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I am searching for new phone for buying. So Which function is best Android or IOS? I am very confuse?
I prefer android everyone has their own choice here are my top 10 reasons why Android beats apple ios ecosystem(for this guide i am comparing Apple's newest flagship iPhone 6&6s)1. More Storage for Less MoneyThe iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are priced like high-end phones, but that doesn't stop Apple from skimping on storage. For starting prices of $648 and $744 respectively, you get just 16GB of internal memory. After you deduct 1.3GB for iOS 9, you have almost no space for the 12-MP pictures you'll take, the 4K videos you'll shoot, your music collection or iTunes movies, which can take up between 1 and 3GB depending on resolution. Some popular iOS games can also eat as much as 1GB to 2GB a piece. If you really want to make the most of your iPhone, you need to add another $100 to the price to get 64GB of storage.All of the latest high-end Android phones, including all the major Samsung phones, the HTC M9 and the LG G4, start with a more-reasonable 32GB of internal storage. Better still, HTC and LG's flagships come with microSD slots that allow you to add more capacity by using very inexpensive memory cards. A 64GB microSD card costs around $20.2. Higher-res screensApple's tagline for the iPhone 6s and 6s plus is "the only thing that's changed is everything," but "everything" apparently doesn't include screen resolution. In 2014, the company finally released its first full-HD phone, the iPhone 6 Plus — two years after the first 1080p Android handset debuted. Today's iPhone 6s Plus is still stuck at 1920 x 1080 while the mainstream 6s clocks in at a mere 1334 x 750. By contrast, the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium has a 4K (3840 x 2160) display and several mainstream Android phones offer 2560 x 1440 screens, which makes them a lot sharper for high-res video viewing, reading and gaming.3. Customization, widgets and skinsLike the father in a 1950s sitcom, Apple thinks it knows what's best for you, no matter what you need or want, so it locks down the UI and offers fewer customizations than Google. Whereas on the iPhone, you can put a few select widgets in your notification drawer, with Android, you can choose from thousands of widgets that live on your home or lock screens and provide everything from music playback to weather and note-taking.Manufacturers such as Samsung and LG add custom "skins" on top of the core operating system that offer a unique look and feel, along with features Google hasn't implemented yet (e.g., gesture controls and Air View). Better still, you can install your own launcher or add a custom theme, which makes your phone look and feel completely different — and yours.4. Many more hardware options, including rugged phonesGoogle's marketing tagline for Android is "Be Together. Not the Same." That makes sense, because the platform appears on hundreds of different phone models around the world. You can get Android phones with giant screens, small screens, built-in projectors, QWERTY keyboards and replaceable batteries.Perhaps most important, there are many rugged Android phones that are made to survive being submerged underwater or dropped. If you want a new iPhone today, you have four choices: the a iPhone 6s Plus, a midsize iPhone 6s and three old models: the similarly-sized. None of these is designed to take a beating.5. Freedom to install any app you wantApple may get some apps first, but it also limits which apps you can install by forcing you to go through its tightly controlled app store. If the tastemakers in Cupertino decide that an app competes with Apple or is too violent, sexual, political or controversial, you won't be able to buy it. While Google has its Play store for Android, it allows competition from alternative stores, such as Amazon's Appstore. You can also take any APK file you download and sideload it on your own. Try that on the iPhone 6s.6. A working file systemWant to copy files from your iPhone to your computer? You'll need to install iTunes and set up an account, and even then, you can move only media files, such as photos, back and forth. Plug an Android phone into your PC, and it instantly mounts as an external drive filled with folders you can drag and drop. You can also navigate through the file system on the phone using apps such as Astro File Manager or ES File Manager. Apple apparently doesn't trust you to see the file system on your iPhone.7. Universal sharingYou see a Web page in your browser, a map in your navigation app or a photo in your gallery, and you want to share it. On Android, you can share to any service whose app you have installed: Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or anything you've installed. Google doesn't need to bless an app for it to show up in the sharing menu, nor does the browser maker, the navigation app publisher or drawing app developer.Unfortunately, on the iPhone, you can share only to the apps that the browser, photo gallery or other app specifically support. So, because Apple doesn't think much of Google+, WhatsApp or Pinterest, you can't share to them from Safari, and you won't be able to unless Apple’s gatekeepers specifically build in support.8. A back buttonAndroid's back button provides a really simple and helpful way to return to a previous screen no matter where you are. The button even works across apps. If you hit a link in Facebook and get transported to the Chrome browser, you can return to the social media app when you hit the back button.On the iPhone 6s, you can use only app-specific navigation or hit the home button to end up back on the home screen. That's a lot more swipes and taps