Gold is precious, valuable, and most of all sought after. It is the standard to which all else is compared to. The gold standard is one that can define an industry as well as an economy. Once upon a time, the iPhone was the gold standard to which all other smartphones were judged. Now with the announcement of the iPhone 5, we have to ask “Is the iPhone still the gold standard when it comes to smartphones? And if it is, is it now a tarnished standard?”
The iPhone 5’s announcement has come and gone, and has left much of the world outside of the iPhone faithful to wonder what was the big fuss about . Yes it has a larger screen, better software, a slightly better camera, a lighter body, and a new connector but if you are not an iPhone user these features are not new. This is where the gold standard has become tarnished. Even though with many respects the iPhone didn’t do anything new with its many iterations, it did them so well that consumers never knew that anyone even produced smartphones before the iPhone. Now with the iPhone 5, there is absolutely nothing that would make a non iPhone user seriously switch to the platform. There was a time when Apple was always one up on other phone makers with it future focused phone, now the main selling points of the new iPhone can be found in other phones that have better specs and more features. This is where Apple has lost the intelligent consumer.
Will that android user be tempted to jump ship to the iPhone 5 when the Galaxy S III or One X are already available today and can provide them with all of the iPhone 5’s features plus more? Will the Windows Phone user switch to the new iPhone when the Lumia 920 and others are on the horizon? The likely answer is no. As many of the same features and apps are available on every platform, the need to have an iPhone in order to have the best smartphone on the market is essentially over.
Will the iPhone sell like gangbuster? Of course it will. However it seems as if the iPhone 5 and the aging iOS are being lapped by the ever evolving Android and Windows Phone platforms. When it comes down to brass tax, the real question remains how can the iPhone remain the gold standard if it cannot entice non iPhone users to leave what they know. More importantly, how can Apple convince the faithful to remain when it continues to give them little reason to do so?