to our phones for much longer?

Critics are saying the problem lies with the handsets – they’re just not different enough to the models that came before, so there’s no motivation to upgrade.

So what about the iPhone 7?

The iPhone 7 launch is just around the corner, so there’s more chatter now than ever about what the folks at Apple have up their sleeves for us. Will we get hit with Apple fever again with the iPhone 7? Let’s take a look at what the newest flagship phone for Apple is rumoured to have to offer.

Slimmer Design and Better Sound

A really popular rumour doing the whip-around is that the iPhone 7 will be saying good-bye to the headphone jack in favour of a second speaker and a thinner body. While it’s not all doom-and-gloom for your well-loved and used headphones (you can expect there to be an adaptor for the lightning port to replace the headphone jack), some of us still have our reservations about the change to the hardware of the phone. In fact, the last major change to the hardware was when the iPhone 5 introduced us to the lightning port – remember, we were all left scrambling to get new chargers and adaptors?

Some changes to the body and hardware of the iPhone aren’t likely to spark Apple fever again, but it does keep things fresh and new. That said, I wouldn’t upgrade for a second speaker and an (even) slimmer handset.

Improved Camera

This is one for any professional or budding photographer, but we’re not too surprised since every iPhone launch has seen an improvement to the camera specs, if not a complete change to the mobile photography experience. This time around we’re hearing rumours of a dual lens camera system that will sit flush to the body and give you slick, DSLR-like image quality – now that’s something to get us keen for an upgrade.

Water Resistance

There are also rumours that the iPhone 7 will be water resistant, a feature which would help the clumsy and bring it up to speed with competitor’s models – no more putting your phone in a bowl of rice or cat litter to dry it out!

Super Power

Apple is also planning to ramp the iPhone 7 power right up with speculation of an A10 6-core processor. This could mean it would be able to handle more commands and data at the same time – it’s essentially a multi-tasters dream.

Regardless if these rumours are true, the iPhone has a tough road ahead and Apple will have to pull out some serious tech wizardry to keep their top spot as industry innovators who “think differently”. But, after all - isn't that what they’re all about?

Bring on the iPhone 7 and the 10th anniversary of the iPhone!

Cheers,
Mariah

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Pixel 5

Google Pixel 5: Everything we know so far

13 Aug 2020

Fresh on the heels of the Pixel 4A being announced, the hype train for the Google Pixel 5 is now well and truly underway.

After months of speculation about whether the Pixel 5 launch would be pushed back, Google put much of this chatter to rest by providing a sneak peak of the Pixel 5 during the recent launch of the Pixel 4A.


Last years flagship device, the Pixel 4, was a phone full of potential. As we've come to expect from the Pixel series, it featured an incredibly powerful camera, however its average battery life, held it back from being a serious contender for phone of the year.

While the Pixel 4 had its flaws, it was still a really good phone overall, and it will interesting to see how this years model, stacks up against other flagship models from 2020 such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 and Apple's highly anticipated iPhone 12.

With all this said, we wouldn't count Google out from delivering something special and with such a positive early response to the Pixel 4A, perhaps 2020 will prove to be the year of the Pixel.

To help bring you up to speed on what Google has in-store with this years flagship Pixel device, here's everything we know so far about the Pixel 5.

at a glance: rumoured Google Pixel 5 features

  • Expected October release
  • 5G connectivity
  • Android 11
  • New camera features; Adjustable Flash, Motion Blur & Audio Zoom
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G

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    Expect 5G

    It's widely expected the Pixel 5 will include 5Gconnectivity.

    The feature was all but confirmed in early August with the announcement of the Pixel 4A, where Google teased two new 5G devices, the Pixel 5 and a 5G version of the Pixel 4A, both of which are set to be released during the final quarter of 2020.

    Release Date

    Since the phone’s inception back in 2016, Google has remained incredibly consistent with their release schedule for the flagship Pixel series, with all previous launches taking place in October. This trend is set to continue, after a leak surfaced from a Google affiliated website in France, claiming the Pixel 5 will be available for pre-order from October 8.

    Android 11

    This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, since a beta version of Android 11 is already available for public download, however it’s expected the Pixel 5 will be the first device to don the latest Android software straight out the box.

    Some of the expected improvements and features of Android 11 include a new media player widget, easier ways to control smart home devices using your phone, a new power button menu and refinements to the messaging system and conversation bubbles.

    Pixel 5 Render
    Image Credit: Google

    Design & Display

    Last year Google teased images of the Pixel 4 in the months leading up to its official launch. This time round, the only confirmed sighting of the Pixel 5 has been the side image (seen above) which Google teased during the launch of the Pixel 4A.

    Outside of this image, there have been a number of different leaks floating about which have helped paint a picture of what this years phone might look like.

    Like the Pixel 4, it's expected the Pixel 5 will feature an OLED panel, with a matte glass finish on the back and full HD/QHD resolution. According to Front Page Tech who gained access to an early Pixel 5 prototype, a forehead bezel on the front side of the device is also expected to remain.

    In terms of refresh rate, last year we got to enjoy a smooth 90Hz experience with the Pixel 4. However with Samsung (and others) already making the jump to 120Hz and Apple reportedly looking to do the same with the iPhone 12, it will be interesting to see if Google sees this as an important feature upgrade and whether they'll look to roll out a 120Hz refresh rate with the Pixel 5.

    A Mighty Fine Camera

    While earlier leaks suggested the Pixel 5 would include a triple-lens camera on the rear of the device, more recent leaks suggest Google will once again opt for a two camera setup on the back.

    The quality of images with the Pixel 4 were outstanding, so it's not as if this should be a concern. For some though, the added flexibility of a third, wide angle lens, would of been the cherry on top, for a camera that many consider one of the top-tier mobile phone cameras.

    With that said, Google doesn't appear to be standing still, instead opting to fine-tune the Pixel's two-camera setup by adding new features.

    Expected new features include an adjustable camera flash, a new motion blur feature and the introduction of audio zoom, which will allow you to zoom in when recording video to help you capture audio more precisely.

    Long story short, it looks like we're in for a treat with this years camera setup.

    Under The Hood

    In the past, Pixel devices have typically featured the best Qualcomm chip available, which this year would be the Snapdragon 865 Plus. With the Pixel 5, this might not be case, with an inside scoop from 9to5Google suggesting the phone may be shipped with a Snapdragon 765G processor.

    The Snapdragon 765 is more of a mid-range chip, unlike the high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 which powers the latest Samsung phones. This would suggest slightly less processing power than some of its competitors. With that said, the 765 is obviously no slouch and will still pack a solid punch in terms of performance.

    In terms of RAM, while it hasn't been a huge strength of the Pixel series in the past, there should be improvements on this front, with the Pixel 5 set to include 8GB of RAM in comparison to last years 6GB.

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