Google’s new Pixel and Pixel XL phones have arrived with the iPhone directly in their crosshairs. Apple probably isn’t too enthusiastic about the timing since it just released iPhone 7 in September and isn’t due for another new phone until next year.
Really, this is the first phone in a while that targets iPhone more than anything else. Samsung has for a couple years now poked fun at its superiority, but generally carved out a nice place for itself in the market. It stopped aggressively going after Apple the way it used to because enough people got on board. Now, Google is taking a whack of its own.
You’d probably think this should get Apple riled up. iPhone has an extremely loyal following and now Google is coming along trying to lure them away, especially at a time of controversy surrounding the headphone jack. Believe it or not, here is why Apple should actually be happy about Google Pixel.
Competition Drives Innovation
Google Pixel quite simply delivers incredible features that the iPhone is not currently capable of. It can charge to seven hours of usage in 15 minutes, has the best-rated camera of any smartphone with unlimited photo and video storage, extensively supports virtual reality, packs a larger display into a smaller device and includes Google Assistant which wipes the floor with Siri.
iPhone 8 needs that breakthrough tentpole feature that laughs in the face of its competitors and propels it forward.
The iPhone 7, while an impressive feat, seems to have slow the progress of innovation a bit. Water resistance is nice and the bokeh effect in the iPhone 7 Plus camera is an enjoyable leap forward. Other than that though, iPhone 7 doesn’t bring any major innovation to the table. It’s faster as always, has a better camera as always and other small improvements people have come to expect.
Google Pixel, if successful, gives Apple an opportunity to capitalize on innovation with the iPhone 8. It’s already rumored that iPhone 8 will sport a complete hardware redesign, but now Apple has purpose to work full speed ahead. For the past year or two, it felt like both Apple and Samsung were getting a bit too comfortable and as such didn’t need to amp up technological efforts as much.
If the iPhone is going to be on par or better next year, Siri needs to get way better (with the help of developers). Plus, battery charging and battery life need a drastic rather than incremental improvement. iPhone 8 needs that breakthrough tentpole feature that laughs in the face of its competitors and propels it forward. Siri has fallen behind, 3D Touch hasn’t fully caught on, and screen sizes have about maxed out at this point. Oh and don’t get me started on only 5GB of free iCloud storage.
That Silly Headphone Jack
As Apple probably expected competitors would do, Google didn’t shy away from bragging about Pixel having a headphone jack. It’s placed prominently in the ad as a feature that’s “satisfyingly not new.”
Realistically though, when Apple declares a feature as on the way out, it is usually on the way out. I’d wager that in a few years, most smartphones are without a headphone jack. Apple will ultimately have the last laugh. The company has been able to laugh at others brag about having a floppy drive, optical disc drive and Adobe Flash support. Headphone jacks will arrive on that list soon enough.
However, as bold as it is to rid of the headphone jack, it’s not innovative. It’s only taking something away for the purpose of innovation in another area. Good long-term, yes, but consumers don’t care about long-term and never have. They care about what the phone can do now. So do competitors’ marketing teams.
Apple will ultimately have the last laugh.
Apple should have a newfound drive to succeed and innovate thanks to Google Pixel. It has abundant resources and cash to do about anything it feels passionate enough about. And that’s good for both consumers and Apple’s bottom line.