The things people hated Apple for, now in every flagship smartphone – EFTM

The things people hated Apple for, now in every flagship smartphone

Isn’t it funny the difference a bit of time makes?  Over the years a lot of criticism has come the way of Apple over decisions they’ve made in the...
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Isn’t it funny the difference a bit of time makes?  Over the years a lot of criticism has come the way of Apple over decisions they’ve made in the design and construction of their products – most specifically the iPhone, yet today so many of those seemingly major issues are part and parcel of the latest batch of smartphones from other companies too.

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Bloody Apple, making it impossible to change the battery on your phone.

We all grew up with Nokia’s and Ericsson’s that allowed us to keep a spare battery handy if we forgot to charge the phone four days ago and now it’s at 25% – switch the battery – problem solved.  But no, Apple had to be all high and mighty and lock it away – what if it’s faulty?  What if I need a quick charge?

Well in truth when a rare fault occurs in a battery Apple will replace the device for you.  And these days batteries run down so fast there are portable battery packs everywhere to buy.  Samsung handed out battery packs to guests at their “Unpacked” event in Barcelona this year.

And yes, the HTC One M9 (and the M8 and M7 before that) have a battery that is built-in, unable to be removed by the owner.  Today, Samsung announced the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, both of which have built-in batteries.

Samsung say that’s because of the advances in efficiency and battery use, but the fact is the thing will still only last you a day if you’re lucky.

Damn you Apple, I want to add more storage to my phone!

What on earth was Apple thinking?  16GB, 32GB, then 64Gb and finally 128Gb of storage space?  Nowhere to put my SD Card?  What if I need more space?  What if I want to store more photos or music?

HTC’s One M9 and Samsung’s new S6 and S6 Edge:  No expandable storage.  No slot for your MicroSD.  Somewhere awful has just frozen over.

Hey Apple – Glass front and back? You’re kidding right?

Ahh the iPhone 4 and 4S.  Glass front, Glass back, double trouble.

I’ve heard enough keynotes and announcements of stronger types of glass on phones that mean they won’t break, and seen enough YouTube videos proving them wrong that if I had a dollar for every one of them I’d be a very rich man.

So what does Samsung do?  Puts glass on the front and back of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge.  Mark my words, there will be a YouTube video or three thousand.  And someone you know will smash their phone.

Who cares if Apple phones look better and are made from premium materials?

Yeah, it’s how they operate that matters! Nope.  Samsung representatives stood on stage today and talked about how your friends would want your awesome looking phone.

How the metal would flow through the device, how these were premium construction.

All this was a clear nod to the audience and reviewers who have for years been telling Samsung their products lacked quality.

iPhones are too simple, people want an advanced user experience.

Nope.  People of any age can pickup and learn how an iPhone works.  Android can be like this too, yet for some reason manufacturers want to complicate what is out there and add a whole new layer.

Today, Samsung announced a range of “improvements” to the user interface, most of which were a nod to Google’s most recent operating system and app designs, and likewise Apple’s design since iOS 7.

Don’t get me started on Screen resolution.

Seriously, Super quad mega advanced tiny pixel fantastical resolution – I’m surprised that hasn’t been announced yet.  Instead we have LG with a Quad HD resolution, and today Samsung matching that and then some.

The problem with all those extra pixles – 77% more from Samsung GS5 to GS6 is that every pixel requires power, and that means all those extra pixels are sucking more battery.  While other advances lessen the overall effect, the fact is we should all ask the question – just what would the battery performance be like if the screen wasn’t this high resolution?

 

None of this is to say that Apple are the greatest and we should all bow down to them, but surely – just surely a few people will question how they seek greatness in the products which are following a trend, or provide the same critical analysis of the current batch which has hung over Apple for the same period.

 

 

This rant was inspired by announcements at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona – Trevor travelled to Barcelona as a guest of the Ford Motor Company

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Tech

Trevor produces two of the most popular technology podcasts in Australia, Your Tech Life and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He has a weekly radio show on 2UE, as well as appearances across the country and regularly provides Technology Commentary to Channel 9’s Today Show and A Current Affair. Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave. Like this post? Buy Trev a drink!
39 Comments on this post.
  • tardis3 (@tardis3)
    2 March 2015 at 8:39 am
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    Spot on Trevor, great article

  • millionsofmyles
    2 March 2015 at 10:00 am
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    This is a disappointing launch season. Some reason, Android players have boosted areas that are overdone and reduced the areas that we loved and made unique. However, until Samsung drops TouchWiz, I wont be touching Samsung. HTC have their hand on it with the whole premium device thing and im left at my changeover period feeling like it’s an election and having to pick the lesser of two evils. Argh.

