At the onset of this decade, a phone with a camera and touch screen was a status symbol. I remember when my friends got the Nokia N8 or the Apple iPhone 4, they were surrounded by everyone. From playing Fruit Ninja to watching videos, we never knew that this was soon going to be mainstream. Apple has always been a “want” rather than a “need” thanks to its loyal following and brand equity. Apple was the leader in innovation and bringing new technologies to consumers. I don’t own an iPhone, however I do have an iPad Mini and iPad mini 4 and I’ll say they are the finest tablets in the market. However, their recent announcements in the past few years, they haven’t brought any ground breaking technology for the consumers. On the other side, we have brands like Oppo and Vivo spearheading innovation. So where’ the innovation Apple ?
Leading from the front – Oppo, Vivo
Oppo and Vivo are two brands coming from the same group – BBK electronics. (The same group owns Realme & OnePlus also !) Few years ago they were the brands that were trying to anchor themselves in the Indian smartphone market. Xiaomi, Samsung, Micromax were the top 3 then. Fast forward to 2019, Oppo & Vivo smartphones are selling like hot cakes. I haven’t personally used an Oppo or a Vivo smartphone, but have seen many people around me use it. So what has Oppo & Vivo done to reach this spot ? These ‘Chinese’ brands focused on innovation and constantly came with newer models with advanced features at an affordable price. As Accenture’s CEO says, Innovation is the new competitive advantage.
Innovation at Affordable Prices
For all of you who don’t know, Oppo was the company to bring in World’s first motorized camera. The famous/infamous popup selfie camera. Oppo was also the first company to get in the 10x hybrid zoom technology with their Reno series. On the other hand, Vivo too showcased the motorized camera in its Vivo Nex smartphone along with the under display fingerprint scanner. Further, Vivo also launched the first dual selfie popup camera in its V17 pro lineup. Not only this, Oppo has even showcased a prototype of the under display front facing camera ! With so much innovation happening around, where is Apple ?
Apple – where is the innovation ?
Before you start saying that comparing Apple to Vivo/Oppo isn’t right, let me put this right. I’m only comparing both of them in terms of the recent innovations. After all, innovation isn’t just about filing patents, it should reach the customers too. We all know that Apple is one of the most valuable companies in the world with a highly loyal customer base. However, in the past few years, the innovative edge at Apple has been going down. Right from their iPhone 6, there isn’t much innovation from Apple. The processors, sensors have been beefed up sans anything wow-worthy. Features like Touch Id, Air Drop, Air Play, Siri haven’t been ground breaking innovation. Apple Watch is an innovative product so that’s something from their innovation stable. The iPhone 11 did turn a few heads with meme-loving 3 camera setup.
Future belongs to ?
Considering the pace at which the “Chinese” brands are coming in with innovative products, I’m sure Apple would be feeling the heat. Oppo & Vivo have also been improving their software to provide a better experience. We all agree that Apple is a premium brand and still isn’t affordable by many. It also caters to a different segment of the society. However when it comes to innovation, Oppo, Vivo & other brands have been leading from the front in 2019. They have not been merely talking about innovation, but are quick to get it to the shelves. That way, the entire industry is evolving. If it wasn’t Oppo or Vivo, we wouldn’t have had the popup selfie camera or the under display finger print scanner ! If your thoughts resonate with me (or not) do share your views in the comments below or tweet to me at @Atulmaharaj