Trying to beat expectation is hard. Some might say impossible. For the mobile industry, especially when we’re talking about flagship devices from the most popular manufacturers, beating expectations is just something that isn’t even thought about. Just keeping up with rumors, “unknown sources” or rampant speculation means that it’s a race impossible to win. In more cases than not, it’s all about matching expectation, or you risk the chance of not meeting them at all, and seeing a collapse of public support.

There’s more to it than that, though. Simply put, even if you see a lot of people around you saying they’re not excited about a particular device, there are probably 10 other folks saying they’re ridiculously amped to put their hands on it, and make the new handset their own. Or, it could be the other way around. It’s anyone’s guess how a phone might be accepted into the public, but guesses are usually put in place long before its release.

Sometimes, the expectations are put in place long before a phone is even announced.

Did BlackBerry match expectations? I think BlackBerry actually tapered expectations pretty well, even if they did manage to squash any and all excitement for their main unveiling event for the BlackBerry Z10 (and Q10), and BlackBerry 10 proper. They did that by providing all sorts of “sneak peeks” of certain features, like the keyboard, before they officially unveiled anything. It was a good way to make sure people knew what they were going to see in the future, without allowing for rumors or speculation to get out of control.

I think BlackBerry understood that if they couldn’t handle the expectations, they ran the risk of the rumors crushing them. In truth, BlackBerry 10 is a bold step forward for the company, and I’m personally excited to see how it works out for them. They deserve a lot of credit for trying something new, a feat that some companies just don’t seem ready to do.

HTC, I think, matched expectations for anyone who has been a fan of HTC hardware, or who has paid any attention to the manufacturer’s handsets over the years. The HTC One is a truly remarkable handset, an Android-based device that gives Apple’s iPhone a run for its money in pure aesthetic design appeal, and construction. That’s something that has been a long time coming, and I think it isn’t surprising that HTC was the company to build that phone. However, I think people’s expectations for the software side of things, especially when it came to Sense, let the changes that HTC did make get washed under the bridge. Sure, BlinkFeed is cool, and from people I’ve spoken to about the new Sense 5, it’s remarkably more lightweight than previous versions. Unfortunately, HTC just let that slip out of the news, and we all expected it to be something worth writing home about.

Samsung didn’t do anything to ward off high expectations, rumors, or speculation. They just ignored it all, and let it all build up. Then, with about as much fanfare as you can do at a smartphone unveiling, they announced their next big thing. The Galaxy S 4 is a true successor to the Galaxy S III, in that it shares the same design, with plenty of the same software running under the hood (thanks to TouchWiz UI), but Samsung made sure to highlight why the Galaxy S 4 is different. It does have new features. The display is bigger, and sharper. More storage options, and different color variants.

In the end, though, I don’t think it much mattered. Samsung’s popularity in the Android market is unmatched, and I think as long as Samsung didn’t release a phone that had a dual-core processor, a standard AMOLED display and a 1,300mAh battery, they could have announced just about anything and garnered plenty of positive attention. (I’m not saying there wasn’t negative press out there about Samsung’s newest flagship device. Just, overall, it’s all rainbows and butterflies in Samsung’s neck-of-the-woods. Phone wise.)

I’m beginning to wonder if Apple’s in the same situation. I’m actually starting to understand that Apple’s only chance at real “failure” is if they stop providing yearly iPhone refreshes. And, by that, I mean that they stop manufacturing any kind of smartphone at all. The iPhone, undoubtedly, is one of those phones that just doesn’t seem to match expectation at all, at any given launch. And we’re talking both hardware and software. No matter which iPhone launch we’re talking about, the rumor mill and speculation regarding Apple’s smartphone is legendary. We hear all sorts of things, and the trouble comes when some of those rumors start sounding legitimately accurate. You start thinking, “Hey, that could work!” and you begin to wonder how cool that particular feature, or piece of hardware would be in your everyday life.

Then it doesn’t happen like that, and you’re left being disappointed.