  • Aaron
    2 March 2015 at 11:53 am
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    Having only ever owned android device for work and pleasure last year I was gifted a second hand ipad air tablet. I’m pretty impressed to be honest and up until this point had considered Apple over rated and over priced and the domain of fanbois.

    It’s easy to use and the battery seems to kick on forever. Very customisable too so I can give it to the kids to use and lock away YouTube if I don’t want them using it or even give it to them in guidance mode so they are contained within the app or game I want them using.

  • Anton
    2 March 2015 at 1:55 pm
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    Great now all manufacturers are following Apples highly profitable business model of consumer entrapment. Trapping users into buying more of its products and services and marketing the whole thing as a better user experience. Removable battery and expandable memory are a must have for me. Plastic is far superior to metal for phone construction for so many reasons, lets just say if metal is good for knocks and bumps the car industry would still be making car bumpers metal, they don’t because like a phone chassis it needs to absorb shock, not transfer it to the glass or passenger in the car example. We can only hope for our local consumer laws to protect us from the blatant explotation Apple are subjecting everyone too.

  • whitelunchbag
    2 March 2015 at 2:32 pm
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    The HTC M9 has expandable storage

    • Trevor Long
      2 March 2015 at 4:11 pm
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      You are correct – here I was trying to take the focus off Samsung:) Correcting now!

      • Michael
        3 March 2015 at 12:42 am
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        Maybe you should correct your apple fanboy article on news.com.au as well Trevor.

        • Trevor Long
          3 March 2015 at 7:52 pm
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          If you’re referring to the HTC change, yes, I did let them know – but it’s a few days gone now, old news!

  • adidascanada
    2 March 2015 at 4:50 pm
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    “..every flagship smartphone” is inaccurate. At least be accurate in the title please.

    • Trevor Long
      2 March 2015 at 8:16 pm
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      Got you to read it though, tick for me:)

  • LadyPenrhyn
    2 March 2015 at 6:05 pm
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    I was considering upgrading (have an S3 that’s starting to have issues), but the non-replaceable battery, the all glass design and the non-expandable memory means that I will NOT be getting an S6. I’ll be looking at other phone makers for my next phone. I’ve used nothing but Samsung phones since I got my first one when I was 16. Samsung, you just lost a customer of 13 years.

  • James
    2 March 2015 at 6:17 pm
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    Apple paid you to write this shitty article? Think I lost few brain cells after reading this.

    • Trevor Long
      2 March 2015 at 8:17 pm
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      Not a sponsored post – thanks for your highly constructive feedback :)

  • tom
    2 March 2015 at 7:20 pm
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    hey Trevor your article sounds too much a fan boy trolling. Why don’t you mention apple criticism of bigger screen on the iphone?

    • Trevor Long
      2 March 2015 at 8:16 pm
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      Tom, any criticism of any tech company gets accused of being a fan view of the “other” company.

      This is a reflection of my personal views having heard all the announcements this year…

      Pretty sure in much of the commentary last year I was critical of Apple going back on its big screen word

    • Çağan Örsun
      3 March 2015 at 7:08 am
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      +1 on fanboy trolling. Article is nowhere near supporting the misleading title

      • Trevor Long
        3 March 2015 at 7:51 pm
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        Totally, thanks – can you send me some shirts with FANBOY written on them? I’d be an XXXL – let me know, I’ll send you my address :)

  • Tone
    2 March 2015 at 8:10 pm
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    Terrible article Trev. it just proves good tech writers don’t write for news.com.au or smh.com.au

    • Trevor Long
      2 March 2015 at 8:14 pm
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      Terrible comment Tone. No context, no suggestion which or where it was wrong or “terrible”, and also a point re writers at news.com.au that makes no sense – I write for EFTM.com.au

  • Sly Mik (@SlyMF77)
    2 March 2015 at 8:33 pm
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    One of the most average articles I have read in a while. I doesn’t even even make sense and starts going on different tangents.

