Is The iPhone 6 Set To Be A Flop?

By | June 5, 2014
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Speculations about when Apple would release iPhone 6 are rife – but more interestingly, doubts are mounting as to whether it will be able to manage decent sales figures. In what follows, we have taken a sneak peek at some factors which can cause iPhone 6 to ultimately fail.

The much-anticipated iPhone 6 was not unveiled during the ongoing World Wide Developers’ Conference (WWDC). While Apple generally announces new lines of smartphones around September, this wasn’t particularly surprising though. What the no-show of iPhone 6 did do was add momentum to the murmurs that the handset might not live up to its frankly excessive hype. In Britain alone, a survey found that over 65% of smartphone-users believed that the next-generation iPhone would fail. More strikingly, a much higher percentage of people are of the opinion that the Samsung Galaxy S5 would be a much bigger hit than iPhone 6. Here are a few reasons which might lead to iPhone 6 turning out to be a flop:

 

  1. General perception that there would be nothing new – Apple has been dropping subtle hints about the Healthbook app that iPhone 6 would come with. This, however, has failed to really excite mobile app company experts or general users. About 1 in every 5 users of Apple products think that iPhone 6 will broadly be similar to its predecessor – the iPhone 5. As such, they believe that the upcoming model is not worth buying.
  2. Lower than average battery life – A point on which the iPhone 6 is almost sure to lose out to the latest phone model from Samsung. The Galaxy S5 offers battery backup of eleven hours and a quarter – while that of the iPhone 6 will be, at best, something around six hours. People who don’t like to carry mobile chargers wherever they go (and that’s most individuals!) are likely to stay away from Apple’s hugely hyped product.
  3. Saturation in most international markets – Make no mistake – smartphones are being launched by the dozen every quarter, and many of them are finding takers worldwide too. However, for a handset exclusively targeted for the premium segment of the market – things might be slightly different. With the price tag likely to remain on the higher side, it won’t find a decent opening in cash-crunched nations in South America and even some portions of Asia. On the other hand, the US and UK markets are already filled up with a deluge of relatively new smartphones. Only time will tell whether the iPhone 6 packs in enough punch to justify its price tag and mark its niche in the global markets.
  4. Sharing options will probably not impress – There are iPhone application development companies that release apps with social sharing options – but that won’t be enough to mask the woefully poor default sharing options on iPhone 6. If the developers do not go for a major shake-up of the app settings system, what buyers would get is a device with pre-loaded apps (like iPhoto), which allow sharing only to a small set of other applications. Those who love a customized app-experience would stay in favor of Android devices.
  5. A belief that Apple’s quality standards have gone down a bit – This is probably the most potentially damaging belief, that is taking form in the minds of techies and general people across countries. About 25% of all people opine that Apple products no longer promise that lofty excellence that they used to, when Steve Jobs was at his prime. The iPhone 6 might yet surprise everyone with its quality, but most people won’t buy it before reading the reviews meticulously.
  6. Extremely limited options for personalization – What worked great in 2007 comes across as irritating in 2014 – and strangely enough, the experts at Apple seem oblivious to this fact. At a time when Android handsets are highlighting enhanced customization options as their USP, iPhone 6 (like its predecessors) will have the same standard layout – with default displays and apps on the home screen. Doing an iOS jailbreak is, of course, an option – but would people purchase it in the first place, when other, cheaper (not necessarily better though) alternatives are available?
  7. Lack of interest among existing iPhone users – Even those who own iPhones at present do not seem too confident about the success of the soon-to-be-released model. During the research study in UK, those who had predicted that the Galaxy S5 would trump iPhone 6 with relative ease were mostly…hold your breath…iPhone-users. Apple CEO Tim Cook definitely harbors hopes of making a dent into Android’s overwhelmingly high market-share, but the pre-release buzz about the iPhone 6 is remarkably lukewarm.
  8. Will the presence of two different versions help? – Ideally, it should – but the fiercely competitive mobile markets worldwide might wipe off such potential advantages. The 4.7-inch version of iPhone 6 is not likely to create much of a ripple – since people have long been hankering for a handset with a larger screen from Apple Inc. There will be a phablet-sized 5.5-inch version (as reported via Foxconn) as well, but it will have to be absolutely outstanding in terms of features – to stand out in the already overcrowded phablet markets.
  9. Not much of use as a camera device – If you are one of those who like to snap high-quality pictures with your smartphone, iPhone 6 won’t be your ally. The Nokia Lumia phones might have their fair share of shortcomings – but the 41 MP camera pre-installed in them has, till date, no competitors. Even Sony Xperia Z2 and Samsung Galaxy S5 have 20.7 MP and 16 MP cameras respectively. These figures are streets ahead of the 8/10 MP camera that the iPhone 6 is likely to have.
  10. The market dominance of Samsung will hurt iPhone’s prospect – This is, in essence, a vicious cycle. The popularity figures of Samsung flagship mobiles have soared over the past few years, while Apple’s iPhone 5S performed at just about average levels, and the ‘budget’ iPhone 5C was the very definition of disaster. This, in turn, has helped Samsung in particular, and Android in general, to create a market clout – which the iPhone 6 might find difficult to break into.
  11. Absence of NFC – Near Field Communication (NFC) technology was launched over 3 years ago, and even certain laptop models/brands have them now. Inexplicably, Tim Cook and his team have decided to stay away from using NFC in iPhones – and they are not likely to make an exception for the iPhone 6. People are increasingly getting used to one-tap digital security at home and single-touch mobile payments. The latest iPhone might come across as slightly backdated to them.
  12. Keyboard functionality is likely to be ordinary – If you are expecting Swype or haptic feedback features from the built-in keypad of the latest iPhone – well, get ready to be disappointed. Unless the predictions of software analysts and mobile app developers are way off the mark, the keyboard will remain considerably less functional than those on Android devices. Chances of Apple integrating usage patterns in the keyboard of iPhone 6 also appear slim. At least the new iOS 8 platform (unveiled during WWDC) supports third-party keyboards – otherwise that would have been a bone of contention too.

If iWatch arrives before iPhone 6 and is poorly received, that can create a further air of negativity about the latter. Apple has an enviable track record of success – and it has the capability of turning all these projections and survey results on their head, by ensuring that the iPhone 6 appeals to general buyers and techies alike. It would be a huge mistake to write off iPhone 6 before it is launched – but as things stand now, it does not seem like a big winner waiting in the wings!

 

Hussain Fakhruddin
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Hussain Fakhruddin

Hussain Fakhruddin is the founder/CEO of Teknowledge mobile apps company. He heads a large team of app developers, and has overseen the creation of nearly 600 applications. Apart from app development, his interests include reading, traveling and online blogging.
Hussain Fakhruddin
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