But you know what? People still buy the iPhone. In fact, a lot of people buy the iPhone. When the iPhone 4S was launched, I remember hearing all sorts of negative things about the device. No larger display? Fail. No this, no that, and no thing-a-ma-jig? Fail. But Apple still sold a lot of iPhones. And, despite the fact that we’re beginning to hear whispers that iOS may see some kind of change in this new version, I don’t think it will matter.

Even if the new iOS, iOS 7 or whatever Apple decides to call it, doesn’t have any changes, and the iPhone 5S is just barely an upgrade from the 5 proper, Apple will add just enough to make sure that people will buy it. A better camera. More memory (or just the removal of the 16GB option altogether). Whatever the case, it’s just at a point where the iPhone will sell, no matter what Apple does or doesn’t do.

Is that a good thing? Yes it is. Why? Because Samsung needs a legitimate competitor. And it’s just as simple as that.

But I’m still curious. Do you think if Apple does change iOS, to be more “simple and flat” that it will negatively affect sales on a truly broad scale? Or will it be just like any other iOS unveiling, iPhone launch, that a loud minority cries out against Apple, while the masses go out to buy the next version of Apple’s popular smartphone? Let me know what you think.

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119 Reactions to this post

"Even if iOS disappoints this time around, do you think Apple will still manage to rake in sales?"

