Home > iPhone > iPhone Killers!

iPhone Killers!

March 28th, 2015

There’s a cute article about 16 smartphones that were ballyhooed as being “iPhone Killers,” listing phones that were destined to dethrone the iPhone and leave Apple behind in the dust. A review of the list brings back some memories, but even more reactions along the lines of, “Why don’t I remember that thing even a bit?” They all tried and failed. But, hey, the article only covers phones between 2008 and 2011.

The list certainly didn’t stop there! In 2012, the Galaxy S3 was an iPhone Killer; CNN believed it was because it “dethroned” the iPhone 4s… as it was being taken off the market a week before the iPhone 5 was released. Then, of course, it got wiped out.

Not to worry! The Galaxy S4 was the “Real iPhone Killer”! And if that wasn’t good enough, the Galaxy S5 was an iPhone Killer too! Well, okay, maybe neither of those killed the iPhone. But wait! In late 2014, the Galaxy Alpha was absolutely going to kill the iPhone! They had their “next” iPhone Killer all lined up! Then they released their “next” iPhone Killer! Which didn’t kill the iPhone! But not to worry, the Galaxy S6, or at least the Galaxy S6 Edge will almost probably certainly maybe be the Real Next iPhone Killer!!! Yeah!

Well, no reason why Samsung should be the only one to release iPhone Killers. Microsoft Windows Phone 8 also killed the iPhone in 2012, along with the Nokia 808 PureView. And remember how Amazon killed the iPhone?

China Wireless’ Coolpad killed the iPhone in 2013, as did the Blackberry Z10 and the Moto X.

2014 was a bumper-crop year for killing the iPhone, with the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact (the “True” iPhone Killer), the Huawei Honor 6 (we all remember that one!), the Xiaomi Mi4 (a household name!), the Nokia Lumina 930 (the “Latest” iPhone Killer!), another Xiaomi (they just can’t stop killing the iPhone!), with Amazon and Sony both waiting to release all-new iPhone Killers!

I could keep going on, but you get the idea. Seriously, Bill O’Reilly should publish a book titled “Killing the iPhone.”

Meanwhile, here in Japan, where people have always just despised the iPhone, the rankings show that the iPhone lost it’s standing as the #5 smartphone to the Xperia Z3. I suppose that it will have to be satisfied with the #1 spot. And the #2, #3, and #4 spots. And #6. And #9. And spots number 14, 15, 16, 19, 23, 30, 32, 33, 46, 49, 54, 60, 61, 65, 66, and 78. What shame! #78! Apple should just stop trying to even sell the 18-month-old 32GB-variant Docomo-sold iPhone 5S! Um… oh, wait. They did. It’s discontinued. And yet, somehow, it’s actually still on the list. Must have been a leftover or two.

The moral of the story: don’t rush to buy stock in any company that is releasing yet another “iPhone Killer.”

Categories: iPhone Tags: by
  1. Troy
    March 28th, 2015 at 14:35 | #1

    Apple made $50B in profit last year.

    A good year of the old regime — 2000, my first year there — profit was 1% that.

    Unbelievable. $8B in mac sales that year, $24B last year.

    $100B for iPhone, $30B in iPad.

    Back in 2007 I had no inkling everyone would want one of these smartphones. Me, I actually prefer my flip phone — its week-long standby battery life, compact, and rugged.

    But I am an old fuddy duddy now.

    I’m pretty excited about the Apple TV rumors — the AppStore part as that’s the platform I want to target.

    Assumedly the Apple TV will have the rough power of an iPad Air 2, and this thing is a beast (can’t believe I’ve had it for 4 months already, time is just flying by as usual).

    Doing some basic 3D performance tests I’m finding the iPad to be 25% faster in rendering than my 2006 2.6Ghz Mac Pro with ATI 3870 graphics card.

    Funny how history is repeating itself with iOS vs. Android being like MacOS vs Windows.

    you get more choice with Android, and more backwards compatibility, but with that comes compromises and platform complexity.

  2. Tim
    March 30th, 2015 at 00:51 | #2

    My favorite phone was a flip phone I got thru Sprint – it popped out into a banana shape (nice) and had a big speaker – it was the only phone that I was fully satisfied with the volume and quality of sound of the other person speaking. Everything else I’ve had has mostly bad – meaning less than land line quality of sound while talking.

    $50 billion IN PROFIT !!!!

    That’s a good number for revenue. Staggering for profit. But then again, they make their devices in the cheapest places that they can on the one hand and charge super premium prices on the other. Their lead and cache is based upon desing, which most manufacturers will tell you good design is basically, virtually free. At least Samsung makes the bulk of their premier devices in the first world (Korea) – as I understand it.