that waste your time and tire your fingers.9. Multiwindow supportIf you want to multitask on your phone, you want an Android phone from Samsung or LG. Both of those brands let you split your screen between two apps, allowing you to, for example, look at the company Web page in one window while you reply to your boss's email in another. Google hasn't built multiwindow mode into the Core OS yet; it is adding that ability in the next version, called Android M. Apple is adding a split-screen view in iOS 9, but only for tablets, not phones.10. Full NFC supportFor several years now, all Android phones have come with NFC (near field communication) chips built in. With NFC on board, you can tap to pair with gadgets, tap another phone to exchange files or contacts, tap information tags, tap to unlock a door and even tap to pay using Google Wallet. Apple has incorporated NFC into the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, but you can only use it for Apple Pay.Source: tomsguide.comThanks for A2AA..cheers✌:)
Which OS is best for mobiles?
Android 5 vs. i OS 8 vs. Windows Phone 8.1: Which smartphone OS is best?You’re in the market for a new smartphone (maybe your first smartphone), but which digital horse should you put your money behind? Choosing a smartphone OS is a bigger choice than you realize. Thankfully, if you can’t decide whether to pick iPhone, one of the many Android phones, or Windows Phone, we’re here to help. We’ll break the battle down into categories and find a winner for each. Just pick what matters most to you, count up the wins in those categories, and you have a recommendation.Updated on 12-12-2014 by Simon Hill: Changed to reflect the latest platform versions, Android 5.0 Lollipop, iOS 8, and Windows Phone 8.1.AffordabilityApple doesn’t make budget devices, and the latest iPhone is always among the most expensive handsets on the market, costing $200 with a two-year contract and $650 without. Last year’s iPhone 5S comes in at $100 less. The iPhone 5C — which is a lot better than you’d guess — is as close as Apple gets to budget at about $200 cheaper, but it’s still pricey.Microsoft’s main hardware partner Nokia (which it now owns) has always been good at producing quality hardware at relatively low prices. There are a wide range of Windows Phones at varying price points, and finally a few that push the limit and rival Android and iOS on specs. It’s also worth remembering that hardware manufacturers like Samsung, ZTE, LG, Lenovo, and Huawei are signed up as Windows Phone 8.1 partners and could well produce some cheap handsets in the near future.Still, for sheer scale and variety nothing competes with Android. There’s a huge choice of low cost handsets from a wide variety of different manufacturers and the platform has been deliberately optimized to run on low end hardware. The fact that Android also leads the field in free apps makes it the natural choice for the budget-conscious. Chances are, if it’s a smartphone by HTC, Samsung, Sony, ZTE, Huawei, or LG, it’s running Android.Winner: AndroidInterfaceLed by Windows Phone, all three platforms have gravitated toward a minimalist, flat, fast, colorful user interface. The big difference is that many Android manufacturers have added their own user interfaces on top of stock Android and so your mileage will vary. The basic structure with customizable home screens, an app drawer, and pull down notifications is standard, but there’s much more variation on Android than you’ll find on the other two platforms.The Android Lollipop roll-out has ushered in Google’s “Material Design” which is a minimalist look with simple animations that’s intended to create a new continuity across the platform and in Google’s apps. It looks very stylish, but you’ll need a new device or a Nexus right now to see it. App developers are still adjusting and it will be a while before Android 5.0 Lollipop represents a big share of Android users.After a major redesign in iOS 7, Apple’s platform is bright and modern-feeling. The slick animations as you navigate around give a sense of depth, and it’s easy to understand. Under the new paint job, this is still the same iOS that came out in 2007. Still, many have complained that the new version of iOS is hard on the eyes. There are settings to turn off its offending animations. Apple has made further refinements in iOS 8, but the aesthetic remains largely unchanged.Windows Phone is based on a grid of “Live Tiles” which can be arranged and resized to suit the owner. It looks and acts much like Windows 8 PCs and tablets, but there’s no Desktop here. Windows Phone can sometimes feel overly stylish and sluggish compared to iOS and Android. It is very customizable, though, and WP 8.1 feels slicker than previous versions.Winner: TieAppsWe can bump Windows Phone straight out of the running here because it trails way behind Android and iOS when it comes to overall app numbers and app quality.Android apps – 1.3 millioniOS apps – 1.2 millionWindows Phone apps – 300,000Traditionally iOS has been a more lucrative platform for developers and easier to develop for, so there has been a tendency for new apps to appear there first, but that is changing as Android’s market share continues to grow. The Play Store still has a higher percentage of free apps than the App Store, but in terms of variety and quality we have to give this one to iOS.Winner: iOSApp store usabilityNone of the app stores offer an excellent user experience and it can be tough to sift through the thousands of apps on offer to find what you really want. In terms of recommendations and curated charts the Apple App Store maintains a slender lead over Google’s Play Store. Microsoft’s Windows Phone store definitely lags behind in terms of usability and aesthetic.Winner: