Like many of you, today I watched the Apple media event in which they announced both the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch. I’m not going to talk about the watch, but instead about the phone.
For years Apple has been a true cachet brand. They are a luxury item that is sought after for status and image. I don’t blame anyone for owning an iPhone: they’re reasonably sexy and you get to show off the Apple branding. Good on you.
My smartphone adventure started with an iPhone 3 in 2008. It was an amazing, groundbreaking piece of hardware back then. Android was nowhere near it and nothing else came close. I was able to put my iPod Nano in my dresser drawer and use the phone for both music and talk/text. It was amazingly innovative and nothing at the time compared.
This morning I was very excited to see Apple finally innovate again under the direction of Tim Cook, after years of what seems like stagnation on the mobile front. Instead, I was disappointed. I’m going to explain why in terms of comparable hardware and cost, not in terms of opinion (because they’re cheap and everybody has one).
Let’s compare the bleeding-edge Apple iPhone 6 and 6+ offering with my Nexus 5 - a phone that is nearly 1 year old and was released on Oct 31 2013. I highlight the winner in bold for each spec:
|Nexus 5||iPhone 6 / 6+|
|Processor||2.26 GHz quad-core Krait 400 “Snapdragon”||A8 chip specs not released, benchmarked at 1.4 GHz dual-core|
|RAM||2 GB||Benchmarked at 1 GB|
|Battery||2300 mAH||6: 1810 mAH. 6+: 2900 mAH|
|Screen Quality||1920 x 1080, 445 pixels per inch||6: 1334 x 750, 326 pixels per inch. 6+: 1920 x 1080, 401 pixels per inch|
|Screen Size||5”||6: 4.7”. 6+: 5.5”|
|Storage||16 GB||128 GB|
|Front Facing Camera||1.3 MP||3.2 MP|
|Rear Facing Camera||8 MP||8 MP|
|Price||$349 for 16 GB no contract, unlocked||6: $649 for 16 GB no contract, unlocked. 6+: $749 for 16 GB no contract, unlocked.|
Thoughts: Apple has some better specs, but they tend to be with respect to the cheaper hardware aspects (LTE bands which are redundant anyway, storage space, front facing camera). The iPhone 6 standard model has a really poor display resolution, surprisingly, since Apple has made strides in display technology with their retina MacBook Pros and iPads. The battery on the standard iPhone 6 is also poor compared to the Nexus 5, though the 6+ gets a much larger battery with its larger size. In terms of performance (CPU/RAM), Nexus 5 dominates.
Conclusion: Apple cheaped out on this phone, big time. It BARELY competes technically with the Nexus 5, an Android phone released almost 1 year ago. I cannot believe that for the cost of 1 iPhone 6+ I can buy 2 Nexus 5’s. It truly must be a cachet phone if people are willing to pay the price for such mediocre hardware.