The real message behind Apple’s new iPhone 5 ad

I think that this new iPhone 5 advertisement is silly.

It doesn’t tell me that there is anything special about the iPhone other than the fact that a lot of people take a lot of photos with it. There’s really no distinguishing factor.

Photos on the go can be done with just about any smartphone on the market with a camera, and there’s really nothing special nor advertisement-worthy about the fact that the iPhone has a camera. In terms of photo quality, the iPhone’s camera isn’t even close to the best. Here’s a comparison between several new flagship smartphones, taken from the website Digital Phtotography Review:

Comparison 1: Crop/detail. From Digital Photography Review

Comparison 1: Crop/detail. From Digital Photography Review

Comparison 1: Low light/night shots. From Digital Photography Review

Comparison 2: Low light/night shots. From Digital Photography Review

If Apple had any sense in luring in new customers through its advertisements, then the company would be showing us what unique things you can do with the iPhone camera that no other competitor can do.

The problem is that Apple has never really innovated in the camera sector. Many of the features that are present in the iPhone camera now (or will be in the future) are actually taken from competitors that introduced those features. Some of these features include:

With no innovation in the camera sector, it’s obvious that this advertisement isn’t being targeted to potential iPhone users who are choosing between alternatives, or luring Android smartphone users to switch or switch back. No, it is actually being targeted at existing iPhone users.

The question to be brought up is: why is Apple doing this? I suspect that Apple is in a state of desperation, because it is currently in a risky position. It is in a risky position because it is currently at huge risk for losing a lot of iPhone market share to competing smartphone makers are introducing more and better innovations, especially in cameras, like this one showcased in an ad for the LG Optimus G Pro:

(don’t be fooled by the first 30 seconds, watch the whole thing one minute through – you’ll understand it even if it’s in Korean)

Photo sphere is a component of the camera app in Google’s Android version 4.2 Jelly Bean, and – like the other features that were listed above – it’s something that might break a lot of expectations of Apple fans, because the iPhone wasn’t the one to have that feature first.

As more people notice that competitors like Samsung, HTC, Blackberry and others are innovating faster than Apple in the smartphone sector in terms of features and hardware, they’re going to have more reasons (including the standing reasons of better price and other built-in features like Google Now) to opt for buying better smartphones and not iPhone. That’s going to be bad for Apple’s business… not that I care, since I favour anything that’s better for consumers; better products and more money into companies that will offer better products is going to be great for everyone.

“Every day, more photos are taken with the iPhone than any other camera.”

There is only one thing that this advertisement acclaims: the quoted statement above. This is a call-out to existing iPhone users. It’s a reminder that they are part of a global community of iPhone users that takes more photos than any other. I can see how it might make a deciding consumer stop his or her thoughts of getting that new Galaxy S4 and contemplate staying and feeling in-place with the iPhone community.

Even then, I think it’s going to have a limited reach. What it’s essentially saying is to “stay with iPhone because iPhone is popular and cool!” yet, if it is supposed to be targeted at users who are considering switching to competing smartphones for better features, then “popular and cool” are probably not (or no longer) part of the primary criteria in that consideration.

It’s time to face reality, iPhone. Your time as the king of the mobile smartphone space is done.

iPhone and Galaxy

The Apple iPhone 5 (left) and Samsung Galaxy S4 (right), head to head competitors in the high-end smartphone space.

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