It’s a story that happens almost every September now: Apple has unveiled new iPhones with slightly larger screens, faster speeds, and better cameras – but no new big strides.
In a taped infomercial, Apple executives described the improvements to the new iPhone 13 as major innovations, but they result in a device that looks and works similar to the iPhones Apple touted last year.
Apple said the new iPhones have a brighter screen, longer battery life, and more powerful cameras and computer processors. After Apple already pushed the screen almost to the edge of the device, Apple increased its size slightly by making the small notch at the top of the screen smaller. Apple has kept the same flat-edge design of the phone that it has used in other newer models.
Apple hopes customers will continue to spend more money by adding new features and making slight design improvements. It’s a strategy that has worked for a long time. The iPhone, now in its 14th year, remains one of the world’s best-selling products and the heart of Apple’s business. In the first half of the year, the last available period, iPhone sales increased 58 percent year-over-year to $ 87.5 billion.
This success is partly because Apple has built an extremely loyal customer base and partly because it designed its products to make it difficult for customers to switch to competitors like Samsung and Google. The iPhone remains among the best smartphones on the market in several areas, including camera technology and screen resolution.
Apple has spent much of its advertising showcasing the iPhone’s new “cinema mode,” a camera technology that can automatically follow and focus on a subject, resulting in videos that are more like professional films.
Apple’s focus on advanced camera technology in its iPhones reflects its heavy investment in artificial intelligence to compete with Google.
A few years ago, Google’s pixel smartphones took advantage of the search giant’s capabilities in artificial intelligence to outperform the iPhone’s camera capabilities. But in the past few years, Apple has taken several aggressive moves to catch up, acquiring several AI startups, and hiring a top Google AI manager, John Giannandrea. This is one of the reasons why the newer iPhone cameras have received higher ratings than the Pixels.
As in previous years, Apple has presented two separate versions of the new iPhone: the entry-level model iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini and the more expensive and more advanced iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. Apple has kept prices largely unchanged compared to the previous year’s models.
The dominance of the iPhone has also led Apple to heightened scrutiny and criticism from app developers, regulators, and lawmakers. An iPhone app has become a necessity for many businesses, which has enabled Apple to build a huge business by charging up to 30 percent commission on some app sales.
However, this practice has been the focus of legal and regulatory challenges in recent years. Last week, a federal judge ordered Apple to allow app developers to direct customers to other payment methods in their apps, which could allow them to bypass Apple’s commission. Regulators in the United States, Europe, and India are also investigating Apple’s App Store practices.