iOSAlternative app stores and sideloadingIt’s relatively easy to sideload apps (install them from your PC using a USB cable or alternate download method) on Android and there are a lot of alternative app stores beyond the Play Store, although sideloading can open you up to the risk of malware. Both Apple and Microsoft are opposed to third-party app stores and expect users to stick to their app stores. If you want a wider choice of apps and easy sideloading then your choice is obvious. Android is more open than its competitors and is more geek friendly.Winner: AndroidBattery life and managementAs one of the biggest bugbears for smartphone owners, battery life is a huge factor. It’s difficult to compare the three platforms because there’s no common hardware. We could say iOS is optimized to squeeze the most out of the battery per mAh rating, but you can buy an Android device with a much bigger battery that will easily outlast the iPhone. In Android you can see your battery usage at a glance, broken down by app, with an estimate of how much battery life you have left. In Lollipop, Google has baked a basic battery saver feature into Android. Most manufacturers also offer some kind of battery saving feature, which allows you to tweak performance or turn off background syncing for specific apps when the battery hits a certain level.Windows Phone has a battery saver option that shows estimated remaining life and allows you to turn off background usage for apps or other non-essential features to save battery.Apple has introduced more detailed battery usage statistics by app in iOS 8, but it lacks a battery saving app or mode. We had a terrible time with battery life in iOS 7, and the bigger screens in the latest iPhones cancel out improvements made in iOS 8. Apple has lost a lot of ground in the battery wars.Winner: AndroidOS UpdatesAll three platforms are updated on a pretty regular basis. There are big releases with new features and occasional redesigns every few months, and smaller releases to deal with bug fixes a little more frequently than that. Microsoft and Apple maintain greater control over the software, so it’s easier for them to roll out updates and compatible devices tend to upgrade to the latest version in a timely fashion.Apple always leaves behind a couple older devices each year when new software comes out, so it’s not entirely free of fragmentation, but it does better than Microsoft or Google. For example, Windows Phone 7 devices can’t be updated to Windows Phone 8. If you opt for a Nexus Android device then you’ll get the latest updates quickly, but if you don’t, you may never get an update. Samsung, Sony, and LG have finally begun providing some updates, but you’re at their mercy, and the mercy of your wireless carrier, which also has decided that it should have the right to test and release all new software updates for Windows Phone and Android. Apple is exempt.Winner: iOSCustomizabilityThere are a lot of different elements to customizability, but we can state unequivocally that this is one of Android’s strengths.Out of the box, you can customize your Android experience in a variety of ways.You can install alternative launchers that will change the look of your user interface.You can set up your lock screen and multiple home screens with backgrounds, resizable widgets, and shortcuts. Both iOS and Windows Phone offer limited options.You can set up backgrounds and shortcuts.With Windows Phone you have re-sizable Live Tiles and color schemes to choose from, and you can add background images in 8.1. In iOS 8 there is finally some support for at-a-glance style widgets, but they’re confined to the Notification Center. Google has always allowed you to choose your default keyboard in Android. Microsoft has gradually improved the keyboard in Windows Phone, but it’s still locked down to the default option. Apple has opened up third-party keyboard support for iOS 8, but it still has a way to go to match Android. Beyond the keyboard, you can set third-party apps as defaults for all kinds of things in Android that are locked down in iOS and WP.Winner: AndroidRooting, bootloaders, and jailbreakingWe’ve looked at how to root your Android phone or tablet before. It’s not for everyone, but if you want root access and complete control over your device then rooting is the way to get it. Rooting gives you access to more apps, the latest OS updates without waiting, new software skins to get the aesthetic you want, the chance to get rid of bloatware from carriers and manufacturers, potential tweaks to boost your device’s speed and battery life, and more.Many Android OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) also offer a way to unlock the bootloader, which determines how the operating system loads up on your device. Microsoft and Apple are completely opposed to this kind of thing. Unlocking bootloaders and rooting is possible on some devices and versions of Windows Phone. Jailbreaking is an option for iOS, which lets you download and install apps from outside the App Store and bypass some other limitations.Winner: AndroidCalls and messagingBasic calling and messaging functionality is good on all three platforms. Google has made moves to fold everything into Hangouts, so you can send messages via Wi-Fi, data network, or SMS. You can also make video calls online. FaceTime and iMessage are basically exactly the same thing on the iOS platform. Skype is Microsoft’s answer, but it’s separate from your standard SMS. Skype works on every platform; Hangouts doesn’t work on Windows Phone; iMessages and FaceTime are only for iOS and Mac OS X.Winner: TieEmailThe default email apps on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone are very easy to use and quick to set up. You can pull in multiple