After reading the news for the past week, I realized there's only two big stories related to Apple's new version of iOS - what it brings and who they copied. Apple was in major need of some new material to tout as revolutionary and amazing. Rumors swirled about an updated notification system, widgets, iCloud, and more. Now we know what Apple came out with. Notification Center is clean and organized. iCloud is well thought out and extremely useful. iMessage is simple yet effective. I'm not going to ignore the elephant in the room. Yes, Apple did some serious cloning work here. We all know that. The question is Does it matter? How will this affect consumers' perception of Apple, if at all? Are Android and BlackBerry users more inclined to switch to an iPhone? We discussed those topics in this week's PhoneDog Live.
As with any debate, there are two ways to look at this and you don't really have to be an Apple fan or Apple 'hater' to take either position. You could say 'Everyone copies. It doesn't matter who came up with it. If it's the best product, then that's the one I want.' That viewpoint is certainly fair. BlackBerry Messenger is a fantastic IM'ing service. Android's notification bar is spectacular. OTA updates are convenient and wireless syncing makes everything easier. Apple took all of the best features from every other OS and brought them together. To be fair, why wouldn't you want a product like that? At the end of the day, it's not about principles or ethics, it's about wanting the best product.
Then, there's the second way you could look at this. You could say 'The problem with them copying is that they're Apple. They claim to be the innovators who set the bar. Everyone gave them that title. They sue anyone who remotely imitates their product. But now they're falling back on the 'well, everyone copies' excuse.' This is fair too. How are you going to sue Samsung for imitating your icon designs and then straight up copy Android's notification system?
I'll let you guys argue that out in the comments section. As a person who reviews cell phones, it's my job to stay unbiased when necessary. During the broadcast, we discussed four main features of iOS 5 and how deeply they mimic features from other operating systems. You can check out the video for my thoughts on that. (The video description contains a timeline of when each topic was discussed.)
My next question is How will this affect consumers' percetion of Apple, if at all? And will more people be inclined to switch to an iPhone? After the announcement of iMessage, a rival service to BlackBerry Messenger, RIM stock dropped nearly three percent on Wall Street and more than three percent on the Toronto Stock Exchange. However, my guess is that the average consumer does not care who Apple copies. My guess is that most people will take the first viewpoint mentioned above. All people know is what they see. Right now they still see a lot of people with iPhones. If the iPhone is now getting better, that just makes them want an iPhone even more. At least that's my prediction.
What about you? I know we have a lot of Android users that visit the site. Are you thinking about going for an iPhone now that iOS 5 brings such major improvements? I always said that the two things that keep me from leaving Android are notifications and widgets. Notification problem, solved. Widgets? There's some potential with that notification bar. Apple already designed two "widgets" of their own. The question is Are you all about having the best product or is this about Apple vs. Google for you?
If you'd like to watch the next episode of PhoneDog Live, we'll be broadcasting every Friday at 5 p.m. ET from our Ustream channel. You can watch it directly from Ustream or from our Facebook page. This week's show is available to watch on our YouTube channel.