I've been an on and off iPhone user for a decade, and despite my issues with their fights against Right to Repair, soldering replaceable parts to the motherboard, and their App Store monopoly practices, there are a few undeniable things that Apple does well, and for that, here are some of the reasons I'm considering the upcoming iPhone 12.
- iOS is Now on Par with Android - It's no secret Apple tends to take years to implement basic features into iOS. Remember how long it took for a user to add a background image? Now that iOS 14 will have widgets on the home screen, allowing the user to actually remove apps they don't use from the home screen, plus picture-in-picture, changing the default web browser, and a bunch of other welcome additions, iOS is now at my standard of feature set.
- The Best Hardware and Software Optimization - Apple makes the hardware and the software, and because of this, there's no other phone, as well as tablet or computer, that can match its performance per hardware specs. iPhones generally have half the RAM of their direct competitor as well as a smaller battery, and I'm sure if Apple gave information on its processors, I'm sure they'd be "slower." With these lesser specs, the iPhone can match or beat its competitor in benchmark tests. That's enticing to me. (Also, you'd think the lesser specs would make the phone cheaper, but I suppose iOS has to get funded somehow).
- Great App Support - It's also no secret that apps tend to run better on iOS. It always feels like Android apps are complete afterthoughts. Apps like Snapchat seem to struggle with getting the camera to look as good as it does on the phone's Camera app. Yet, this issue is nonexistent on iOS, so what gives? Plus, Android updates are a joke, especially when the iOS 14 update will support the iPhone 6S from 2015. Now Android apps tend to work on older updates so you won't be out of luck in a few years getting a new app, the security updates will stop after, if you're lucky, two years of being on the market. That's not a long time.
- iPhones Hold Their Value - I'm incredibly impulsive, so if I decide to sell my phone for a shiny new one, the iPhone will be more valuable. Look on eBay or Swappa and compare the same generation iPhone and Android equivalent, and you'll find the iPhone is worth sometimes $200 in good condition. Much like buying a pickup truck will hold its value much higher than a midsize sedan, simply the iPhone will be more worthwhile to sell than an Android equivalent.
- The Lightning Port - USB-C is fantastic, and Apple knows it. That's why every Mac has a USB-C port, sometimes the only port you get. That's why iPad Pro uses USB-C. So, wouldn't it be the most Apple thing to replace the Lightning port on the iPhone with USB-C? If the rest of your product line uses USB-C, what's the hold up? (This is also a bit selfish as I have a billion USB-C cables).
- No Fingerprint Reader (Unless I want the SE) - Face ID is great, and I'm not saying we need to get rid of it, but if this mask-required pandemic has proven anything, it's that Face ID isn't perfect. I have my S10e set up with both fingerprint and face detection, and while the fingerprint reader also isn't 100%, it's still far faster than the face detection.
- App Store Issues - Apple's had issues in the past about their App Store rules, specifically about the 30% cut they take when a payment takes place in an app. Fortnite recently fought against this 30% cut, which also takes place on Android, by giving a discount to users who buy through Epic directly in the app. As a result, both Google and Apple removed the app from being searchable in their app stores.
The difference with Android is users have a choice and can download either a different app store or can download the app directly from a website, if they trust the source. Much like Peacock and HBO Max's issues with Roku and Amazon, should any other company get into an issue with Apple, I'd be out of luck. At least with Android, I have a choice of another application repository.
- Bland Hardware - The internals of the iPhone are amazing. The externals, however, are not. There's four different options: SE, 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, and that's it. I'm choosing between old and new design, and screen size. Plus, if I go with the new design, I get stuck with the ugly notch at the top of the screen.
On the Android side of things, not only can I choose a traditional slab like an iPhone but without a notch, there's also folding phones, phones with keyboards, and phones with a wide variety of sizes. A year or two ago, I was most interested in a keyboard phone like the BlackBerry Key2. Now I'm very interested in folding phones, like presently the Microsoft Surface Duo or previously the Motorola Razr. Even if I have no real interest in buying a folding phone (mostly due to price), there's no doubt the excitement is no where near the iPhone.