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Roberta Mariani Ofcourse, if apple were smart they'd launch the new iPhone during tax season that way all the rednecks would spend their returns on the same old phone with an S attached or the all important new number
Danny Medina im sorry but since steve jobs died apple hasnt been the same
Sebastian Gomes Of course. I mean have you seen that logo?
Samantha Brown iphone cant even copy or paste
Camar Green That was much to read over my phone but well said. In the end it is really what makes you happy.
Sheldon Schrock I have a Samsung Note 2 and love it so far. The battery life is amazing and often lasting 30 plus hours. The Samsung Note 2 has face recognition security, also when being used as long as the user is looking at the screen it remains awake. Lots of motion and gesture applications. S-Pen is awesome. Word Documents and I have it set up that I can print right from the Note 2 to the home printer. S-Pen has the hover capability to see whats in a file without actually opening the file.
Marcus Cadwell Joel: the gs4 is referred to as an iPhone killer. It's said every time a new phone comes out
Brian Curtis iPhones are for girls and hipsters. There are still plenty of those around to sell to.
Joel Diaz What ever happened to the term "iPhone killer"? I don't hear of it anymore.
Nick Petrizzio Even fanboys of apple had enough of them, so if they fail they're done
Orion Pax They need to follow Android but with more security on apps not like Google they let anyone post their app on the store. If they allow drag and drop media without ShiTunes it would kick ass again.
Jannis Anderson Yes... Its apple
Jeff Griffith Opinions are like buttholes, everyone has one, most of them stink, so keep it in your pants. Don't knock someone for their choice in phones.
Jeff Griffith To the people saying others are stupid for buying Apple products; who made you king of the hill wannabe "know it all"? If you ask me you're stupid! Go back to your moms basement and jerk off at your desk while eating Cheetos.
Paul Davis Of course, people want to pay $$$ for name brand stuff.
Austin Agli @Noriel Dacer I wasnt saying that there phones werent good with what they have now, this is about whether or not they will disappoint and make sales still. I believe there sales are great and same with marketing, but for a lot of people, I dont think they will "impress". iPhone is good...but, i think it can get better
Jason Angeles like how people wont brag about having an s4 or htc one? lol
Elijah David Kleehammer It's Apple. Apple will always get sales.
Miguel Placencia Owning an iPhone is a lot like being vegan.. you don't do it cause its good for you and its what you like. You do it to have some sort of bragging right over others heads..
Jason Angeles your acting like apple is gonna die.. Even if iphone sales isnt as good as last year.. They still make the best desktops/laptops in the market, that is very much the most stable os in the market. I'd get one if i can afford it
Camar Green Of course they will but not as much as they want and they will disappoint share holders for sure
Matthew LaFave Yep. From the same stupid people who buy them now.
Jason Vargas Of Course. It's Apple
Ian Walker That's a stupid question really. Apple is one of the top company's in the world and they make solid smartphones. Not everyone wants a massive screen and a awkward os. Lets face it only phone geeks read this site. The general public like the simplistic nature of ios and the great build and overall feel of the devices.
Dino Dimakopoulos I'm sure there will always be a market for the iphone. Apple/IOS is the automatic transmission of smartphones. Easy and does the job. If you want control and full utilization however……
Marcus Samual Winchester Definitely, I'm an Android user and I love complex and intricate OS's, Apple don't have to try with the iPhone and they still rake in sales
Joel Diaz I'm a die hard android user but i think if they come up with something fresh, new and usable then yes i think their sales can go back up again.
Adam Jermain It's always amusing to see the knee-jerk, vitriolic hatred of Apple products by Android fans any time the subject comes up. You guys DO realize that you sound just like the Apple fans you feel so compelled to berate... right? You can't call Apple people "iSheep" in the same breath as your claims of Android superiority and not come across as hypocritical.
Teron Facey All the sheep will still buy it. And still call it the best phone ever made.
Jerry Goldbaum James, Stupid is as stupid does. What an incredibly narrow minded comment.
Jude Fils-Aime another reason why all the isheeps still don't see its the SAME PIECE OF CRAP HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE AND APPLE OS is falling in behind and in technology
James Johnson Yes, there will always be stupid people out there.
Noriel Dacer same with me Jason. only unsupported ios 6 apps can turn my phone into safe mode.. at least safe..LOL
Tony Passalacqua A few years ago the options for smart phones were a bit limited. Today the choices are sky high. If people have such a problem with iphones operating system I have a solution. Don't buy one. Get something you like that suits your needs. For every person that says IOS is stale there is another that loves it
