back to article Superslim iPhone 4 enough to fend off Android?

Apple CEO Steve Jobs duly stood up at the company's World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco this week to introduce the long-awaited iPhone 4. This has become almost as much of a June tradition as Wimbledon tennis, but there was a clear difference this time around. To a far greater extent than on the previous three …


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    1. RichyS


      Firstly, you've picked pretty much the top end Android phone.

      Secondly, Verizon have been doing a 'buy one get one' deal on the Droid -- so you get 2 Droids for your $199.

      Thirdly, there are much cheaper Android phones available. While you can get a last gen iPhone for $99, you can get various Android phones for free (Droid Eris, Moto Devour, etc.).

      Not looking so sensible now...

      1. jecrawford


        Two for one. Desperately trying to garner market share?

        Is this a good business model?

        Not looking so sensible………

  1. shellyagal

    iphone on rebates

    I am a regular online frugal shopper and mostly use cash back portals like Bing, ShopAtHome, AAfter Search and Ebates.

  2. DrXym Silver badge

    iPhone 4 won't fend off Android

    It might be enough to stop the rot (for the time being), but the reality is there are COUNTLESS android manufacturers. Motorola, Sony, Samsung, LG, et al. Devices selling at all price points and all networks. Not just phones, but tvs, tablets and other devices too.

    Even if we look at phones, most of the top of the range Android phones are quite comparable in terms of features and price even before the iPhone 4 appeared and they'll overtake it soon enough.

  3. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Megapixel myth

    Stop believing the megapixel myth.

    I have 12MP on my SLR with a 35mm sensor there is no chance in hell that a 12MP camera phone can match my SLR. I would imagine the photos out of my SLR at ISO1600 are better than those of the 12MP camera phone in any conditions.

    Apple is lagging behind in megapixels, but they're making a stand against lousy quality cameras. The backlight sensor is cutting edge.

    Have a look at the awful cameras HTC include in their phones.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Get a grip, Apple haters

    The iPhone is "finally catching up" to whatever phone you had 3 years ago? Really? What miracle phone did you have 3 years ago that had a back-illuminated camera sensor? Gyroscope? Dual microphones? Scratchproof case? "Case antenna," for lack of a better term?

    No argument that the Android camp can quickly copy and improve upon the iPhone's feature set... bigger screens, more megapixels, etc.

    But seriously, credit where credit's due. The most novel thing about the EVO is that little plastic kickstand.

    Even if you hate Apple, you should be grateful that they are giving other manufacturers something to copy, which you will eventually benefit from, just as they did with the original iPhone.

  5. JimboG

    Why does this pass for valid analytical comment?

    This article lost me at the ludicrous statement, "As Microsoft well knows, a product is most vulnerable when it becomes a sacred cow." If this analyst's interpretation of Microsoft's rise and decline over the last 25 years is summed up in this statement, he can't have anything to say worth listening to.

    Why did The Register publish this abject dribble?

  6. ukdeluded

    Hands Up!!!

    Has anyone here ever, ever, ever used the front camera on their phone or actually done a video call?!

    I've had a multitude of phones with front cameras (and still have one), and I have yet to use it.

    I've tried, just for fun, but I've never managed to connect a video call!

  7. Ed 11
    Jobs Horns

    I want to love Android...

    My iPhone 3G contract is up and I'm undecided between whether to get the iPhone 4, the HTC Desire, or hold out for the next TOTR Android handset.

    The Apple App Store really is brilliant and to me is the sole selling point of remaining with Apple. I've played about with Android on my house mates phones and the Android store, in comparison, is a sack of pooh. There is no Android equivalent of Angry Birds, The Guardian app, the Sky+ app the British Gas app etc.

    I want to love Android. I want to get out of bed with Apple and Steve Jobs. I thoroughly dislike the contempt he seems to have for many developers and the arbitrary rules they face. But I'm not a developer, I'm only a consumer. Whilst I know it's people like me that make Apple's attitude sustainable, the companies I want to write apps for my phone write apps for Apple so there is not much incentive to move on.

    Which brings me on to my second area of concern, namely the fragmentation of Android. With the iPhone, I know the product I get on day one will evolve and develop significantly over the period I own it. Software updates will be available and will add new features frequently. With Android... well unless I get the Nexus One then whether or not I get the full benefit of the latest and greatest Android version is in the lap of HTC, Samsung, SE or whoever made the handset. Take all those people with the admittedly lovely HTC Desire. I understand HTC have said they will get updated from 2.1 to 2.2 but given their track record with updating (or rather, neglecting to update) my house mates HTC Hero, I'm cynical. And even if they do one day get 2.2, 2.3 will be out in the Autumn and they can probably forget about ever seeing that on their devices.

    What to do...

  8. Jeff 11
    Thumb Up

    The 3GS was pretty much the same

    Actually there was less in the way of new features between the 3G and the 3GS. Video capture, cut and paste, a compass and a faster CPU and GPU. OK, admittedly no-one will use video calling; it's an idea that's never worked because you look like a prize prick talking to your phone as though it were a real person, not to mention having your partner's voice loudly blurted out of the speaker for all to hear. I also doubt the UK/US networks will have the capacity to do it with acceptable quality (certainly not HD as Apple's screenshottery implies) as well.

