When the Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were released, strong opinions quickly formed both for and against the new technology, and possibly lackthereof. We wanted to know what a smartphone expert thought, so we interviewed Mark Wilson, technology journalist at Huffington Post, Betanews, Cloudswave, and more. Mark knows the ins and outs of the many smartphones he’s reviewed over the years and has a lot to say about Apple’s devices and how they differ from Android’s phones and wearables. Check out what he shared with us on why he’s no longer an iPhone owner.
1. Which new features of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are you most excited about and why?
I am actually not excited by the iPhone any more. Having previously been an iPhone owner, over the years I have found that it became a dull and lifeless platform, too limited by Apple. That said, the larger screen of the iPhone 6 Plus is interesting
2. What are your predictions for how many people will adopt new technology like Apple Pay and the Apple Watch and what impacts will that technology have?
I think Apple Pay will take a long time to gain traction. There is far too much competition from established payment systems like PayPal. We have already seen a number of retailers refusing to use Apple Pay. There are obvious security concerns that need to be allayed, and problems with iCloud leaks have not done Apple many favours in this area. While the iPhone is popular, its number of users almost pales into insignificance when compared to Android — the numbers probably just aren’t there to give Apple Pay any real hold.
The Apple Watch faces a major obstacle that has just been addressed by the latest version of Android Wear — it is linked to an iPhone. The latest Android wearables, and the bracelet from Will.i.am show that smartwatches of the future need to operate independently of other devices.
3. Is there anything you’re surprised to find didn’t make it into the new iPhone model and why?
I was surprised that the front facing camera wasn’t of a higher resolution — it seems odd given Apple’s focus on quality, and the resolution of the screen. I guess, ultimately, the lack of innovation is the biggest disappointment.
4. Many of the features that are new to these iPhone models have been in Android phones for years. How will this affect adaptation of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus? Do you think Apple is falling behind in the smartphone world or are their other core features more important than these specs?
For Apple users, the Apple ecosystem is more important that just about anything else. Yes, Android gives you far wider choice, technically superior hardware, a greater level of customization of the OS. Android has taken over when it comes to innovation. Apple’s fingerprint scanner was widely regarded as innovative, but it was also not particularly useful. The focus is on style and perception over function.
5. How do you think criticisms like #bendgate will affect Apple’s brand and possibly future design strategy?
It will have very little impact on Apple’s brand. People buy Apple product because it’s Apple — for fans, it’s the company that can do no wrong. It might be a cynical view, but I very much doubt that #bendgate will change the way future iPhones are designed.
6. From your writing in BetaNews and other publications, you portray your strong honest opinion on the tech you’re covering. As a journalist how do you balance news with an obligation to inform people of how you feel the products you’re reviewing will work for them?
I make it very clear when I am conveying news and when I am expressing opinion. All news and writing has an element of bias to it — just by opting to writing about a subject you are voicing an opinion. Reporting straight facts is very simple, but when it comes to reviews I like to try to put together scenarios and work through them. At the same time, I like to treat readers with respect; I know they are intelligent enough (for the most part!) to realize that a review is an opinion and not everyone will feel the same. But whatever I’m writing, I am always entirely honest — whether that means a glowing review or a scathing one — and I think that shows.
Have you purchased a new iPhone or are you planning to? Let us know in the comments why or why not.