Felix Tran Every time someone starts asking about iPhone and Apple, I'm sure I will have a chance to see the ignorance, insularity and ultimate idiocy some people possess. Wake up, the world doesn't revolve around you and your idealism of smartphone, yes that's for you Android fanboys. People like different things, and what works for you might not work for others, and they're spending their money, not yours. So why fuss? You guys are starting to sound like religious nuts.
Matthew A Paulson The fact is all smartphones do the same thing. Make calls, get online, watch video, text, email, take pics, they all do it. I have owned apple, android, blackberry and windows. Every one of them do those things. So what it comes down to is OS preferences I prefer android, because of customization and it's look and feel.
Jason Angeles sure you are right irvin, but the amount of reboots i got with my captivate and atrix 2 doesnt even account for how much my iphone has rebooted.. at least 5 times a week my android phone would reboot while rarely my iphone 5 rebooted for me. Even when my phone is jailbroken, unless i install a non supported ios 6 app. It would never crash or reboot
Matt Peters Yes. Despite the tech world being bored with iOS, it still offers a solid, stable user experience.
Irvin Zamora I'm surprised this argument between iOS vs Android hasn't died out in the least... I agree with a fee comments, stating that Apple people will buy Apple, and Android will buy Android. I had 2 of my iPhone friends literally admit to me that they are wowed at certain things Android OS can do, but will never switch, because it is simply am iPhone. If iPhone users admit it or not, Android "just works" now, especially in today's phones... So that argument is out the window. Also, just to settle the fact, I've seen just as many iPhones lag, force close, and reboot as much as I've seen Android phones. Just suck it up iOS users, your Apple isn't as great as your imagination sees fit. Apple is surpassed in many aspects, and if they don't do drastic measures to meet a bigger fan base, sure, they will make sales, but they won't increase in buyer #s. There will be a time when iPhone being am iPhone won't cut it anymore. IMO
Aaron Calhoun Yes. The iTards will make it happen.
Armando Sanchez They always do, how are you guys thinking they won't?
Gabriel Fernandez Of course it will.
Lawrence Lepes I will never go back to the Iphone. I have the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, and it puts any Iphone to shame!
Lawrence Lepes The Iphone will always make sales, because they are a lot of hardcore Iphone fans!
Sheck Welle Apple products are not bad at all, they just need to give us better or useful features specially on their mobile devices or lower their prices, apple is loosing Innovation specially on their fifth generation Iphone, most folks were expecting better thing but they failed, since iphone 4, 4s, 5 nothing change, i owned the 1st generation iphone since 2007, 3g, 3gs, 4 and 4s, skipped the 5 because i had a Nexus 4 as a gift, i can see that android is much more complicated but superb in everything, much better than IOS, apple has one of the best design phone, has a huge ecosystem, great engineers, developpers, one of the best manufactures, if they change their mobile softwares, giving us better specs, better UI, more customizable screens, let us uninstall crappy apps like Passbook, Newstrand, reminder and more, put NFC on their devices rather than giving us crappy app like passbook, IOS is only for children and old people, rich people who just like to have the apple logo on their devices, I have herad that johnny IVE is going to take care of the IOS things, IVE is an industrial designer not a software engineer, inventor, developper, i swear if it fails apple is going to HELL and TIM cook will accept that apple suffers under HIM, i hope the best for Apple, if they change a little they are going to be number ONE and they can do that, Scott Forstall leaving is a big LOSS for apple, he is a great software Engineer, he can't just deal with the current folks at apple.
David Moreno Well if the iphone doesn't the ipad will! Maybe the 2 fruit companies will be switching popularity.... Not yet anyway Haha lol
Jason Angeles @micca brainwashed? your stupid.. choosing phones is a matter of an opinion
Noriel Dacer LOL to those who complain on FLASH PLAYER... PUFFIN browser has flash player.. do not comment if you dont know anything about it..okay?
Jonathan Persson Cal: "Less is more" ;)
Noriel Dacer @Austin Agli, as what i had mentioned above,do not compare iphones to other brands,, majority of iphone users are comparing their own devices to their previous one because they are happy with it.get it? and why would an iphone use an octa cores?? a6 is fast enough to do dont have any idea how good iphone 5 is, right?
Micca Koster People that buy an iPhone or already have one are brainwashed
Jim Blizzard yes it will rake in sales...Lemings/sheep...just follow the crowd
Jason Angeles a perfect size android is the htc one.. I cant see myself carrying a 6'3" size screen phone.. its like carrying an ipad mini as a phone.. too dam ridiculous
Charles W. Y. Wong iOS is just boring. Android does support flash, my note II web browser. I can update it from adobe too.
Charlie Ebner Oh, but of course! Many people will never stray from Apple, just like Android users will never stray from Android. Apple users will continue to use a boring OS and Android users will continue to use a ridiculous sized phone.
Cal Turner Apple: pay more for less.
