Tech in 2020: Android phones chase masses lose high-end to Apple
Android vs Apple – ongoing fighting apparently, found a new direction 12 months ago, yet though we were hit by a pandemic and the essentials were evolving every week. Also, I say the new direction because the competition has never been closer. For a long time, Apple has focused on premium and luxury components, leaving the rest for Android makers. This year, they were not in a position to restrain themselves and wanted to get the perfect buffet. Android makers also helped.
Android makers are more focused on value
Most Chinese smartphone makers like Xiaomi, Realme, and Vivo have done very well in the Indian market in the last few years. They have distorted the various parts of the price in their own way. However, none of them came close to challenging Apple, let’s stop beating it. These products have built their empire on the value of the game. And by 2020, they continue to chase half the price. In some cases, they even reduce their interest in keeping money in the market.
Take Xiaomi’s example. For the past two years, it has faced attacks by smartphone users over the price of the Redmi K20 Pro and Mi 10T. The latest launch this year is close to the Rs 50,000 mark and has been criticized by users for a high price, even though it was a really good phone. In Xiaomi’s defense, both of these devices remain the best devices in their class.
However, criticism has forced it to go back with the Mi 10T Pro, which costs less than Rs 40,000. Others also did not cross the Rs 50,000 limit. Oppo and Motorola have tried that with the Find X and Edge Plus, respectively but only in a mixed response.
Those who have retreated
One company here went under some kind of complete overhaul. This is Samsung. While Samsung introduced high-end phones like the Glass S20, Note 20 and Fold 2, when faced with strong winds they decided to focus their energies on the regular part with the A and M phones. Most importantly, that by the middle of the year it has even introduced the Galaxy S20 cutting model in the form of GPS S20 FE.
Some backoff. All in all, Google is very disappointed, almost stopped in the Indian market. If the decision not to launch the Pixel 4 series was a disappointment, the one who would reverse the Pixel 5 line was a real pain as they called it the ‘Pixel Team’. Eventually, we found the Pixel 4a which made us forget the wounds but it didn’t compete with the iPhone SE.
OnePlus, which may have grown significantly in terms of branding and may dare to launch more expensive smartphones, also lagged behind. After launching the OnePlus 8 Pro, it decided – at least by 2020 – against the OnePlus 8T Pro. Instead, it came with the OnePlus 8T, using the same processor as the OnePlus 8 series and costing less than the OnePlus 8.
At this point, many believed that perhaps during a difficult economic year, consumers may be unwilling to spend on premium smartphones.
Going to Apple: more than meets
Surprisingly, in a year when Android phone companies decided to lower their preferences in the premium segment, Apple moved on. When the iPhone 12 was launched, the iPhone 12 mini was the cheapest option in the category at a price of Rs 69,900. The iPhone 12, which won the iPhone 11, started at a high price of Rs 79,900, although Hardware and its features also found improvements to make it a more premium phone compared to the iPhone 11.
With the exception of the Day model, Apple has called all of its new iPhones above that mark. With little competition, it was only a matter of time before the tech giant got a much bigger piece of cake, including a cherry on top.
Unlike premium Android phones that don’t seem to be popular during the epidemic, the iPhone 12 series despite its high prices does more than average. As you read this, the iPhone 12 is already the world’s best-selling 5G smartphone in October. According to Counterpoint, Apple also took second place with the iPhone 12 Pro while the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra sits in third place.
The year has been extremely good for the Cupertino-based tech giant who has enjoyed success even with its older models. Price reductions and price lists make the iPhone 11, iPhone SE (2020), and others more popular among smartphone buyers.
A September report by Omida suggested that Apple has five iPhones out of the top ten best-selling phones in the first half of 2020.
iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XR, iPhone SE, and iPhone 11 Pro are all out of the list.
An exciting war to come
The competition will continue even in 2021. The problem, as 2020 shows, is that Android phone companies are facing a certain muddy vision. They can’t seem to get out of here. Xiaomi introduces calls after calls, but they are all called “this 9” or “that 9”. Too many phones look the same. The same goes for Motorola, which issues “G this” and “G that” calls. OnePlus is trying to figure out if it might go up with other Pro phones or should go down with Nord devices. Oppo, Vivo, and popularity are confused between specs and performance.
Google, meanwhile, is all over the world when it comes to India. The Pixel 4A is well received, but Google does not have a halo product and we do not know when it will be available. Samsung also appears to be attached to the A and M series in India, although S21 calls are due to arrive soon. But with all the leaks so far about the S21 series, these phones look different than the S20. In other words, a set of the same feature, the same hardware, and even a reversal of something different and only advanced with S21 Ultra.
So, what about the 2021 calls? We will probably see a repeat of 2020. Android phone companies will continue their race going downhill while bringing high-end phones that will look like paper leopards or specs monsters. The only thing that could be OnePlus and Google, especially Google if it finally decides to make the phone really high to compete with something like the iPhone 13. Speaking of the iPhone 13, by 2021 it is likely that Apple will continue its march upwards, depending on price and position, and feature setup. If possible, it will eventually take another bite in the Android phone market share in the premium segment.