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Why Android needs Apple

The iPhone 6s is out of the bag and Android fans are shaking their heads dismissively, proudly displaying their own, far superior, smartphones. It's the same story every year, Apple introduces outdated hardware and the crowd goes wild while we sit and sneer. But Android needs Apple, and this is why.

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Another year, another iPhone. / © ANDROIDPIT

Android flagships are superior to iPhones. Or at least, this is true on paper. Earlier this week Apple introduced its latest iPhones. They have a camera resolution that Android users have been used to since 2013, and the 1,715 mAh battery capacity of the iPhone 6s is a joke compared with even mid-range Android smartphones.

The once-evolutionary fingerprint sensor has been adopted and improved upon by Android competition. The subject of RAM needn’t even be mentioned, since Apple has long since dragged its heels in this sphere. Yes, those who crave hardware at the very pique of the mobile possibilities will not be satisfied with the iPhone 6s. But of course, Apple knows there is more to user-experience than the cold numbers of the hardware components.

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The LG G4 camera beats even the latest iPhone, but only on paper. / © ANDROIDPIT

The fact that Apple does not focus on specs in its keynotes could be interpreted as an admission that the hardware is unimpressive, inferior to the competition. While this is undeniable in some instances, it’s probably not the only reason such discussions are avoided. There is another truth: the strength of Apple's iPhone cannot be found on any piece of paper.

What makes Apple important, impressive, and able to compete with the stronger hardware of Android, is its unparalleled ability to perfect the user experience. Android will see handsets released with the latest and greatest specs available, but still they cannot compete on feel.

While Apple's products lag behind technically, they always set standards for practicality. It would easy to say that iPhone buyers are 'misguided' for paying over the odds for outdated hardware, but the average user does not care how many cores a phone has, but what is achievable with it, and how the technology will improve their life?

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iPhone (left) and Nexus: Apple and Google's flagship products./ © ANDROIDPIT

So why does Android need Apple?

Android needs Apple because it is the perfecter of practical usability, the operator that converts the technology into lifestyle. After all, what's the point of great hardware if it doesn't translate into good experience?

iPhones recently caught up with NFC-capable Android devices, but how many of us had made a payment using NFC before then? Almost no-one. This technology is only now becoming relevant because Apple has made it so. 

After the iPhone 5S introduced 64-bit capabilities, the Android market followed and today this is the standard. When Apple made the fingerprint sensor popular, Android manufacturers followed. How many future Android phones won't have this feature?

The pressure-sensitive displays introduced on the 6s devices are the next thing that Apple will popularize. The Huawei Mate S might have been the first to release one on a smartphone, but we knew the iPhone 6s would have a pressure-sensitve display before that. Now Samsung and the rest will follow.

We know Apple didn't invent the smartphone, nor the tablet, the touch screen, the MP3 player, the laptop, the fingerprint scanner, nor the 64-bit processor. But we do have Apple to thank for the quality now found in these products.

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It took the release of the Apple Watch for interest in smartwatches to build. / © ANDROIDPIT

Apple Watch

The theory that the Apple Watch will ignite the Android Watch marketplace can already be observed. The relative success of the Apple Watch (more sold in the first year than the entire Android wearables market put together) has given Android manufacturers a better focus.

The results of this were obvious at IFA 2015. Numerous smartwatches were announced and, thanks to the Apple Watch, they look more interesting and most come in two sizes. (It's worth mentioning that some have an absurdly high price tag now – we can thank Apple for that too). 

The cycle continues

More-passionate Android users might not like it, but Apple remains the trendsetter in the consumer technology sphere.  

It doesn't matter who popularizes the technology that inspires us, just that the technology exists. As long as both Apple and Android manufacturers continue to pick apart the best and worst aspects of the software and hardware to produce the best possible products, everybody will benefit. The cycle continues, and we’re grateful for the competition.

Do you think Android would be better without the Apple competition? Let us know you thoughts in the comments.

This article has been rewritten since publications. Comments below may not reflect the latest content.

Readers' favorite comments

  • Emmanuel FU Sep 11, 2015

    "When Apple made the fingerprint sensor popular, Android manufacturers followed. How many future Android phones won't have this feature?"

    Lol. Motorola Mobility is the only reason why Apple put the finger print scanners on their iPhones. Motorola sold its biometric supplier Authentec to Apple in 2012 as Motorola Mobility was the first Android smartphone manufacturer to implement a finger print sensor on a smartphone with the Motorola Artix back in 2011.


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  • when is the update 5.1.1 gonna come out in UK London ato any chance on Samsung note 4???

    I got 5.0.1 currently.