email accounts and view them in a single inbox if you desire. Android and iOS have a huge range of third-party email apps available as well.Winner: TiePeripheralsThe average iPad or iPhone owner spends more money on more things than the average Android or Windows Phone device owner, and Apple has built up a great ecosystem of peripherals for its phones and tablets. There are far more peripherals and cases aimed at the iPhone than any other device, but something like Samsung’s latest Galaxy S5 would be a close second. On the other hand, Android and WP devices have adopted the Micro USB standard, whereas Apple insists on its proprietary Lightning cable, which means its much easier to find a charger if you’re not an iPhone owner. This often means you have to splash out on an overpriced Apple adapter, which are known to break. Peripheral manufacturers may still go after iOS as their main target, but it’s very rare to find something without Micro USB support.Winner: iOSCloud servicesApple is the one lagging behind when it comes to cloud storage and automatic backups. Microsoft’s OneDrive and Google Drive both offer 15GB for free and cross-platform support (although Google Drive doesn’t work with Windows Phone). You only get 5GB with iCloud and it only works with Windows, Mac, and iOS. If you need a lot of additional space then Google Drive is the cheapest at $2 per month for 100GB ($24 for the year), Apple charges $100 per year for 50GB, and Microsoft charges $50 per year for 100GB.Winner: Android.Photo backupIf you use Google+ or the Photos app in Android then you can automatically backup all of your photos and videos. You can also use Google+ on iOS. OneDrive allows you to automatically back up photos on Android, iOS, or Windows Phone. Traditionally iCloud only backs up photos from the last 30 days or the last 1,000 photos and doesn’t save videos, but with iOS 8 the iCloud Photo Library keeps a permanent backup bringing it into line with the other two, although it offers less free space at 5GB compared to 15GB with Google Drive and OneDrive.It’s also worth noting that Google Drive lets you backup an unlimited number of photos or videos at standard size for free, only full-sized files count against your allowance.Winner: AndroidVoice assistantsWe had a look at Cortana vs Siri vs Google Now a while back. All three can interpret and action a wide variety of voice commands. Siri is more like a straightforward assistant for setting calendar appointments, searching the Web, or making calls. Google Now has an extra element, in that it can pre-emptively offer useful information. If you allow it to gather data on you then it might suggest directions to a place you recently searched for, or let you know the latest score for your favorite sports team.Cortana falls somewhere in between Siri and Google Now encompassing elements of both. There’s an attempt to push things further by offering access to functions within apps and reminder prompts linked to specific people in your contacts. Microsoft has really taken its time getting Cortana right and it has the potential to be a big win for the Windows Phone platform.Winner: Windows PhoneConnectivityAll the mobile platforms support Bluetooth and Wi-Fi as standard. Android and Windows Phone led the way with NFC (near field communication) for easy wireless transfers and mobile payments, but Apple has included NFC in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. It has also launched Apple Pay with some major partners, which could close the mobile payment gap very quickly. NFC can also be used for quick file transfers, tapping phones together to share contacts or Web pages, or tapping on supported speakers to stream music. There’s nothing to really separate the platforms here.Winner: TieSecurityMuch has been made of the supposedly “toxic hell stew” that is Android, but the threat of malware is grossly exaggerated by the competition. The truth is that most people will never encounter a problem because they don’t go outside the Play Store for apps. Specific manufacturers like Samsung have taken extra efforts to beef up security for the enterprise market.Apple is already firmly entrenched in corporate America and has also worked on improved security for general consumers, most notably with the Touch ID. The tight oversight that Apple has on apps and the ability to push updates out to more devices, more quickly, gives it a definite edge over Android.Windows Phone is not as widely used, and that means MDM programs focus on iOS and Android, but Microsoft is certainly working to improve security and woo the business world.Winner: iOSMapsAll three platforms offer a good maps solution, despite what you’ve heard. Key features are pretty similar, you can download maps for offline use, get accurate estimates based on current traffic conditions, and turn-by-turn directions for driving or walking. They all work well and should get you where you’re going.Still, the scale and quality of Google Maps is unsurpassed. It has more points of interest and it is generally more detailed than Bing Maps or Apple Maps, but the accuracy can vary from place to place.Winner: AndroidCameraThis is another area where Apple extracts maximum value from the hardware it offers. The 8-megapixel camera in the iPhone 6 has been numerically surpassed by Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Windows Phones like the Nokia Lumia 1020, but there’s more to a great camera than just the megapixel count. Apple does the best job capturing lighting, coloring, and other details.The camera apps on each platform are very good and very fast. For ease of use and best results without tweaking, the iOS camera app takes the cake. There’s more variation on Android simply because OEMs tend to add their own