Noriel Dacer iphones marketing strategy is the best!!! and you know what? theycompete and compare their products from their previous ones,like what are the new features in iphone 5 comapre to 4s. (ex: is PANORAMA) they are not comparing it to SAMSUNG OR HTC or whatever,they compared it from their previous phones.. cant you get it? while on the other hand,all other brands are obviously comparing thelrs to iphones,, right?? that's a fact.
Justcallme Ren I do. But if I'm going to spend 300 on a device(contract per say) I'm gonna get something that I have the potential options to do what I want with jt
Austin Agli I honestly dont think they will do nearly as well as in previous years because they really have done a minimal effort to keep up. Sure they brought in siri and a few little touches, but its not the Apple i remember back in 2007...they shouldnt let innovation represent one small change, but perhaps, make something that will WOW us like when the iphone first came out. I understand its a little hard now to do that, but we see octa cores now and super hd screens...I think if Apple wants to create a game changer...its time to think ahead and not try to re-imagine whats already been done. Itd be nice to see a revamped OS and quad core/super hd, but show us something we dont already see...because to me...right now, Apple is what Apple was years why should a buy their product now...
Meghan Perrizo I've had both android and now I have an iPhone, I like both. However I also sell then and needed to understand what all the hype towards the iPhone was about.......I've had the iPhone 5 for months now and I still don't know the answer to that question. In answer to the question I agree that the apple ppl will buy it because it is an iPhone...we have more and more ppl coming in everyday asking. For then only because they are apple not because of the feature or the simplicity. Apple has to have the best marketing team around, I truly believe they could sell a used dirty sick.
Nicholas StylishDemeanor Scafe Does any of you all answer to this statement solely based on your financial background?? I know if i had the money most of what you guies mentioned in your posts would matter to me!!
Jason Angeles i prefer the iphone nit cause of its simple software but because everything i want in a phone it excels in.. dont need the widgets to customize my phone nor the several other features.. all i can care about is that it works with no hiccups, especially the convinces of it jailbreak apps that i couldn't achieve in my previous android phone
Robert Wellington Clubine III I would like a bigger screen and more memory, why would one want a HDMI port when you have airplay and iCloud.
Jay Thee Articool It will still because isheep are everywhere... Apple could polish a turd and sell it to fanboys and they would eat it up as the best turd ever created
Michael Saver Yes but they'll continue to go down. SIII already was top selling phone for a little bit. As Apple continues to turn out the same product with a new name, Android devices will continue to innovate. I don't think iPhone will ever not sell well, but I think it will stop being as completely dominant as it has been as people realize the competition just simply offers a better product.
Bobby Delaney While it isn't Apple's last chance I think if there isn't a change in the iOS and a innovation in hardware come the iPhone 6 ( not enough time with the 5s) you will see the first time where Apple's sales will start to see a decent drop. It is that slope they want to avoid because RIM went through the same thing. RIM believed they had something people will always want and they were wrong. People moved on to new innovations and changes.
Huey Liggins Please.. Someone tell me what the iphone can do that an android cannot do? Wait... Let me sit down I can't wait to here this one.. Lol the iphone works as in powers on yes. But android works and goes the extra mile. My Android is more than a phone and has the battery to back it up(not to say the iphone battery sucks. Ios isn't exactly a power house since it doesn't do much)
Justcallme Ren Apple will still make sales due to the simplicity of the use of them. The government just called for 650,000 devices; and for the most part, people want something that (like an everyday vehicle) you can just get in and drive. But people are starting to see and realize that they are wanting more from their expensive investments and are seeing that that are better options out there that suit their needs. Android takes a bit of a learning curve, especially when you get into the higher performances devices. Like drifting, once you get the hang of it, you'll just be like "wow! What the hell have I been missing?" And you're gonna want more, and that's where iOS fails. You just don't have that option to expand like you do with android. So like I said, people that want an entry level device will more likely spend their $$ on an iPhone, but again, people are wanting more and they see there are better, cheaper alternatives out there, and thats where apple will fall if they don't change it up
Robert Wellington Clubine III I have had quite a few mobiles but in the end I prefer the iPhone.
Sean Watson The people that buy iPhones couldnt care less if ios gets updated. Or even if the iPhone gets updated for that matter. If the iPhone 6 is 100 percent identical to the 5, they will buy it when it comes out
Gabrielle Karl with its supporters/fanbase ... yes they will
David Vaughan Lol Why are people getting mad about a phone they don't use? Live and let live
Matthew A Paulson Jonathan what exactly does iPhone do that android doesn't? I call bullcrap
Noriel Dacer piece of crap?? try it yourself and then tell me how's the performance.. ayt?
