Since its introduction in 2007, the iPhone has become Apple's flagship product and revolutionized the smartphone industry with its design and features that made it the standard bearer for years in the marketplace.
While other manufacturers have cut into Apple's market share in recent years with some unique features and ideas of their own, Friday marks the release of the latest versions of Apple's latest attempts to forward the product, as the iPhone 11, the iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max go on sale nationwide.
Paul Trapani, president of the Long Island Software & Technology Network, or LISTnet, originally wasn't expecting much new from the iPhone 11. After hearing reports of the new device's battery life and 4G capability during its introduction earlier this month, however, he was more inclined to look at the phone more carefully.
“I was a little skeptical when I heard about the new ones coming out and being that similar [to the older versions]," Trapani said. "But talking to other people I know who are iPhone enthusiasts, there are some nice things that they are doing that would even drive me to consider upgrading.”
While Apple's competitors are experimenting with new technology – Samsung recently introduced the Galaxy Fold with a foldable screen after some initial setbacks – Trapani sees the market beginning to consolidate around iPhones and Android models with each offering options at various price points.
“[The marketplace] is pretty crowded, I don’t know how much more crowded it could be. Certain things have fallen by the wayside, like the Windows phone, which never went anywhere; Nokia didn’t do anything and BlackBerry didn’t come back with much. There’s been a consolidation of these two platforms, and the Android market is incredibly diverse still and offers phones at all levels."
Trapani, who uses various consumer products in his work, said that Apple's products had various appeals to a buyer.
“People that appreciate design and all that are more drawn to the Apple product," he said. "I like the simplicity, I like the fact that things just work, I’m a tech guy, so Iove hacking about and doing various things, play with different operating systems. I just want my phone to work."
One aspect that could help the new iPhone appeal to a broader range of consumers is the upgraded camera, Trapani said. Apple's two new higher end phones, the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Max, both come with three back-facing cameras – regular, telephoto and wide-angle lenses – instead of the two currently available on older iPhones.
While iPhone sales have declined in recent years - Apple's revenue from iPhones dropped 15 percent from the first quarter of this year as compared to last year, according to the company - Trapani feels both the cost and improved durability have caused consumers to hold on to their older models longer than in years past.
“When these phones first came out, every two years there would be significant differences in a phone," he said. "Now, there’s not a huge difference in what I have, an iPhone XS and, say, an iPhone 7."
But with not a huge difference in features, it can be hard to justify the ever-increasing cost of upgrading to the latest and greatest smartphones. An iPhone 11 will start at $699, while the Pro version starts at $999 and an iPhone Pro Max will begin at $1,099.
“I never thought I’d pay $1,000 for my last [iPhone] and I did, but if I think about a laptop, you’d pay around that, and I use my phone a lot more than my laptop. ”
For those considering purchasing a new phone – whether it be an iPhone or Android device – Trapani suggested looking at each model carefully and figure out what each individual's must-have features are.
“It really depends on the person," he said. "For someone who is an Apple person, iPhone is a no-brainer. If you’re into the latest tech, like experimenting and less restrictions to install all kinds of stuff, then Android is the phone for that."