camera apps with lots of features, some good, some a bit gimmicky, but we’d take Apple’s camera any day of the week.Winner: iOSSimplicityAll three of the platforms are relatively intuitive and easy to pick up. If you were looking for a device for an elderly relative, or a technophobe then you’ll find some specialist offerings on Android, but they tend to scale down what’s possible. Manufacturers like Samsung also include options like “Easy mode” which make the interface bigger and simplify the whole experience, or you can opt for a third-party app to do the same. There are lots of good apps aimed at the elderly on Android and iOS as well.There has been a perception that Android is more complicated than iOS, but it’s not really true. There’s no need to dive into the customization options if you don’t want to. All three platforms offer a good range of accessibility features.Out of the box Windows Phone is probably the most readable. If you’re willing to do a little tweaking and dig into the accessibility features then there’s little to choose between them.Winner: TieSumming upCounting up the wins Android scores 8, iOS scores 6, Windows Phone scores 1, and there were 5 ties. Realistically, different categories will be important to different people, so you should just pay attention to the ones that count for you and make your decision based on that. They are all good platforms with far more similarities than differences, so you can’t really go wrong.Android is a great all-rounder which offers by far the greatest choice. Thanks to great support from companies like Samsung and LG, there are more handsets at different price points, a much wider variety of customization options, and greater freedom to tweak your device if you choose to do so.Google’s apps and prowess when it comes to cloud services also weigh in here, and if you’re a big user of Google services already, Android definitely makes the most sense for you. One of its strengths is also one of its greatest weaknesses and that’s the old fragmentation argument. It’s hard to discuss Android as a single experience because there is a big gap between a premium flagship and a budget release, though Google is taking steps to close that gap.iOS is a slick platform that has matured well, and it offers an accessible, uniform experience. It has the best official library of apps, a huge range of interesting peripherals, and an excellent camera app that sums up Apple’s focus on making things easy for the user. Apple also has tighter control which means updates are rolled out quickly across the board and security is generally better, partly due to the popularity of iOS devices in the enterprise.The downside for iOS is the premium price tag, walled garden, lack of customization options, and the underdeveloped cloud services.Windows Phone has perpetually played catchup since it debuted a few years ago. Microsoft struggles to keep up with the pace set by Apple and Google. The platform is solid and there are some intriguing improvements in 8.1, most notably Cortana, but we can’t overlook the lack of apps and the lack of quality in the apps that do exist when compared to the big two. In terms of general usability and basic phone functions Windows Phone is on par. As Microsoft makes a play for cloud domination, exploits its popular Office suite, and takes steps to work more closely with the enterprise it may become a more attractive prospect for business users, but beyond Cortana it’s tough to see a good reason to choose Windows Phone right now.Fin!
What is Apple's strategy with the Apple Watch and its model mix?
Until it launches, what's most fascinating about the Apple Watch is what it tells us about Apple's strategies, especially for creating, entering, and attempting to own new categories.First, a refresher on what strategy really means for a company, from Michael E. Porter's invaluable essay What is Strategy?:Competitive strategy is about being different. It means deliberately choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of value. The activities Apple chooses to undertake in order to deliver a unique mix of value are well-known:Control of —but not ownership of— supply chain, based on capitalization of supplier operations and equipment in exchange for exclusivity of supplier output, as well as relentless supply-chain improvement for greater and greater operational efficiencies"General consumer" UX-oriented software development, but with a heavy emphasis on perfecting and polishing details to provided a premium and delightful product that errs on the side of well-executed simplicity over decently-executed multiplicityIn-house chip design —they have over 1000 chip designers!— with chip development heavily tailored to the software and hardware uses specific to Apple products, leading to more efficient chips (which allows Apple to use less RAM, get more out of batteries, etc.).Retail outlets where Apple can showcase its products as it sees fit and control the context in which they're demonstrated, purchased, and servicedActivities related to the aestheticization of technology; although this is decreasingly unique, recent hires and the soon-to-be-discussed development of the various Apple Watch bands is illustrative of the lengths to which they goIn general, these activities are often summed by saying that Apple integrates hardware, software, and services while retaining a concern for beauty in form. In the Android world, parties compete in hardware, and even in software and services to an extent, and a concern with form usually lags concerns with margins, modularity, cost.Google's bet: that commodification of hardware and software (for example: software design patterns that constitute solutions to user problems) will eventually make the benefits of Apple's