Business / Technology

After all the rumors, the big question: Has iPhone scored?

By Liu Zheng in San Francisco (China Daily) Updated: 2016-09-09 07:40

After all the rumors, the big question: Has iPhone scored?

Apple CEO Tim Cook shows an iPhone 7 to performer Maddie Ziegler during an event to announce new products on Wednesday in San Francisco. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Mega product launch, guaranteed media spotlight, but Apple's magic under scrutiny

After listening to months of rumors, finally the climax: a mega product launch event which once again caught the media spotlight for Apple Inc in September.

Moving on from initially being cheered up without a second's thought about the new features of the latest generation of iPhones, which are equipped with dual rear cameras and dust and water resistance features, a series of questions popped up: does the design look familiar? Is Apple just following the trends being set by the Huawei P9 and Samsung S7, rather than being innovative as it is used to be?

I found the answer during my chats with online subscribers, who stayed up too late to follow Apple's new business move on a live-streaming platform.

Some of them are independent IT critics who specialize in smartphone photography. Some, who asked to be anonymous, said that the technologies and algorithms behind the iPhone 7 Plus and Huawei P9 are different as the latter provides a dual camera with one capturing monochrome and the other providing color photos.

The dual camera system of the iPhone 7 Plus allows the two cameras to shoot as one, for a high resolution optical zoom at two times.

"The new iPhone carries out the design theory of Apple, which is being simple, fashion and user friendly," said James Yan, research director at Counterpoint Technology Market Research.

Yan said there was no big surprises for the new iPhones, as the rumors prior to the launch seemed to have disclosed most of the details. But he believes that the products "will do well" in the first five months in China, and afterward, the market performance will rely on whether its domestic competitors follow its footsteps and launch products with similar technologies.

Meanwhile, the most regrettable thing for me this year is Augmented Reality (AR).

As AR hardware manufacturing and investment has witnessed rapid growth from last year in China-and Pokemon Go, the location-based AR game, became a global hit-the market had been expecting to see Apple spread its wings.

Rumors linked to Apple's future VR strategy appeared online and drew the industry's attention as CEO Tim Cook commented on the technology publicly, which was interpreted as a sign Apple was about to extend into the AR sector.

But the "One More Thing" part of the event, described as the company's traditional disclosure of a trend or innovative ideas that will be implemented in its products, was not shown in the end.

People tend to think that Apple won't disclose any details until it's fully ready to do so.

Sound bites

"Generally speaking, I am kind of disappointed with the iPhone 7 series. The new series is not as innovative as I thought previously. Before the event, I really look forward to the news that Apple may ditch the home button. But now Apple is still keeping it. And since my iPhone 6s can meet my need for taking selfies, I won't buy the new iPhone 7 or 7 plus. I would only buy one if I made a fortune."

Liu Yujing, 20, junior at North China University of Technology

"I have used the iPhone for around 7 years. Compared to other mobile phones, iPhone is the best. So I always want to try Apple's new products. Seeing the event, I really want to buy an iPhone 7 plus. Now I have a 64GB iPhone 6, and I always need to delete stuff for new photos of my kid or news conferences. So I really need a new one with enough space. And since the iPhone 7 plus packs dual cameras, I will choose that instead of the iPhone 7."

Gao Suying, 39, chief editor at Bei-jing-based China Business Journal

"Compared with last year's iPhone 6s, I feel the new iPhone 7 series does not bring any big change. Of course, there are some bright spots, such as the waterproof feature and the final launch of the Super Mario Run for iPhone. For me, the best part of the new series is the A-10 processor. Due to my Sony Xperia Z3's small internal storage, I might consider buying an iPhone 6 plus or iPhone 6s. As you know, there definitely will be a price reduction on them."

Zhen Xiang, 26, staff member at Yiai Lake Park Administration in Huanggang, Hubei province

"In design, the iPhone 7 series has not done enough on the innovation front. The worst thing is the removal of the 3.55mm headphone jack, which will cause inconvenience for users. Now users need to buy an extra convert-er for headphones. What's more, consumers have to pay more money for more storage space. So I certain-ly would not buy a new iPhone, Actually I have more fondness for my own Huawei Honor 6 plus, which came out with dual cameras two years ago. And the price is much better."

Zhu Yi, project manager at Research & Development Center (Jiaxing, Zhejiang province) at Minth Group Ltd, a leading supplier of exterior auto parts

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