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Friday, 16 September 2016 11:53

Skip the Sevens – gloves are off Featured

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Moto has fired shots over the bows of the new iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 series – it says brand loyalty and habit is no excuse to accept a “new” phone that’s not very different from the old one.

Fortunately, Moto (Lenovo) does not have any real supplier relationship with Apple or Samsung, so it has little to lose in stating what it perceives as the truth – that the iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 are incremental, not exponential improvements over their predecessors.

It says the goal of the "Skip the Sevens" campaign (advertisement below) is to get users to think about what they really want from a smartphone. “It is our challenge to you. To the industry,” a blog says.

And it is right – all we have seen is small improvements to screens, battery life, camera, processing power, and some updates to operating systems and apps. All pretty boring really and certainly not strong enough to drive the average user to want to break the upgrade cycle.

Of course, Moto is setting itself up for criticism if it cannot produce the goods.

 Skip teh 7s

It conducted focus groups of Apple loyalists — not actors — on 12 September and talked about the recent iPhone announcement and gauged their reactions. Check the results – they are amazing. And it introduced Apple fans to the new Moto Z with Mods.

 I do not use Apple products simply because I prefer the Windows 10 ecosystem and the Android smartphone environment (although I recommend and use Windows 10 Mobile for mission-critical enterprise use).

In short, I don’t need to learn iOS or macOS and leave that to other iTWire subject matter experts.

The iPhone 7/Plus is a nice, incremental advance over the iPhone 6S/Plus which was a small advance over the much-needed larger-screened iPhone 6/Plus. If you don’t believe this, click on Apple’s comparison page and you won’t see a lot of difference.

These specifications are nothing out of the ordinary – Samsung’s S7 camera is well up there with it, LG’s excellent G5 and Huawei’s P9 dual lens cameras are a match for the 7 Plus, and all flagships have sufficient horsepower, memory, and storage to do the job.

Apple, being one of the last to release each year, seems to be playing catch up, not leading as we all expected it to do when the late Steve Job’s iron fist and unparalleled innovation drew gasps of amazement. Sorry, the iPhone 7 is just the next model – it is in no way epoch-making and time will tell if it is enough to arrest the alarming double-digit decline in iPhone sales and people falling out of love with Apple.

Let’s look at Samsung – another of the 7s that Lenovo is tilting at. It is true that the GS7 series is a logical extension of the GS6. But the GS7 captured the hearts of users wanting a premium product – it is responsible for Samsung’s turnaround in the flagship market after some pretty average GS4 and GS5 models. Samsung’s challenge will be — as will Apple’s — to produce the next generation “8” that is jaw dropping.

My opinion, and I suspect that of all marketing pundits as well, is that the public will see the iPhone 7 for what it is – more of the same and that is just a big yawn really. I applaud Lenovo for this risky approach.


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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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