Apple fans are squeaking with unbridled emotion after learning about the next iPhone's announcement date: September 10—two days earlier than last year. Will Apple's new toys be enough to stop the company's steady decline in sales and market share?
In terms of absolute numbers and perception, Android phones are winning the battle right now. The quality gap with Apple has disappeared and Google's operating system includes many great features that the iPhone doesn't have. The new Moto X—made by Motorola, now owned by Google—is getting raving reviews. Other phones made by Samsung and HTC are equally as good. The South Korean megacorporation seems to be winning the sales and market share battle—and showing no signs of slowing down.
Meanwhile, the new iPhone could be more of the same: Made of metal, plastic and glass, running these things called apps that you buy in a store without walls and come to you flying over the air. There are no new awesome features in the horizon, no clear and definitive advantage for the consumer. After all, all good smartphones are now more or less the same.
This time, rumorologists say, the new iPhone will come in colors, something that people can get already with Android phones like the Moto X, which can even be custom ordered in wood. The new iPhone may have a technology that will use your fingerprints to give you access to your phone instead of using a password—something that doesn't seem like a killer feature. And iOS 7, the new version of Apple's operating system, will have a revamped interface with new icons but the progress in functionality is not really significant.
While it is clear that Apple is in excellent financial shape and the loyalists will snatch the new phones like hungry zombies, the Cupertino company will have a very hard time convincing the rest of the world that their new phones offer any significant advantage over the more affordable competition. Photo by Getty Images