The day has finally come. The next generation iPhone became officially available in stores on Friday, and we're probably all wondering the same thing. How does this change the playing field of smartphones?
Many were discontent over news of the iPhone 5's delay, but there was just as much hype over the bumped up iPhone 4. This morning, as people are either receiving their pre-ordered phones in the mail or waiting in line for in-store purchases, the big question for competitors is how well the 4S will end up doing.
Up until now, we've been writing about all the new features and upgrades and you've probably been reading them all over the Internet, but how does it actually compare with rivals now that we can actually look at and use one?
The first and only major threat to other phones running a different OS is probably Siri. iPhones aren't the only phones out there offering voice recognition, but Siri does have something over, say, Androids and Windows right now. The difference is that your iPhone allows Siri to get to know you. For example, you can edit and personalize your preferences so that Siri knows which contact is your wife or brother. Siri also has the ability to take what you say and put it into context so that your results are more relevant. This makes the assistant more helpful. Although other smartphones do a decent job of handling small tasks, they are nowhere near as advanced as Apple's Siri.
Like Apple has figured out, the appeal to their products is more than just the devices. It's about the culture that surrounds Apple products. If competitors are trying to outrank Apple, they're going to have to go beyond putting out more powerful devices.