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Sep 21 2013, 04:49 IST
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SummaryThe new iPhones and iOS are more a means to catch up with the competition, rather than lead it

Apple recently saw a flurry of activity to do with both its hardware and software. First off, September is the usual time when Apple announces its new phones, and it didn’t disappoint. In fact, it went one better and introduced two phones simultaneously—the iPhones 5S and 5C—for the first time in its history. What is remarkable here is the phones marked departures from Apple’s long-standing traditions of maintaining premium prices and sticking to only two colours. The 5S is a more routine upgrade, with a better camera, processor, screen, etc. But the 5C comes with the innovations. It’s relatively cheap, which is a major step for Apple. It costs $100 less than the 5S, and the $199 32 GB 5C gives twice the storage of the $199 16 GB 5S. Finally, it comes in 5 bright colours, a departure from the tried-and-tested black and white. These may not seem great innovations to those used to cheaper smartphones, or the Nokia Lumia line’s vivid colours, but it marks a strategy that sees Apple catching up with the competition, not leading it. And that is notable.

In addition to the hardware, September 18 saw the worldwide release of the much-awaited new operating system, iOS 7, which incorporated some of the most significant software changes Apple has made since the early days of the iPhone. Again, some of the more noticeable changes, like the Control Centre and the way one can quit apps, are elements already present on Android phones. So, no, none of these new releases stand to put Apple back in the lead, but they can certainly do a lot to halt the company’s sliding market share. Which is Apple’s current aim.

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