integration minimal or non-existent, and the market will reward what's least expensive. Google's choices tend to reflect their desire for a commodity ecosystem where gains come from operational effectiveness.For Apple, then, a key strategy is to continually prevent the commodification of product categories . Returning to Porter's phrase, this means that Apple wants to be different, in that they choose "a different set of activities to a deliver a unique" —that is, non-commodity and hard-to-copy— "mix of value."iPhone and AndroidWith Android and Samsung, Apple had a minor scare: relatively early in iPhone's life, it seemed to be nearly commodified, with many millions of buyers happily accepting Samsung's Galaxy series phones as adequate for their needs (or in some cases preferring their different features or sizes). While this never threatened iOS existentially, I believe Apple took note. Subsequently, iPhone and iOS development has trended towards those things Apple knows Android cannot provide, those things that only their unique mix of activities as a company enables.Specifically, Apple's mix of activities permits things likeTouch ID + Apple Pay. Touch ID requires sapphire glass expertise, something only a supply-chain capitalizing company can attain; but Apple Pay also requires difficult corporate contracts with disparate vendors who will not see their margins eroded. Thus: only a company which doesn't need to earn much money from their digital wallet but which also has the hardware expertise to make an easy, durable, reliable fingerprint scanner and the deal-making capabilities Apple has can achieve this feature.Metal and other graphics technologies. Not only does Apple work closely with vendors as they spec their hardware, and not only do they make their own chips on occasion, but they also work hard to tailor their software to (1) take full, maximally efficient use of their silicon and (2) allow developers to do the same. iOS has graphical features that are simply too computationally costly for Android without lots of cores, lots of RAM, and lots of power and heat issues. Java has obliged Android device makers to move in that direction already, and Apple wants to make it worse for them.Improvements to the camera. Apple's cameras are unmatched —not in megapixels but in image quality in everyday use— because of their control over software and hardware, and because of their investments in manufacturing technologies. Again: commodity hardware is cheaper, and can compete on specs, but so long as Apple can drive new technology into this are —focus pixels, for example, or a better integrated processor— Android makers are at a competitive disadvantage because of their strategic choice to rely on vendors for technology advancement (assuming Apple can stay ahead of the vendors).There are many more examples. Even CEO Tim Cook's reorganization —which replaced autocracy-led fiefdoms with cross-functional collaboration— seems to emphasize that Apple must provide unique value from its unique mix of integrative activities or those activities will become too costly to justify and may even overserve the market. As an example: the new iPhone is 6.9mm thick, thinner than the iPhone 5s but not as thin as the iPod touch (at 6.1mm). How much thinner do devices need to be? How much will people pay for a thinner device than this one? Will they upgrade to a new iPhone if it's 5mm thick? And how long until HTC can make a 5mm phone?What drives progress on this axis is a combination of miniaturization of technologies and manufacturing advancements. Both of those become, after some delay, generically available to other device-makers. So Apple has some lead on device thinness for some period of time, but others are always in pursuit, and there is a risk that at some point —possibly soon— Apple's costly pursuit of thinner devices will overserve the market, which will accept a 6mm phone from Samsung for $100 less.Only strategic differentiation can prevent this sort of commodification, and probably only for a time.(How quickly, or whether, the mobile market will commodify to the point at which the cheapest solution wins every time is a question I can't answer. In general: where creativity, ingenuity, and research are pushing the boundaries of what's possible, commodification doesn't occur; when solutions are duplicable and only efficiency matters, it does. In batteries, cameras, device durability, thickness, weight, and feel, and much more, the mobile device market remains one which rewards progress more than efficiency, which is good news for Apple).Apple WatchWith the Apple Watch, we see a radically ex nihilo category play from a company with recent experience in redefining markets. As such, their choices tell us a bit about what they've learned from iPhone (and iPad) and how that knowledge is guiding their plans. The general conclusion: Apple is "doubling down" on strategic differentiation.First, simply by choosing this category, Apple is strategically well-positioned. The Apple Watch will be harder to imitate than the iPhone because everything that keeps Apple ahead in smartphones —miniaturization, build quality, control over component development (for example: removing layers from screen composition), custom chip design, efficiencies from hardware and software control, services integration, materials sciences investments— is even more important in wearables, and seems likely to be so for some time.But beyond that, nowhere is Apple's willingness to be different more evident than with Apple Watch. Apple is aggressively shaping the category such that entrants will be required by customer expectations to provide a large, multi-SKU assortment of variations of their product made from high-end materials not normally sourced