    I think the only phone that really had much of an impact on the Iphone or Apple was the Samsung Note. It introduced the race to larger screens (something that I like). Shortly after the introduction of the Note Apple stock went on a medium term decline. Samsung followed that up with a raft of more larger screen phones: larger S series phones, more larger Notes and even the Mega and my phone the Samsung Galaxy W (available only in Korea and for cheap prices too). But the tide on big phones may have ebbed, or plateaued, and for most of those, Apples’ Iphone 6+ should suffice (but not for me).

    I think there are a number of other fine smart phones out there. Almost all of Motorolla’s portfolio consist of nothing but very strong offerings, and the HTC 1 is probably still the most beautiful and best design. LG has a nice premium phone as well. I’m not particularly keen on anything Samsung does, except perhaps the Note (for size, feature and functionality) and I like the W which I’m using now (because it’s big and cheap). But the only people making profits is Apple.

    And Apple has hardly scratched the surface of China’s market – where their models are seen as prestige items. They could have an even better year next year.

    I’ve never really have seen a product quite like this. I would say that the premium car is the BMW 5 or 3 series. For decades we’ve seen all kinds of comparisons to these vehicles with other vehicles, and more often than not people buy another vehicle instead of the ultimate, bonafide prestige product (the BMW). But with phones, people say screw it, I’m getting the real deal, ultimate model – to the tune of hundreds of dollars.

    On the other hand, I’m surprised that Apple computers don’t do even better than they are doing, they have the same niche – premium BMW type nitch, better quality, cache, etc… But they are less vanity type of items.

  3. Troy
    March 30th, 2015 at 15:26 | #3

    That’s the thing about a smart phone, for the cost of ONE BMW monthly payment you can have a first-class electronic device, as good as what a millionaire buys, in fact the exact same model.

    And buying a $60,000 automobile is more conspicuous consumption than a sober utilitarian purchase, since you can’t drive it over the speed limit and for that matter most people only drive minutes a day, not the hours of attention that people use their smartphones.

    This is the same logic that got me to lay out $6,000 for a Mac in 1989 when I could spent $3000 less for some crappy MS-DOS machine.

    By 1989 Apple had got their engineering act together and with the 68030 and System 6 had a really solid personal computer experience, pretty much identical to what Microsoft finally shipped in 1996-97 with the first slipstream updates to Windows 95 (that supported USB).

    I used that Mac for hours a day for nearly 7 years. Damn, looking back on it that’s about $1/hr of use!

    Still, the $3000 386 that was its competitor was obsolete way before Windows 95 came out. And I needed a bilingual Japanese / English environment for my computing and only Mac could do that in the early 90s.

    My 2008 Macbook Pro gave up the ghost after 6 full years of service. Since we have the internet now I used that 4X more than the 1989 Mac, and it cost $2000 IIRC, so it had an hourly cost of $0.10/hr

    The 2006 Mac Pro I’m typing this on was sidelined when I got the laptop, but with just a $200 SSD upgrade it’s now a champ for me.

    But as far as phones go, I prefer carrying around an iPad for my on-the-go computing and a dumbphone for actual phone calls. I don’t see the overlap, other than not wanting to carry two devices, but a clamshell dumbphone is so small it’s not that big a pocket burden.

    Tim: I’d argue there’s not much difference between where Samsung manufactures in ROK and Shenzhen, China. Population of Korea — 500 per km2 is the same as Guangdong.

  4. Anonymous
    April 3rd, 2015 at 16:46 | #4

    Korea is a first world country. I recently traveled through Kyushu (From Busan by ferry, to Fukuoka, to Nagasaki, then Kagoshima, then Okinawa), and couldn’t tell much difference between there and Korea. I had always assumed that Japan would be an up to date, first world, faster, better, richer version of Korea – Korea 20 years from now. I would say the Koreans actually looked better, more energetic, and I’ve seen stats, that I don’t really believe, that had Korea’s GNP a bit higher than Japan’s. My brother goes to Shenzhen quite often for Intel, and I’ve seen the pictures he’s brought back, and it is no Korea.

    To be sure, Korea is not as clean as Japan, but its not that much dirtier either. And Japanese are much more polite.

    But my main point was, Korea is a first world country that pays first world wages. China is not. Samsung helps the Korean economy more than Apple helps America’s economy. Apple can’t off shore manufacturing fast enough. It is a profitable company, but some of that profit comes from jacking up rents that a company like Samsung has to share more of with its employees. I think Apple is making a mistake in that regard. It also is why thay have so much unpatriated profits sitting off shore: they make off shore, then sell to off shore markets, non of the revenue passes through to the United States.

Comments are closed.