Apple has announced the new iPhone, the taller, uber-sleek iPhone 5 with a faster processor. As has come to be a given, there was a great deal of speculation and anticipation prior to the event. Plenty of those who got a chance to use the iPhone 5 seem to have been touched by a bit of the famed Apple magic. So nothing has changed really. Or has it?
For years, Apple events were the fountainheads of disruptions that shaped the industry. Rivals scrambled to catch up. The touch screen, the retina display, Siri, a form factor that kept getting better, the iTunes store, the app store with more and better apps than any other platform.
But tech gurus around the world are saying something else now: that Apple’s innovative disruptor status, guaranteed after every iPhone launch, is being challenged.
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“Although the 4S sold wonderfully for Apple and brought some interesting additions, few would argue against the suggestion that it opened the door for competitors,” Patrick Goss wrote in Tech Radar. “Is the iPhone 5 going to sell like hot cakes? Of course. Will it send shock waves shuddering through the tech world and turn competitors back to their drawing boards? No.”
Samsung enjoys a 32.6% share of the global smartphone market, up from 17% last year, according to research firm IDC. The Galaxy S3 alone has sold 20 million units in under three months. Apple’s smartphone market share slipped from 18.8% last year to 16.9%.
After years of struggling to put out a credible competitor, Nokia last week unveiled the Lumia 920, a device with wireless charging, NFC (near-field communication) capabilities and a camera that was assessed by some tech watchers as even superior to rivals’ offerings.