    Battery: People still complain about the inbuilt batteries and if you think they don’t you would be wrong, just check any forum. Lets compare the 3gs batter of 1220mAh to the iPhone 6 battery which was 1810 and the alleged S6 battery of 2550 mAh. Over twice the size of the 3gs and with the advances in OS and batteries it should last over a day with medium use (I can get over 3 days if needed out of my Z2 with mild use). Obviously this is a consumer driven change. Not sure what you mean by rare faults with batteries when ‘ http://www.news.com.au/technology/gadgets/apple-recalls-faulty-iphone-5-batteries/story-fn6vihic-1227035871855 ‘ happens. I live with a restricted battery as I like the phone form, for me its form over function.

    Internal Storage: You have cloud now, you didn’t back then or even extensive wireless connectivity which iPhone did not even pioneer. Can’t thank them for something they did not invent or pioneer, thank J.C.R. Licklider and other pioneers.

    Front and back: Design is so personal seeing the new iPhone 6 is all aluminum case (cough HTC copy cough), such a innovator.

    Premium build: Again I believe HTC was the leader for mass consumer phones not Apple with the HTC Legend or Hero in 2009 as opposed to the the iPhone 4 in 2010. Personally unless you talking companies like Vertu I would not put iPhone in the same league. So probably thank Nokia for the trickle down of premium builds since 1999 where they were pushing the bounds with others probably even prior to this and not Apple.

    To simple: I know people who use old Nokia as iPhones are to complicated, its again personal. From my memory people were not complaining about iPhone being too simple, it was innovate in that way but wasn’t it because iPhone was too restrictive in it’s OS which it has now been loosened but many still find restrictive.

    Seems like the article thanks Apple for things which it shouldn’t and completely ignores where they put in innovation like decent music player in a phone, implementing a innovative keyboard and finger friendly touch screens into phones.

    • Trevor Long
      2 March 2015 at 10:08 pm
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      And that’s the beautiful thing about Opinion – we all have one! Thanks for reading

    • Michael
      3 March 2015 at 12:45 am
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      Spot on Sly Mik. People please do your research and don’t read into apple fanboy trolling like that of Trevor’s.

      • Trevor Long
        3 March 2015 at 7:52 pm
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        Yeah, do your research – YEAH – don’t read fanboy trolling, YEAH, don’t click his site, YEAH, don’t waste time leaving comments – wait – hey – thanks!! Time on site increased because you took the time and effort to leave a comment, thank you, thank you so much.

        Would you like an EFTM sticker? Let me know, I’ll send one out

  • Grant
    2 March 2015 at 8:45 pm
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    I must admit the articles which go on news.com.au re apple products do seem paid for journalism, and it is known that apple do that worldwide. Whilst not disagreeing with the article completely every time a competitor releases something or at least on a weekly basis news.com.au and associated websites run a pro apple article just out of the blue without a link to who wrote it etc etc, at least in this instance there was a link. I wouldn’t call the iPhone a premium product. Yes simple to use, they look great, great apps etc etc. But issues with bending of their phones ie the strength the of housing, camera alignment problems in the chassis, antenna gate and many other gates, buggy OS which has been listed along with mac/os as the most insecure operating system only last week by one security company. There is an iPhone 5 & 6 in this house, one android and a windows phone, so I feel I am qualified to comment. Unfortunately tech writers are too scared to anti-apple for anything in fear of being cut off by Apple, happened before and will happen again, I however am waiting for a writer who has the balls to call apple out on old tech being released as cutting edge year on year and charging a fortune for it as many facets of their tech is outdated by the time they are released. (not all). Oh ps. Apple whilst your ripping off the world for these products, feel free to pay a proper amount of taxes in aus, MSFT and Google please do the same.

  • JEHenry
    2 March 2015 at 10:06 pm
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    It ridulous having built in battery making it harder to remove it yourself and cost money to have someone to replace it for you. I’m not buying Samsung S6 with built in battery. Replacing DIY built in battery doesnt always work that well than loose battery.

  • Mark Rogotowicz
    2 March 2015 at 11:37 pm
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    From your article, I am unsure what your definition of ‘flagship’ means. Apart from including HTC in the battery argument (and retracting them from the expandable storage point), and a small swipe at the LG G3 quad hd screen, this entire article really comes across as an Apple fanboy rant directed at Samsung’s shift into the premium smartphone marketplace.

    As an IT consultant and experienced user on both platforms, I would like to address your arguments from the standpoint that your assessments are more of an accurate description of how Android handset makers have evolved with the changes in affordability, availability and social acceptance of mobile technology.

