“Today is the beginning of a new iPhone era,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s Chief Executive Officer, at the launch of the iPhone 12, precisely at 00.00, Wednesday (10/13/2020). The ruler of Apple, who ascended to the throne in 2011, said that the newest version of the iPhone, the iPhone 12, will use the highest cellular telecommunications standard at this time, 5G. 5G technology, explained Cook, “will bring a new level of power to download and upload (content), high-quality video streaming, and more responsive video games.”
VP iPhone Product Marketing Kaiann Drance added, Apple “redesigned (iPhone) to package new technologies into a smaller form.” The iPhone 12 does amaze by its specifications. iPhone 12 variants, namely iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone Pro, and iPhone Pro Max, use the newest and fastest processor currently, the A14 Bionic, which is claimed to contain 11.8 billion transistors. Then, for the two “professional” variants, Apple has embedded a triple camera system, which consists of ultrawide, wide, and telephoto lenses, each utilizing a resolution of 12 megapixels. Apple has embedded Lidar in these two variants to produce stunning photos or videos at night like a professional camera.
Referring to Brian X. Chen’s report for The New York Times, the iPhone 12-style professional camera system is part of photography’s latest philosophy, especially mobile photography – called computational photography. Because it has limited space, cellphone manufacturers can’t embed image sensors and lens systems like those used by DSLRs or mirrorless. So, to minimize the lags about quality with DSLRs, cellphone manufacturers shift the process of creating photos/videos to computers, processors embedded in cellphones, and special algorithms planted. For Apple’s iPhone 12, Apple switches the photo/video creation process to the Smart HDR 3 embedded in the A14 Bionic. Plus, of course, Lidar.
As Cook mentioned, all iPhone 12 variants use 5G technology in the mmWave and sub-6Ghz spectrum.
Of course, to experience the benefits of the iPhone 12, there is a heavy price to pay. The cheapest iPhone 12 variant is priced at $ 829. The lowest variant of the iPhone 12 Mini costs $ 729. The most affordable variant of the iPhone 12 Pro for $ 999. And the lowest variant of the iPhone 12 Pro Max costs $ 1,099. The price is considered very expensive for a cellphone, mainly because Apple is very likely to relaunch a more sophisticated iPhone next year.
If your current cellphone still receives regular updates, primarily operating system updates and application updates, or at least “security patches”, “There is no reason to buy the iPhone 12 or other latest and most sophisticated cellphones from various manufacturers. Also, since the first generation of iPhones and the first generation of Android phones, released phones only served “upgrades” without anything really “wow”. Cellphone manufacturers shouldn’t be excited about releasing new phones – as Google did. , owner of Android and Apple’s opponent, in 2020.
When Google released Pixel 5, what appeared was an ordinary product. Not in the sense of being bad, but rather good but with minimal “wow” factor.
It’s Time to Say Enough
“The seed of Google as a cell phone company,” wrote Steven Levy in In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shape Our Lives (2011), “appeared shortly after the company moved offices from Palo Alto to Mountain View in August 1999. “. After Google left, a new company took up the old office of the search engine giant. The new company called Danger was founded by a former Apple employee named Andy Rubin.
Through Danger, Rubin created the Sidekick, a cellphone that Levy said could be considered a smartphone because it had a slightly higher IQ than ordinary cellphones. Back then, at a time when the world was still fixated on cell phones that could only be used for making phone calls and SMS, Sidekick went a little further. Sidekick, in particular, was created to be able to have instant messaging-based conversations, Yahoo Messenger, for example. And as the name suggests, a physical keyboard will appear when the phone’s side is “kicked”. Rubin explained, because “Danger technicians like Google,” Danger buried the Google search system on the Sidekick.
During a visit to Stanford University one day in 2002, Rubin introduced Sidekick to the general public. One of the most interested in Sidekick is a figure named Larry Page, one of the two founders of Google. Referring to Levy again, Page called the Sidekick “cool.”
Of course, since Page wasn’t thinking about cell phones at that time, he didn’t take any business action for Sidekick. On the other hand, several years after Page called Danger’s products “cool,” Microsoft acquired Danger. With Danger’s power, Microsoft then launched the Microsoft Kin – one of the many artifacts Microsoft failed in the realm of mobile phones.
After selling Danger to Microsoft, Rubin, a technician, and businessman founded a new Android company. However, if he gave birth to a complete cellphone, software, and hardware through Danger, Rubin’s Android has a different strategy. Rubin, through Android, will only create an operating system for mobile phones, not whole phones. Rubin thought Android could be a solution for cellphone or telecommunication manufacturers who want to develop their operating system. Cellphone manufacturers focus on developing cellphones on the hardware side, Rubin, on the software side. And to attract interest, Rubin decided to give Android away for free, without any license fees.
So, if Rubin gives Android free, how will he make a profit? Simple, Rubin will practice how Red Hat or Canonical works. Both companies give away their Linux distributions, Red Hat and Ubuntu, but charge technical support and other things.
Because he only creates an operating system, not a complete cellphone, Rubin needs a lot of support, including support from cellphone manufacturers to want to use Android and financial aid. Initially, Rubin succeeded in securing cooperation with HTC. Unfortunately, HTC only promised to use Android, not to provide financial support. As a result, in 2004, Rubin flew to South Korea to meet Samsung and lobby for financial aid.
