Name another technology gadget maker that introduces features before Apple? Samsung, right? Another? Uh, there’s Google. Another? Hmmm. All of them? Let’s go with what’s behind door #3, Monte. Apple often is last to the new feature party but somehow manages to chart the course technology gadget makers take next.
Here’s one new smartphone technology where Apple is way behind the competition and it may take years to catch up?
Micro bezels? Well, already a number of smartphone makers in China have smartphones with smaller bezels than you’ll find on recent iPhone models.
How about invisible bezels? As in, no bezel at all because the display uses a new waterfall technology and curves around the side of the case.
Wait? Hasn’t Samsung had something like that already?
Yes. Years ago. Apple still hasn’t caught up because the so-called waterfall design, while it may look cool doesn’t really do much other than attractive finger prints. The latest high-end Android smartphone to get a ridiculously edge-to-edge waterfall display design is Chinese maker Oppo.
In a new prototype shared on the company’s Facebook and Twitter pages, Oppo on Monday showed off a “waterfall screen” that appears to even further extend the display around the sides of the phone. There are still slight bezels along the top, bottom and sides of the device, but the screen does seem to push the technology further than prior phones.
Wow. Cool looking, even if it doesn’t really do much for the user. It’s as if Oppo decided to take a display and stretch it even farther around the sides than Samsung did the Galaxy Note Edge about four years ago.
Can Apple ever catch up?
No. Why not? This is not a game Apple plays. First to market is not what Apple does. First to market with a feature or function that is the right way is how Apple rolls.
So, what’s Apple’s problem?
As one would expect with a prototype, Oppo did not share pricing, release date or even an indication on when the display might go into production.
Many such so-called advanced technologies get plenty of promotion by the anti-Apple nattering nabobs of negativism and show up in technology websites run by members of the technorati elite politburo, but you seldom see such devices show up in the marketplace.
It’s easy to take some kind of gee whiz function and stuff it into a prototype device and build a few dozen to show off at trade shows, but Apple sells nearly 200-million iPhones a year, and the newest and most feature-laden models will ship 50-million to 100-million units each year, and gimmicky prototypes that don’t get into the market for years just cannot scale to the numbers Apple needs.
Apple pays for the price of success but probably laughs about it all the way to the bank.