Forbes: Is Apple Too Far Behind Samsung? iPhone 7 Pre-release Survey May SurpriseAugust 28, 2016 | By Fluent
Publication date 8/28/2016
Is Samsung’s Galaxy series lead over Apple too wide — even with the imminent iPhone 7 release? A survey may provide the best answer so far.
Earlier this month, I highlighted a post at TechnoBuffalo with the headline, “The Galaxy Note 7 is miles ahead of the iPhone.” The author went on to cite the Note 7′s curvy 5.7-inch Quad HD screen, the iris scanner, better support for virtual reality gear, and the camera’s upgraded HDR capabilities, among a list of other things.
The soon-to-be-released iPhone 7, however, should erase some of those Apple-as-laggard doubts. The sheer level of noise generated by any iPhone announcement usually generates enough consumer interest to keep Apple busy supplying new iPhones. Besides, the iPhone 7 should pack enough new features to satisfy most of the iPhone diehards.
What do consumers really want?
But what’s more important is what the non-diehard buyer wants. This week Fluent — a company that engages in “customer acquisition” — shared the results of a survey about the “next iPhone.” That survey* showed that the focus of consumers isn’t on curved displays and iris scanners. The “most important improvement expected” in the new iPhone is “more storage” (22 percent) followed by “better battery life” and “faster processor” (18 percent each). A “better camera” was ranked fifth below “thinner body” in the survey done on August 23 among 1,735 adult U.S. residents.
And what about the “most important new rumored feature of the Apple iPhone 7?” Waterproofing was by far the most important (56 percent) and a distant second was wireless charging (20 percent) and an even more distant third was “pressure sensitive button.” (Note that the removal of the headphone jack, probably the most-talked-about rumored change for the iPhone 7, would allow it to be water resistant. However, the removal of the headphone jack was considered a “drawback” by 64 percent of the respondents.)
And, as I said in an earlier post, Apple can’t fall too far behind as long as consumers are satisfied with the Apple ecosystem and all those wonderful iOS apps. For those panicking about Apple’s perceived laggard status, the company will most almost certainly adopt lots of cutting-edge hardware on the iPhone 8. For example, Apple is expected to move to curved screens when supply is sufficient, when the technology is more mature, and when it can up the ante on what curved screens can do.
Also, contrary to popular opinion, Samsung probably needs Apple as much as Apple needs Samsung.
*Note: Fluent said “expectations for the next iPhone are rather muted among consumers.” Only about 3 in 10 (31%) think the announcement of new iPhone models is a big deal. Only 28% think the new models will be a major improvement, according to the survey. I would add that this is hardly the first time that expectations for a new smartphone were low.