through Foxconn. Launching with three cases and many bands, several of which feature incredible design touches and luxury materials, was not an obvious decision. When Apple makes such choices they often seem inevitable in retrospect, but we should imagine what those meetings were like during development, the concerns that would have been raised about the necessity of redesigning exotic leather bands with magnets inside of them, the costs and delays all that entailed, and the image it might give the new product. Remember: Apple has always smarted from accusations that it makes expensive baubles.Nevertheless, they chose to launch a model at $349 and then a range of models above it which, though functionally identical, will likely cost thousands more. Some pundits think this is a silly mistake, which is reason enough to pause and attempt to determine why Apple chose this unorthodox, unprecedented product strategy. They didn't launch with three iPhone bodies made of luxury materials; they didn't introduce the iPad alongside the iPad Edition. Primarily, one assumes, they wanted to make "the best watch in the world," as they've said often about their product priorities, and to do so required deference to traditions.But at the same time, the pressure this puts on Motorola, Samsung, and Android Wear in general is enormous, and a large reason why it was worth it for Apple to learn about, experiment with, and become adept at peripheral activities like leatherworking. One of Apple's bands, for example, is described thus on their site:A small French tannery established in 1803 produces the supple Granada leather for this elegant band. The smooth top-grain leather is lightly milled and tumbled to maintain its refined texture. What looks like a solid buckle is actually a two-piece magnetic closure that’s delightfully simple to secure. We also added an inner layer of Vectran weave for strength and stretch resistance. It’s the same material NASA used to create the parachute strings for the Mars Rover. This band is available in soft pink, brown, and midnight blue.Does Samsung have the ability to source Granada (or Venezia) leather, scale its manufacture suitably, and stock it as an option without the costs eating into their margins? Do any technology companies today? Apple can charge a premium in order to do so, and with gold cases and Milenese bands, it will; for them, the cost will certainly be worth it. But Motorola and other Android Wear competitors compete very much on price: they often use the same chips from the same vendors; borrow the same design patterns from the same sources; lean on the same Google services, whose integration into Wear products is an afterthought for the search giant; and they buy their bands in bulk from the same sources. How many sizes will they be able to offer cost-affordably? How many case materials? How many bands, and of what caliber?In the same way that Apple's extremely efficient optimization of hardware and software forces Android to pack in more cores, more RAM, and more battery than they'd like just to keep up, Apple's materials and fashion expertise will force Android Wear to pack in more models, bands, and sizes than they will likely execute well or manage efficiently. This isn't how tech products tend to work, so commodity tech companies in particular will struggle.Thus, Apple's Watch model mix reflects their strategic activities mix, and yields the following:Even if just 1% of Apple Watches sold are gold, in the public eye Apple is the company that makes beautiful watches. Because the unit functionality is the same, the luxury aura isn't problematized by class concerns, but other smartwatches will definitely be "the cheap ones"; thus Apple owns the top of the market completely without losing the middle of it. Motorola won't be the company that makes beautiful watches, nor will they benefit from being the "affordable" option, as they're comparably priced.Not only is the high-end of the market likely to be Apple's —as with iPhone— but Apple will capture more money from that end of the market than they would have with a single model or a modest range. That is: Apple is giving people a way to pay as much as they want for this watch, from $349 up; many will pay much, much more, which is great for ASP and margins and development budgets but doesn't threaten marketshare by putting the device out of reach A primary negative reaction to smartwatches in general is that they're dorky or nerdy, and appeal mostly to computer jocks; that is: the critical posture adopted against smartwatches is one of disdain for geeky gadgetry and digital overconnection. This reaction is toxic for a product which hopes to achieve mass-market success among men and women and the young. But after the Apple Watch introduction —and after the prices are announced— Apple achieves a different primary negative reaction: "Too expensive. Too fancy. Too fashionable. Only rich people buy stuff like that. Too blingy. Who cares about luxury leather, you can side-load the Gear!" This reaction is practically an advertisement for the Apple Watch as far as regular humans are concerned. Last, Apple repeatedly notes that they don't track you or sell data about you; Cook has recently emphasized this strongly, even writing "A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product. But at Apple, we believe a great customer experience shouldn’t come at the expense of your privacy. Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products. We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers." This direct shot at Google is also a direct shot at the idea of using Android Wear or Android in general to track health issues, as users are notoriously anxious about such data leaking (and indeed, there are legal issues too). Apple Watch depends on Apple's business model —selling products, not ads— to deliver services that many wouldn't trust from Google.In sum: the Apple Watch leverages Apple's unique strengths like no product in their portfolio to date, and if they can achieve momentum with it, it will be very hard for other companies to catch up. They need to achieve parity or superiority in hardware —now meaning from chips to metallurgy to leather-sourcing to sensors— and software —now meaning integrated payments systems and health tracking and communications and so much more— and services like a music store, an app store, mapping, books and films, and so on. Worse, such companies will need to start hiring from fashion and fitness firms, as Apple's been doing for several years. The skills and best practices involved in these areas are closer to Apple's experience than Samsung's, and Apple knows it. Last, they need to be companies whose business model doesn't depend on user data, as this "most personal" device yet is personal enough that people don't want it to be mined.ConclusionThe Apple Watch gives the company a new space in which its strategic activities confer huge, possibly decisive advantage, and the decisions made in how to structure their offering —decisions which I emphasize again will define customer expectations and color how the category is perceived— reflect their determination to press that advantage wherever they can. It's worth noting that this falls naturally out of their efforts to make superlative products, as a smart company leans on its strengths to deliver value that's otherwise missing from markets. That is to say: Apple didn't pursue the watch because it reflects their strategic mix of activities, but as they pursued it, that mix informed what they could do, and importantly what they could do better than anyone else.Fast-followers and imitators are in for a tough slog in wearables, and even the deep pockets of Google and Samsung won't confer commodity parity on other offerings immediately. Thanks to their smartly-chosen (and continually updated) set of activities, Apple is probably in pole position, defining the category before they sell their first unit. While that tells us little about the revenue implications —there's no telling how large the market is for the first version of Apple Watch, which doesn't have all the features later models will— it does tell us a little about how Apple enters categories and what drives some of their peripheral decisions about product, mix, and marketing.Notes1. PDF of "What is Strategy?" As a side-note: the distinction between "differentiation on the basis of operational efficiency" and "differentiation based on strategically-chosen activities" is a clear lens through which to understand Apple vs. Samsung, and obviates the need for much of what's written about Apple, iOS, Android, Google, Samsung, and others in the space. I cannot recommend the essay highly enough, and am indebted to David Cole for sharing it with me.2. There is an argument to be made that in doing so, Apple keeps the prices of certain goods higher than they might be; the counter-argument is that markets in which competitors are not strategically differentiated in this way are crummy markets with insufficient reward for innovation, and the products they produce tend to suck (as PCs did, for the same reasons). Porter says it thusly:Constant improvement in operational effectiveness is necessary to achieve superior profitability. However, it is not usually sufficient. Few companies have competed successfully on the basis of operational effectiveness over an extended period, and staying ahead of rivals gets harder every day. The most obvious reason for that is the rapid diffusion of best practices. Competitors can quickly imitate management techniques, new technologies, input improvements, and superior ways of meeting customers’ needs. The most generic solutions—those that can be used in multiple settings—diffuse the fastest.Generic markets with outsourced activities do not produce much creative dynamism; if a commodity needs no improvement, they're fine, but for technology-based products, they seem pretty suboptimal, achieving only local maxima of productivity but rarely innovating novel solutions to human problems.3. We should expect to see Apple stay ahead of the vendors because their margins afford them greater R&D budgets; OEMs compete on operational efficiencies and, as Porter describes, genericize themselves over time as a result.4. Apple has probably left a lot of money on the table with iPhone, since they originally pursued a single-model product strategy; there are many people who would have paid more than they have for various iPhones, were fancier options available. The introduction of the iPhone Plus is in part an effort to recapture some of that money, in addition to answering the competitive threat from larger Android phones.5. Setting the primary negative reaction to something is one of the more important acts of manipulation a person or company can undertake in framing a conversation; marketing which accomplishes this is particularly effective. As Kevin Simler noted in Ads Don't Work That Way:Cultural imprinting is the mechanism whereby an ad, rather than trying to change our minds individually, instead changes the landscape of cultural meanings — which in turn changes how we are perceived by others when we use a product.Thanks to this marketing move, someone wearing an Apple Watch goes from being considered pejoratively as "a computer nerd or business jockey with a smartwatch" to "a rich person or a style-oriented person." That's a major revision of cultural imprinting for one day's keynote!(This answer was originally posted as an essay: Strategy & the Apple Watch).