But luck wasn’t on Rubin’s side yet. Samsung, said Levy, said Rubin’s work to realize an operating system called Android was too ambitious. “Your company, which only has eight employees, is too much of a delusion,” said Samsung. “We alone, with two thousand employees, don’t have that big of an imagination.”
Not giving up, Rubin visited Larry Page.
Rubin only wants to ask Google to become the default search engine on Android, a business partnership that is not much different from what Google has practiced with Mozilla Firefox. When Google agreed to be the default search engine in the Firefox browser, Mozilla made a lot of money. Unexpectedly, when he got home, Rubin received an email from Page: “What if Google buys Android?”
In July 2005, Android officially became part of Google.
Thanks to Google’s hands, Rubin’s problem related to financial support and manufacturer support to use Android was resolved. After spending countless dollars, Google formed the Open Handset Alliance – an agreement from many cellphone manufacturers to want to use Android; the funny thing is that it involves Samsung.
So, why do many cellphone manufacturers want to join the Open Handset Alliance? The reason is simple, Eric Schmidt, Google’s first CEO, said that “Google will not go into the mobile business (as a hardware creator ), but we just make sure that Google is on the phones (which use Android).”
Initially, the Android team headed by Rubin wanted to create a mobile operating system coded “Sooner,” an operating system designed to work on phones like the Sidekick or Blackberry with a physical keyboard. However, in January 2007, Apple redefined what is called a cell phone via the iPhone. So, “Sooner” ended up being “never”, and Android switched to creating an operating system coded “Dream”. Yes, “Dream” does copy iOS, the operating system embedded in the iPhone.
Finally, in September 2008, Android went live. The mobile phone made by HTC named the HTC Dream is the first Android phone in the world.
In the early years of Android, Google had always said that it wasn’t going to create whole phones, Google phones, or G phones. Unfortunately, because any manufacturer can use Android, Android phones appear mediocre, even rotten. Android phones are often referred to as “iPhones for the poor.” Do not want to be insulted; Google finally created the Nexus. Uniquely, the Nexus creation process was transferred to Google colleagues who joined the Open Handset Alliance. A Wired report in 2009, citing an internal HTC source, said the collaboration with HTC (and other manufacturers) to create the Nexus aims to let Android phone manufacturers know how to make cell phones.
The Nexus One is Google’s first Android phone. This phone carries a 1 GHz Snapdragon SoC, with a screen measuring 480 x 800 pixels and 512 megabytes of RAM. When it first launched, January 2010, the Nexus One sold for $ 530 or $ 180 in the contract version.
Due to different manufacturers’ production, the Nexus is less hit than the iPhone – and sales are disappointing. Finally, Google launched its phone, the Pixel.
Pixel is a cellphone made by Google to face the iPhone – also the most advanced variants of Android from various manufacturers, especially Samsung. Look, on the first generation Pixel (2016), Google immersed the Snapdragon 821. Then, on the Pixel 2 (2017), Google used Snapdragon 835, and used Snapdragon 845 and Snapdragon 855 on Pixel 3 (2018) and Pixel 4 (2019), aka processors most sophisticated at that time. Not to forget, Google also includes the screen, camera system, and other advanced technologies. The problem is, again, post-first-generation iPhones and Androids only dwell on “upgrades”. Plus, referring to Statista data, people worldwide, on average, replace their cell phones within 28.1 months.
Although not as cute as new ones and have had a lot of scratches with age, old phones are fine, especially if they are still getting operating system updates or at least a security patch.
Finally, as Geoffrey A. Fowler wrote for The Washington Post, “Google has decided to give up trying its best with its newest smartphone.” Google only uses Snapdragon 765G as the Pixel 5 processor, which just came out last month. This is a somewhat “aged” version when compared to other flagships released in the same year.
The most advanced processors, stunning camera systems, or having dual screens for cell phones are alluring. No matter how excellent a cell phone is, most humans use it for mediocre needs. Apart from calling and sending messages, cell phones are used for entertainment purposes. Whether to watch videos on Youtube, Netflix, or listen to music on Spotify. Yes, cell phones, referring to Alan J. Reid in The Smartphone Paradox: Our Ruinous Dependency in the Device Age (2018), are true “an extension of today’s human hands.” Cell phones are used only for essential purposes: writing notes, reading news, schedule reminders, financial service needs, and so on. Although many cellphone manufacturers use the appendage “professional” for their cellphones, professional work, especially those related to computing, is challenging to do using just a cell phone.
Yes, cellphone cameras are getting more and more sophisticated. However, as Sam Kieldsen wrote for Wired, the genuinely professional camera (DSLR or mirrorless) remains the primary weapon of the “professional.” Yes, today’s high-tech phones can do machine learning, but IBM Watson is still more charming for complex computing processes. And even though iOS is the “biological child” of iOS, Xcode as a tool for making iPhone or iPad applications, unfortunately, only exists in the body of a Mac computer.
Sometimes cell phones, said Reid wisely, “can do what we command. However, at most, humans do have to adapt to cell phones in their hands today.” Phones that I, you, or anyone holding right now are honestly still OK to use. Cellphone manufacturers must have the courage to say “enough” if they don’t have anything absolutely “wow” to serve their customers.