  • David Sep 17, 2015 Link to comment

    As a long time apple fan, and only ever owning iPhones this will be the first year I will buy an Android. Not because the iPhones aren't great, but because I'm curious about both the hardware and software side of it. Marshmallow has had my attention for months. Very excited about the Nexus 2 2015.

    I say all that to say, that as someone how likes both sides of the isle, this has been one of the best tech opinion articles I have read in a very long time. The great part is that because of all of this, we as consumers are winning.

  • Android don't really need apple !
    Android just need to change its OS from core to make it more fast and stable, less laggy like apple and Android is best in all other things comparatively than apple

  • Great write up and I agree with you 100%. I love how some folks are so defensive and just have to boost how much superior Android is. All they are doing is just making your point! One rant below is like one huge long run on sentence, I couldn't read it. My favorite is how so many Android users make the assumption that consumers that buy Apple products do so for the coolness factor. While that maybe true for a some consumers I'd say the bulk are far from buying them for the coolness factor. Just take a real long look around and you'll see many folks are far from being cool. LOL

  • The only reason that Apple does so well is because people are paying for the Apple name not the features. Generally the people that buy Apple products are normally wealthier than those who by Android. I think it is healthy for Apple to be around because it helps push the makers of Android phones to improved their products much quicker and also helps keep the cost of these items down. if Android was the only one out we would not get the features near is fast or as cheap as we do with Apple being around.

    • No, people are paying for the experience they get and not the features. "It just works!" is just a easiest headline one will remember.

  • ok,u say that Apple came with outdated things that teached all the rest to do better,is what u say,well,u r dead wrong,even without Apple,the android devices would have come to the same thing 1 day,even now r many things that android devices have that Apple never had and probably will never have,lot of things that some of the phones have and personaly i find them very stupid and unuseful for majority,but anyway,i know for fact that u that wrote this r a fan of Apple,but i am telling u,u r dead wrong,Apple will always be outdated and if u think that pp don't care about what their phones r capable to do,then u r in the wrong place talking about wrong things,what every1 wants of a phone,even if they don't understand ? speed,resistant if u drop it on the floor,to have a gd signal, to hear very well when u talk on it,to have many hours without a recharge,i think Apple is not providing all this things in any of their device,an android device can give u all that in just 1,and can cover even more,for example ppl that love playing,gd graphics and great sound,and more and more bigger battery capacity for longer time,very fast with the new generation of CPUs,all that Android made of the new devices is transformed a simple phone into a personal computer,small to have it in ur pocket,what Apple did ? nothing,is the same old phone as usual just with a touch screen,why even the new iPhones r outdated ? very simple,the iOS has to run the same way on all of them,from the first iPhone to the last,that means that the only change that can be made in those phones is the cover and maybe the camera,but anything of the other hardware means that have to have a new generation of scripts and commands to run which will not work on the older devices,more simple of this is like this iOS is like the old MSDOS and the android is like the Windows or linux or unix and so on,Apple in all that do is just stay behind and sell those devices to ppl that really don't care about a phone or a tablet and so on,even the pc that they make is so useless,u have to send it back to them for repair not like the rest that u can change anything as u like and when u want,bleah,they r for total outdated,if they will be gone from the market,no1 will miss them and defenetly android market will keep goin and really don't need Apple for anything and i am sure that in the future is going to happen eventualy, the market is a place for the strong and that come with new things,huma kind is more eager for new,more advance every time,that's why almost every1 use today the touch screen smart phones and not the old phones,buying more advanced TVs,internet with more speed and so on,if u think that Apple is something to teach something to some1 is just in ur head

  • Sinuhe Sep 13, 2015 Link to comment

    The Android most closer of iPhone is the Nexus line.

  • Seria bueno que trabaje con iphone los text mesenger y los videos call

  • Android (samsung note 5) is the best phone out there. There's no point of buying any apple ph. Ever for me. I am a brutal when it comes to use a phone on daily basis. Games apps mails doing so many things that i dont use my laptop for months. Best camera, third party apps, custom interface, download any damn thing u want on your android phone even .exe files apple cant do that and there are tons of other things. U need itunes to transfer data even songs. Apple stands no where when it comes to comperission. People buying apple to show off they buying there self a golden cage thats it. They know that they are helpless. Competition is good but undoudtly my winner is android it was And it always will...

  • Mike Sep 13, 2015 Link to comment

    Without competition, there's no reason to do better. So Android vs. Apple is definitely a good thing.

  • "When Apple made the fingerprint sensor popular, Android manufacturers followed. How many future Android phones won't have this feature?"

    Lol. Motorola Mobility is the only reason why Apple put the finger print scanners on their iPhones. Motorola sold its biometric supplier Authentec to Apple in 2012 as Motorola Mobility was the first Android smartphone manufacturer to implement a finger print sensor on a smartphone with the Motorola Artix back in 2011.

  • Great!