    1. Damn you Apple, I want to add more storage to my phone!

    Cloud technology and storage have come a long way since smartphones began to take off. Google lead the charge with the Nexus line by removing micro-sd support, and pushing the viability of Google Drive as an alternative to store photos, music etc… Other apps such as Dropbox helped further the shift away from physical storage for the good of the user: Broken phone or damaged micro-sd? Do not worry – it’s stored online.

    Today – storing or transferring your data using online services is a more viable and secure alternative to micro-sd storage than it was years ago. This is why we now see less support for external storage on Android devices – not just for the sake of mirroring iPhone’s capabilities.

    Why didn’t Apply support external storage?

    Expandable memory requires the user to partake in ‘file management’, and therefore fell outside Apple’s scope for the iPhone. Apple needed the iPhone to be as simple and user-friendly as possible in order for the masses to accept the technology.

    Also, iPhone’s iOS would have had great difficulty supporting the filesystem format of a typical micro-sd card…and don’t forget we have the iPhone 16Gb, 32GB, 64Gb, 128GB. The price difference between these models far exceeded the cost of storage memory, so it wasn’t going to do Apple any favors financially to begin supporting expandable memory.

    2. Hey Apple – Glass front and back? You’re kidding right?
    “So what does Samsung do? Puts glass on the front and back of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge”

    It has long been accepted that the iPhone is a premium device. The look and feel of the iPhone has been its primary selling point since day dot, and it is why people are willing to pay the “Apple Tax”. The glass has never been overly hard to break, however the ‘look-and-feel’ is considered to be a more important aspect of the phone that its durability. The iPhone 6 uses Gorilla Glass 3, whereas Samsung is now utilizing Gorilla Glass 4 for the Galaxy S6 and Edge.

    Could this be seen as Samsung blatantly ripping off the design choice of Apple? Sure.
    Or, from an engineering perspective – anything preceding Gorilla Glass 3 could be considered an impracticable design choice.

    The new material claims to be twice as tough as its predecessor – a justifiable reason to start the switch over to glass, no?

    And remember the iPhone 5C range? What did Apple do? Create a colorful, cheaper, plastic alternative…

    3. Who cares if Apple phones look better and are made from premium materials?
    Again – a single dig at Samsung.
    Apple’s design primarily focuses on the premium market space. Samsung’s design was a more affordable option.
    Samsung are now releasing a premium version of their flagship product, however they still have a range of affordable (plastic) phones to cater to the other markets.
    This isn’t radically redefining the entire product line – it’s creating a new product for a different market. Also known as – smart business.

    4. iPhones are too simple, people want an advanced user experience.
    Sorry…the only people I’ve ever heard speak those words are tech-heads.

    “…People of any age can pickup and learn how an iPhone works.”

    People of any age can’t pickup and learn how an Android phone works?

    “Android can be like this too, yet for some reason manufacturers want to complicate what is out there and add a whole new layer.”

    Again, you are targeting Samsung and generalizing Android manufacturers. Everyone in the industry is widely critical of TouchWhiz due to its ‘bloatware’, hence why Samsung are beginning to scale back on the flood of apps that it bundles with their products.

    The “some reason” you mentioned is purely financial. Manufacturer’s bundle apps and customize the interface to tie users to their ‘Smartphone Experience’ and lure them to their own App Store.

    Is this detrimental to the average smartphone user? I would have to agree.

    Is there enough variety in the Android smartphone marketplace to sway users to a more ‘user-friendly’ handset? Absolutely – there are plenty of ‘pure’ android alternatives out there, that are just as easy (if not easier) to use than iOS devices. eg, The Motorola Moto X range, Google’s Nexus devices, the OnePlus One (albeit a modified Cyanogen unit, yet still very pure experience).

    All that aside, it is not hard to load a custom launcher (such as Google Now) over the top of Samsung’s TouchWhiz in order to simplify the experience. It would be preferable for all Android devices to have a standard interface to improve ease-of-use and familiarity – but at least my Android phone gives me the option to change the interface without root access…

    5. Don’t get me started on Screen resolution.
    Since your arguments here are primarily based around battery life…
    The iPhone 6 Plus has a 1920 x 1080 screen.
    The LG G3 has a Quad HD 2560 x 1440 screen.
    According to PhoneArena.com the battery life on the iPhone 6 Plus lasts ~4.5% longer than the LG G3 (that has twice as many pixels)
    iPhone 6 Plus battery: 6 hours, 32 minutes (average)
    LG G3: 6 hours, 14 minutes (average)
    Samsung Galaxy S5 (1920 x 1080): 7 hours, 38 minutes.
    For price per performance, the iPhone 6 is a clear loser compared to these models.

