Despite higher spec, iPhone 5 lacks innovation

By Park Hyung-ki
  • Published : Sept 13, 2012 - 20:54
  • Updated : Sept 13, 2012 - 20:54
Apple’s latest device would not be able to overtake Samsung phones, analysts say 

Apple’s long-awaited iPhone 5 has been unveiled to the world with mixed reviews.

Some say the new smartphone does not offer any innovative features other than being thinner with a larger display than its previous model.

Others highlight the iPhone 5’s faster Long Term Evolution wireless connectivity with an upgraded microprocessor and central processing unit.

Weighing only 112 grams with a 4-inch touch screen, compared to iPhone 4S’ 140 grams and 3.5 inches, iPhone 5 is embedded with the iOS 6 operating platform ― which, industry sources and analysts say, will make a key technical distriction from other smartphones.

Apple’s iPhone 5 may not be able to overtake the dominance of Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy in the global smartphone market, whose size reaches some 270 trillion won ($239 billion), in the short term. 
The new iPhone 5 is displayed during an Apple special event in San Francisco on Wednesday. (Xinhua-Yonhap News)

However, its distinctive iOS 6 platform, which is considered much more stable and reliable than Google’s Android, may help Apple achieve higher solid sales, analysts said.

Android smartphones account for 150 trillion won in global markets, compared to iOS 6’s 80 trillion won. Samsung smartphones take up more than 60 percent of the Android market.

Apple’s iOS 6 is smaller, but in terms of quality and sustainability, its operating platform outweighs Android, an industry source claimed.

Android operates on an open-source Linux kernel, which serves as the core of its platform, and runs applications on smartphones through Dalvik virtual processing system.

This can be beneficial as the open-source platform allows anyone to develop and contribute to expanding the operating system.

However, the downside is that it can be “fragmentized” and “incoherent,” which may often cause problems for handset vendors and makers in making their software or functions for phones compatible with Android, given the high number and variety of developers participating in the open-source development.

This is one of the reasons consumers often see Android-based phones reboot on their own.

Another disadvantage is that the virtual processing system is slow, whereas iOS 6, self-managed and developed by Apple, is fast.

The unique stronghold of Apple’s software and hardware is that once consumers get a chance to use them, they will likely remain Apple users, unlike other general tech products which can easily be exchanged for other brands, sources said.

Analysts forecast that the iPhone 5 will boost Apple to sell 48 million smartphones globally in the fourth quarter of this year, from 26 million in the second quarter.

The iPhone 5 with LTE functions will be another source of debate in Korea where Samsung, which holds a significant number of LTE patents, is reportedly eyeing to sue Apple over this 4G wireless technology.

Samsung mobile chief Shin Jong-kyun told reporters ahead of Apple’s iPhone 5 introduction that it remains cautious when speaking about Apple given that the U.S. company is Samsung’s semiconductor customer.

However, he said that Samsung has leverage over Apple in terms of LTE patents amid increasing speculation that Samsung may file a lawsuit against Apple over 4G.

Samsung has 819 patents registered with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, making it the top patent holder among global tech firms.

Nokia and Qualcomm are other companies also reportedly holding a large number of LTE patents.

By Park Hyong-ki (