Thursday, June 30, 2016

If Apple should learn anything from Samsung, it should be listening to customers

Samsung S7 and iPhone




Let’s just be honest here, some people are just Apple people, and some are just Android people. Both sides can list hundreds of reasons of as to why they prefer one over the other. I am not here trying to change that. All I am doing is presenting my viewpoint, based on experience with both Apple and several Android devices.

Often, when comparing Android with Apple’s iOS, the first thing that comes to mind to most non-geeky smartphone users is iPhones vs Samsung. And this completely makes sense, because Samsung is the biggest manufacturer of Android devices, and sort of has a global monopoly. Over the past few years, Samsung’s Galaxy phones has gone through both rough and smooth patches – with super successful phones such as the Galaxy S6 and S7, and some flop devices (yes, I am talking about you, Galaxy S5). The designs of both the software and hardware of the phone have significantly changed over past year. But what I admire the most about the last two iterations is that Samsung has finally started listening to their customers – something that Apple never did.

APPLE Y U NO LISTEN!

Customers have requested Apple to make several changes for iPhones. And these are not recent requests, but they been there for a while. For instance, the most popular one is the request to limit the base storage of the iPhones to 32GB or 64GB. People have been requesting this since before the release of iPhone 6. It been almost 2 years since then, and Apple since hasn’t listened and still continues to provide 16GB as base model storage for iPhones. And this is a terrible idea, which is in place just to lure in customers to buy the upper level model. But if the rumors are true, the iPhone 7 will probably have 32GB as the base model. I really hope this to be the case! Another requested change is in the software, to allow users to clear app caches. This is really necessary, especially for people with 16GB iPhones, since there apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram collects way too much cache over time. Indeed, the Facebook app can consume as much as over 1GB over time, all due to lack of manual or auto-cache clearing capabilities. To add to all that, people have also been requesting a bigger battery, while agreeing to the cost of doing so – a less thin iPhone. And it is due to this reason that iPhone users are also called the ‘wall-hugger’ even in today's day when phones have massive batteries. Moreover, rumors suggest that the iPhone 7 will NOT have a headphone jack, something that everyone hopes Apple doesn’t go through with. But we all know that Apple will, since they love doing unique little things that their customers absolutely DO NOT want.

HOW SAMSUNG GOT IT RIGHT

Now let’s talk about how Samsung deals with customer requests. The Galaxy S5 was a huge disappointment for Samsung, which featured an uninspired cheap-plastic body, and the IP67 water resistance (which also came at the cost of an ugly flap at the charging point). But Samsung changed all that with the Galaxy S6. It featured a premium glass and metal design which actually made it feel like a premium device. And that’s what the customers asked for! However, all this came at the cost of non-removable battery, no more SD card functionality, and no more water resistance. Another issue with the S6 was a smaller battery. But all those were customer favorites. With S7, Samsung made a huge comeback with way bigger battery, SD card support, and IP68 water resistance, thus fulfilling the customer demands. Moreover, people complained about the bloatware and lag in TouchWiz, and Samsung significantly improved the TouchWiz user experience by toning down the bloatware and providing some speed enhancements.

I could name many other instance where Apple overheard their customers, while Samsung provided exactly what people asked for. But that’ll make this article page way to long, and I am sure no one wants to read that much. But the point is, Apple needs to do this one thing, among others, to listen to their customers.

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