    But the camera may finally be usable, multitasking will make Skype viable, it's supposedly tougher and thinner, and that 25% reduction in pocket bulk on what's already a slim phone is a big thing for some people. And if the A4 CPU makes things as smooth as on the iPad then it'll make the Android and WM tech look like juddering crap - and the 3GS is already way ahead of both when it comes to rendering speed.

  9. John Sanders

    Everything has to change...

    to fundamentally remain the same.

    1. Mr Grumblefish

      The British Gas app

      Well, that certainly clinches it!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Bye Apple

    If one of Apples hot new features is "Folders" all I can say is wow!

    When will they invent technology so you can...say, sort your photos alphabetically? Just try it.

    And Apple is the benchmark? Yeah right.

    I've had 3 iPhones over the years and although I waited to see what the iPhone 4 would bring I just ordered my HTC Desire today. I've had enough of Apples crap. It's not that their products themselves aren't good, its the little things that have me shaking my head...Glad to see the back of them.

  11. John 62
    Jobs Halo

    another megapixel comment

    At the risk of sounding like a fanboi I'm going to suggest the author rethink his comparisons with other phone cameras. If he'd said that 5MP was going to be a tough sell in a market that wants a single number to measure a camera's performance that would be fair enough, but he didn't. Hence I'm jumping on the bandwagon to figuratively flay him.

    I understand that my iPhone is not good for 'real' photography, but I have a 'real' camera for that (with large a 10MP sensor). On the other hand, with good light my iPhone takes great pictures and 2MP is enough and there have been comparison shots to show that the 3G's 2MP sensor gives better low light performance than the 3GS's 3.2MP sensor.

    By all means, pile on Apple for their App Store policies, the lack of wireless sync, the bloatedness of iTunes (though it does give the advantage of not relying on the manufacturers to do OTA OS upgrades; manufacturers who won't want you upgrading your phone, but rather getting a new one 6months later because that's the only way they make money, they don't get a cut of app sales or ad revenue), but a high quality 5MP camera on a phone is not a problem for Apple.

  12. jackofhearts
    Jobs Horns


    I like the idea of Android, and I get the impression it gets pretty good press - but I don't know anyone with one, literally I have never seen one outside the shops. Although 'smart' phones are definitely in use by the majority of friends and colleagues, they are all iPhones or Blackberrys.

    1. Campbeltonian

      Outside the US

      I'm willing to bet that Android handsets are selling a lot better in the US than they are in the UK. It's very telling that the market share survey that showed Android as having a slight lead over the iPhone was a US-only survey.

      My hunch is that it's got a lot to do with the fact that HTC have been the most prominent Android manufacturer. They seem to be relatively well known in the US because of their Windows Mobile handsets, but they were pretty much unknown here before the Android handsets started to ship.

      As it stands, I know one person who owns an HTC Hero, and my boss wants to buy a Nexus One at some point. I know way more people with iPhones.

  13. dz-015
    Thumb Down

    Poor article

    Any author who thinks the quality of a camera can be measured by the number of megapixels it has is not worth paying any attention to.

  14. theSensibleGeek

    @Stephen 10 & RichyS & jecrawford

    @Stephen 10:

    I don't think you and I actually have any disagreement. My point was that RichyS' comment was idiotic, because he assumed that the only reason people would buy an Android device over an iPhone was because they couldn't afford an iPhone. I was pointing out that the common costs to acquire each phone are comparable. Being as the average user will accept a contract, the contract price seems to be the most appropriate comparison. GIven your comment that the Droid seems to mop the floor with the iPhone 3GS, it seems clear to me that the reasons people would buy an Android over an iPhone extend quite a bit beyond affordability.


    Yes, I picked pretty much the top end Droid phone. I also picked the top end iPhone that pricing is listed for, so I'm not sure that gives you anything. Secondly, Verizon's buy one get one free deal is because they released the Incredible, thereby decreasing demand for what could be considered the "previous gen" droid leader. Likewise, for the price of an iPhone 3GS, you could buy two previous gen iPhones.

    Yes there are much cheaper Droid phones out there, but your initial comment doesn't make that relevant. Your implication was that the only reason someone would buy an Android phone over an iPhone is because they can't afford an iPhone. My point was that if someone can buy a Droid, they can buy an iPhone - therefore, if your implication is true, the Droid should have sold HORRIBLY. It didn't, and therefore, your implication is crap. You may have MEANT that the only reason someone would buy an old G1 is because they can't afford an iPhone, and were that the case, I might have even agreed with you, but that's not what you wrote.


    Two for one is a way to move excess inventory, caused in this case by the release of a better, faster, stronger Android phone (HTC Incredible).

    When you have too much product sitting in your inventory, and it's not selling very well, would you rather:

    a) let excess inventory (for which you have already incurred costs) sit on the shelf, or

    b) discount the excess inventory to move the product (thereby receiving revenue).

    The choice seems pretty simple to me.

  15. Stephen 10


    "GIven your comment that the Droid seems to mop the floor with the iPhone 3GS, it seems clear to me that the reasons people would buy an Android over an iPhone extend quite a bit beyond affordability."

    Thanks for the very reasonable reply, I can find nothing I disagree with in that statement.


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