I am often blamed for the fact that I am completely unfair to the iPhone, because it is the best, according to a person, smartphone that has no competitors in principle. The logical chain is built in an uncomplicated way – this is the most expensive smartphone, which means that money is taken for technology, hence the logical conclusion follows that they are the best and, therefore, the iPhone is the best. The flaw in such reasoning is obvious, but the age-old “we don’t need it” is superimposed on it.
If there are no functions in Apple products, then for the flock of the apple company, this means that they are not needed, harmful, and so on. I will give just one example. For many years I was convinced that the clock on the wrist should not show the time, their screen should not work, ideally, when it “does not distract, remains extinguished.” The lack of an elementary AlwaysOn Display function led people to come up with “logical” explanations for why it was inconvenient and unnecessary. As soon as the feature appeared in the Apple Watch, there was an elegant change of shoes in the air, and the new version of the watch became worth buying just for that!
There are not just a lot of roughness in the iPhone, there are a lot of them and a small cart. Let’s try together to look at what technologies were not brought to the iPhone and why Apple did not do this, especially since they have been on the market for a long time. And it will also explain why my choice is Android smartphones, which are head and shoulders above what the iPhone has to offer at an insane price. For ease of perception, I have broken the text into small chapters.
Samsung display, Apple reading
Apple’s marketing is great. Making people believe that engineers who have no experience with screens, buying other people’s displays, can do something with them, you need to be able to. The market leader in OLED screens for smartphones is Samsung Display, and Apple purchases just such screens for its flagships. But saves on them and chooses displays that are much cheaper. These are high-quality, excellent matrices, but they have many small flaws that may not be fundamental, but show the gap between the approach of Apple and Samsung.
Let me remind you that the iPhone is the flagship with the highest cost on the market, competing solutions from Samsung are cheaper by 20-30%, and it seems that they have comparable screens, but they are not.
I’ll start with a “little thing” that well characterizes the difference in approaches and the magic that Apple’s devices lack. Screens from Samsung, as a rule, have two RGB sensors that determine the level of illumination (front and behind the device). Depending on this, the screen brightness is set, the quality of work in HDR mode is adjusted. The iPhone has one front sensor, and it’s much simpler.
The use of two sensors is impossible without a separate DSP, this is a processor that has built-in algorithms for working with such sensors, understands the difference in illumination in different situations and adjusts the backlight of the screen. It is expensive for Apple to buy such screens, they take the necessary minimum. Among other things, such a DSP allows you to implement other functions, for example, analyzing the image on the screen and adjusting the color temperature to the content, converting images into video and photos. Pictures on Samsung smartphones look livelier and brighter, the reason is their adaptation to specific hardware.
A separate processor for analyzing all information related to the screen also makes it possible to configure adaptive backlighting. The smartphone learns your habits, adapts to them. After two weeks, he “guesses” what exactly you like and for what content. It’s the invisible magic that’s missing from the iPhone. Interestingly, when using a Samsung account, your screen settings are transferred to the new device, where the learning process takes a few days, and this is more of a fine-tuning. You get a device that is comfortable from the first days, as if you bought new shoes that sit exactly on the leg.
Do you know what else such a DSP can do? Display a splash screen and other information on a part of the screen in standby mode, implement the same AlwaysOn Display that no one needs, according to iPhone fans (we remember how they also denied the need for AoD in watches).
The reason why Apple does not implement all these features is simple: it costs extra money, and the convenience that the user receives is not so visible. Approximately the same as an additional polarizing filter that makes the picture on the screen in sunglasses bright and high quality (it is not added to iPhone screens, another penny savings).
But besides this, there is another point that does not allow implementing a separate DSP for the screen, this is the lack of a capacious battery in the iPhone.
Small battery and outright cheating about run time
Apple knows how to save money and has always put small-capacity batteries in the iPhone, saving, as they say, on matches. The cost of the battery is low, and the difference between a 3000 and 4500 mAh battery is about $ 1.5 with a large production volume. Moreover, the batteries are similar in form factor, that is, it makes no sense to change the case, everything will fit in current devices.
For example, the iPhone 13 Pro has a 3150 mAh battery, for comparison, the similar Samsung S21+ boasts a 4800 mAh battery.
At Apple, instead of increasing the battery capacity and battery life of the iPhone, they went to directly and consciously create the impression that the smartphone shows record-breaking battery life. Described it in the video, since then nothing has changed. But millions of people firmly believe that the iPhone under load works for a very long time. Which is not true, because there are no miracles in the world.