In early February we saw Apple fall from grace, handing over its title of king of business to Google. Some believe that this is a sign of things to come, anticipating future struggles for the iPhone creator.
But threats won’t just come from tech giants like Google. New companies like Honor are starting to make consumers question the value of a $700 phone, and even though Apple stocks continue to rise, so do the challenges they face in the near future.
Consider Apple’s current positioning.
First, Apple is massively reliant on iPhone sales every year – to the tune of around 71 percent of their revenue (according to Macworld).
If Apple had experienced a catastrophe similar to Samsung’s with the Galaxy Note 7, the company would be in much more trouble than the Korean tech titan, which has a more diversified range of businesses.
Second, Apple fans are becoming parents and grandparents, which impacts the experience of being in the ‘in’ crowd. The hype that goes into each iPhone launch is a necessity for the company’s continued financial well-being. Is Apple prepared for the iPhone to no longer be the status symbol it once was?
Third, the smartphone market is cooling and becoming more ‘samey.’
2016 marked the rise of two trends in the digital realm: the mainstreamification of virtual reality, and the growing complaint that smartphones were starting to all feel the same.
Apple fans are becoming parents and grandparents
And there’s a reason for that. Profit margins on smartphones are slim, and companies are forced to appeal to the mass market instead of taking innovative risks for the sake of creativity.
The problem is that our smartphones are getting to the point where they’re “good enough” and most users don’t really need to shell out high dollar to get the kind of smartphone experience that they want. This is a problem for Apple, which has incredible trouble competing in the growing mid-range market.
Which brings us back to brands like Honor.
Although there are other champions of the mid-range making increased waves in the US market, Honor is a bit distinctive because they’re in a position in the smartphone realm that’s similar to Apple’s back at the advent of the industry. They possess both power and flexibility.
Apple has incredible trouble competing in the growing mid-range market.
Honor is backed by Huawei, the world’s third largest smartphone maker behind Samsung and Apple. Although not a household name in America, the company is truly massive in China.
But Honor is a fundamentally different animal than Huawei. The Chinese megacompany has appeared to give the brand a rather long leash, which is granting Honor the ability to take some rebellious, creative risks in an industry where obsession with cost-effectiveness and mass market appeal have become par for the course.
While everyone else is churning out McDonald’s-esque fast-food tech designed to scoop in as many buyers as possible, Honor’s development process gives the appearance that the company really doesn’t care much about appealing to the mainstream. They’re cultivating a brand for the aware and the renegade who are looking around the mobile landscape and seeing more and more of the same.
This personality first came onto our radar in a big way with the Honor Magic, a device which is sadly only available in China, but which makes use of AI-tech in a way that no smartphone has ever done. We were impressed by the Honor 8 for squeezing so much tech into a sleek body without breaking the bank, and the Honor 6X snagged one of our Best of CES awards for being one of the few (only?) smartphones of the year that actually addressed a problem almost everyone is complaining about when it comes to modern flagships: waning battery life.
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