    In summary:

    Apple’s iPhone design decisions were influenced by marketing – reaching a target demographic that would view the device as a ‘hot’ accessory. Fashionable. Cool even.

    Android Manufacturer’s targeted a market that demanded an affordable phone with basic features that wasn’t constrained by it’s look-and-feel. As technology has advanced and become more affordable, Android features have evolved. The design has generally reflected what is viable, rather than what is ‘cool’.

    Unfortunately, there haven’t been many advances in battery life. Oh, I almost forgot…

    6. Bloody Apple, making it impossible to change the battery on your phone.

    …Bloody HTC, LG, Samsung, Google, making it impossible to change the battery on your phone!

    • Trevor Long
      3 March 2015 at 7:53 pm
      Leave a Reply

      thanks mate, good solid comment.

      But in reality – if you read your last line – you’ve made, and substantiated my entire thought process mate.

      • Michael Gorlay
        5 March 2015 at 10:09 pm
        Leave a Reply

        …Wot?

        • Trevor Long
          6 March 2015 at 10:07 pm
          Leave a Reply

          Do you struggle with English? Shall I translate?

  • David
    3 March 2015 at 7:53 am
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    Well batteries last a lot longer these days than when Apple were first making it impossible to change batteries, we also have things like cloud storage now which make SD cards optional, we also have better glass now and it’s been a few years since I’ve heard of anyone breaking the glass on their phone whereas it used to be quite common (especially with earlier iphones). Most of your points just sound like you are writing a biased click bait article to be quite honest.

    • Trevor Long
      3 March 2015 at 7:50 pm
      Leave a Reply

      Well David, I don’t (think) I write Click Bait, I write reviews, news, or Opinion – this, is Opinion. See how that works, I think something, You think something, we all live on :)

  • GMAN
    3 March 2015 at 8:13 am
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    Wow Trev there’s some real muppets on here today. Agree with you 100%. Apple must be doing something right. Gone from a company 3 months away from closure to the biggest the world has seen. Must be doing something right. A billion + people can’t be wrong can they?!

    • Trevor Long
      3 March 2015 at 7:49 pm
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      Love a good muppet mate:)

  • figjamchrishris
    3 March 2015 at 8:35 am
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    Most of these things existed in phones before Apple ever released anything. I used to have phones in the 90’s and smart phones in the early 2000’s that had batteries you couldn’t remove, storage you couldn’t expand on, and were designed to be stylish and appealing, they used premium materials as well. Not really sure where Apple led the way for any of this. HTC already had phones like this and were always ahead of the game. Hell, they still are…

    Apple is always trailing as far as features go. Hell, even Windows Phone’s with Nokia have had more features than iPhones for years. Apple essentially use what other phone manufacturers have done for years, slap it in a “feel good” advertisement for the masses and mark it up as an innovation on their part. Remember when Apple invented the first phone with a touch screen? Or the phone that could play music? Or the phone that could browse the internet? Or the phone that you could download apps to? And remember when they invented the tablet PC? Yeah, me neither. But shhh… don’t tell them that..

    Not really sure why this article even exists to be honest. Apple weren’t the first phone manufacturer to have any of this stuff in their smartphone design, or any phone design for that matter (aside from a glass back (wow big whoopie)), so why did you bother writing it?

    • Trevor Long
      3 March 2015 at 7:49 pm
      Leave a Reply

      Yes, many existed before APple, I think you’re missing MY point – Apple was directly criticised over the years for these things. Now, COOOOEEEE….

  • Ben
    3 March 2015 at 2:52 pm
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    Totally agree Trev. This is a great article – ignore all the stupid comments. So frustrating that any vaguely positive mention of Apple gets immediately thrown in the fanboi bucket.

    • Trevor Long
      3 March 2015 at 7:48 pm
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      Thanks Ben, no need to ignore, I love reading people’s thoughts, that’s what Opinion is all about – but I’d still write the same thing today!

    • Dave
      4 March 2015 at 9:35 am
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      There isn’t a quote button over here? Damn.

  • Greg
    4 March 2015 at 12:33 pm
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    How about for balance. An article on ‘Things Apple hated but is now part of the Apple smartphone range’. Phablets (iPhone 6 Plus), Low-range, mid-range and high-range models (iPhone 5c/5s/6).

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