Robert Wellington Clubine III Well JD&Powers ranked the iPhone the best the other day. They must be doing something right.
C Bryan Thomas Someone posted that whatever Apple does is revolutionary. Definitely not the case any longer. They still haven't caught up with the competition from allot of aspects. NFC, HDMI, flash support, tiny screens, expandable memory, removable battery... Should I go on!
Christopher Williams So Samsung is essentially releasing a Galaxy S3S, and yet they're so innovative, and have the best phone out there. But Apple is releasing an iPhone 5S, and now they're doomed? People have no logic anymore.
Devin Martinez I thought these phones were for browsing the web, taking pics, having nice apps etc. last time I checked iPhone was doing great in that concept
Patrick George Jr. You guys are fighting over a phone that none you manufactured wow google Samsung or Microsoft don't care about us they just want our money thats it. Wake up people good God
Shakir Miah I have moved to the Galaxy Note 2
Jonathan Persson Ziggy: Android do not just work, at least not for me. There are plenty of things I would love to do on an Android but can't. I need an iPhone because of what it can do and what Android can not do.
Frank Porter Of course they will
Tabib Rehman Since when have iphone customers known what a good phone is anyway?
Kevin M Combes I'm standing firm in my prediction that the fifth Galaxy S will outsell the flagship iPhone(s) for its entire life cycle (as the flagship SGS).
Nick Kathrein They'll still sell a lot but their will be a noticable dip in sales unless people go for the cheaper iPhones like the 4s or 5 which would kill their profit per device which will kill their stock price because investors hate Apples declining profit per device that started happening this year.
Zach Chapman An iPhone has always, and will always be a fashion item. It doesn't matter if its a terrible phone, people will still buy it. Apparently that little Apple on the back is worth its weight in myrrh.
James Norwood Yep, there are plenty of idiots in the world.
Ziggy Torres the just works moniker is played out! Androids just work also and work better! You guys have no idea how dumb you sound when u say that. Everytime I see that I look at my phone and say "Yup its working". SMH.
Bradley Larcher Apple could just offer new colors, and they will stand in line for days to buy one
Abram Wenevermet Dennis This is apples last chance.. iPhones are the top reliable phones on the market in my opinion..but releasing the same phone every year with minor upgrades has gotten old.. I'll be switching 2 the note3 if this happens again.
Jet Tuñgul Yes of course, fanboys will still buy that piece of crap.. too many idiots in the world..
Krishna Karthik Maybe if dumb ppl still exist in good could survive.....
Jim Sowell Of course! The Apple zombies can't help but throw money at that dead phone.
Stephen Colbert Of the general populace, who is even buying an iPhone with an awareness of what iOS is? There are a decent number of iPhone users that don't even have an Apple ID. Of those that do, many don't even know/remember it
LaToya's Page Yea as usual people buy it because its an Apple product. I know too many people following the trend unhappy with their iphones but refuse to get rid of it because its an iphone. Whatever floats your boat. I cant get with them
Jacob B Dupuy The i zombies will always bite
Nick Miller Most definitely. I buy their products because they work and are really reliable. Do I hate the staleness of it? OF COURSE I DO! But the apps I have invested in make my personal and business life simpler. Even though I talk about changing a lot, I never probably will cause everything works.
Dave Bourque they will always make a ton of money but not as much as they did before.
Matthew A Paulson People used to be like that with BlackBerry. Nobody stays on top forever. And say what you will Apple has rested in their laurels for 2 years now.
Christopher Williams There are no "sheep". Have any of you ever stopped to think for one moment that perhaps some people out there just happen to like the iPhone for what it is? Not everyone needs bells, and whistles. Some people need a phone that "just works" and for many that phone is the iPhone.
Nichson Tiang They can only target the fashion goers and elderly.
Robert Olsen I agree with that, and yes they will be sheep for sure. but Samsung will take them out this year. balls to the walls people. balls to the walls.
Donald Hixson They need to either make some changes like major changes or lower their prices on well, EVERYTHING. They're not bad products but they're not worth the money they want.
Robert Phillips Really, I mean really. Lol its apple.
Kyle McCaffrey They'll get sales but they might not get as much.
Sandy Bullard Ryczak Anthony, i call them lemmings.
Alistair Lowe At the very least we'll know for sure if iSheep are real or a product of the opposition.
Anthony V Cannata I think if Apple doesn't step up their game they will fail
Raiyan Hishamuddin yea. cos what ever Apple does is always revolutionary and cos iPhone is the best cos...its an iPhone!
Abram Wenevermet Dennis They will.. But I won't be buying it
Jonathan Wiechert yes because the it will still be just as much of a fashion accessory, people pay big money to have a little apple on their electronics
Anthony Evans Jr yup gotta love the sheep
Steve Hartsock Of course it will. I have many friends who have an iPhone just because it's an iPhone. Hard to sway them away from Apple.

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