Why did Apple avoid talking about Android in the iPhone X announcement?

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Why did Apple avoid talking about Android in the iPhone X announcement?
In many ways, the Apple event unveiling the new iPhone 8, iPhone X, Apple Watch series 3, and Apple TV 4K was business as usual for Tim Cook and company. There were plenty of features in Apple products that were legitimately new as well as plenty of other features that Apple talked up quite a bit but have been part of the smartphone ecosystem for years. One thing that was odd though was that there were no mentions or even backhand swipes at Google, Samsung, or Android.

Sure, there weren't necessarily a ton of opportunities for Apple to gloat. Apple is the number one watch maker in the world (though I'm not sure how much that actually means), so mentioning Android Wear just gives attention to a non-competitor. Android TV isn't worth mentioning for a similar reason and Apple wouldn't want to talk about Chromecast, because Chromecast far outsells Apple TV. 

Apple even avoided a lot of the old standbys like OS update metrics or app store revenue. The latest says that Android Nougat is on just under 16% of devices, so Apple certainly had an opportunity there. But, Google Play has been closing the gap in terms of app store revenue, so that might not be a great subject for Apple right now. 

iPhone vs Android

The iPhone X gave Apple some legitimate reasons to gloat, but of course there was also plenty in the device that is thanks to Android. Historically, Apple hasn't much cared about calling a feature "magical", "revolutionary", or "novel" even if it had been done before in many devices and that was also on full display this year (Super Retina Display... really Apple? Was that part of the deal with Samsung to buy so many Super AMOLED panels that the word Super had to be tacked on to the Retina Display branding?) 

Some other examples are a bit more complicated. It would make sense that in all of Apple's talk about Qi Wireless Charging that there was no mention about Android, but it was also very strange. Apple fully embraced an open standard, which is rare but actually pretty great. Although many (myself included) might favor wired quick charging to wireless, the fact that the iPhone will work with existing Qi certified products is a huge bonus to consumers. And, it seems a bridge too far to expect Apple to give thanks to the Android hardware makers for driving the Qi accessory market since 2012. 

Similarly, it was unlikely Apple would mention how Google has pushed for getting rid of the hardware home button since Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in late 2011, or how Google found a way to have Quick Settings and Notifications live together in the top tray of Android starting with 4.2 in 2012. And, in both cases it feels like the Android solution to each issue is more intuitive than what Apple came up with. A software home button and multitasking button is quicker and less prone to accidental triggering than the gesture system on the iPhone X appears, and the toggle of either swiping twice or swiping with two fingers for Quick Settings seems more intuitive than having notifications on one side and Control Center on the other, like iOS has done.

Face ID

Apple rightfully spent a lot of time on Face ID during the presentation and if the company's claims about security hold true, then Apple would have done something impressive: take a feature that was mostly a gimmick rather than a security feature in other devices and made it a viable security option. Face ID doesn't look like it will ever be as fast or as convenient as simply using your fingerprint to unlock your device (do we even know if it works with sunglasses?) But, the likelihood is that Apple will bring back Touch ID eventually anyway. 

Still, the Face ID announcement was a moment that would normally have been tailor-made for Apple to mention the failures of the Android ecosystem. It feels like in years past, Apple would have pointed out the failures of facial recognition options on Android devices so far -- many can be fooled by a still image, many don't work in the dark, etc. But for whatever reason, Apple didn't take any swings at Android or Google. 

Is Apple scared?

With many of the areas discussed above, it could be surmised that Apple might be scared of the backlash from trying to claim so many relatively standard options from the Android world as "revolutionary" in the iPhone X, especially when the implementation of so many features might not be as good as what you would get on Android. Without a doubt, the AirPower pad seems really nice (if you've got multiple devices and accessories like that which support Qi charging,) but in general wireless charging isn't as practical as wired fast charging. The software changes aren't as intuitive in iOS as they are in Android (even if you do prefer the look of no software buttons), and the use of a Super AMOLED display is certainly nothing new. 

That still leaves Face ID, but the reason there could well be that for all of Apple's testing of the feature, it's not quite as confident about the security as it would seem. Apple says they used creepy Hollywood face masks to test out the feature and claims it can't be fooled by still images or video, but no one has been able to test those claims yet. Even if you want to trust Apple's process on this, there's a non-zero chance that Face ID is just another gimmick and that would be a huge hit to the usability of the iPhone X. It's not very likely, but it is possible. 

The other possibility is that Apple isn't scared, but wanted to project as much confidence as possible with the iPhone X announcement. Gloating can sometimes come off as defensive, so maybe they felt best to avoid the issue all together. Maybe Tim Cook wants to have an air of positivity around Apple events. Whatever the reason, Apple definitely swung big with the iPhone X and we really will need to wait for the reviews to see if it works out. 



1. Jacksie66 unregistered

Because it doesn't want their presentation to turn into a clusterfűck like the phonearena comments section..

7. Well-Manicured-Man

Posts: 688; Member since: Jun 16, 2015

I think Apple simply announced so many things during this keynote that they had no time for trash talk. They announced 3 instead of 2 iPhones, plus Apple Watch, plus Apple TV. That’s much more than usual.

24. sgodsell

Posts: 7368; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The where you said 3 iPhones is not a lot, especially when two of them are not much of an upgrade from the iPhone 7 and 7 plus. Sure the new iPhone 8 and 8 plus have a new SoC A11 like every year, the same ram, same size IPS LCD display with the same resolutions. The only other change is the glass back to allow wireless charging. So in reality not much of a change from the iPhone 7 and 7 plus. That leaves only the new iPhone X of the 3 iPhone's.

115. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

"no time for trash talk" But 90% their presentation is literally trash talk, like glorifying old tech, or praising features that's already on other phones for years as if it's the first one in history..

156. RoryBreaker

Posts: 218; Member since: Oct 11, 2015

Apple is in NO position to trash talk

79. KyleRiemen

Posts: 170; Member since: Oct 29, 2014

There is no need to mention Android, when you have the revolutionary features on your side. Something you never thought you would need, but you can not live without, once you get introduced to it. "The one more thing". A poop emoji with your facial expression!

80. kg4icg

Posts: 83; Member since: May 18, 2008

Nothing revolutionary about things and gestures that have been around for 5 years

137. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Gestures that the steal from Palm Pre WebOS. Apple is wiser not to mention Android as 8 out of 10 persons are using Android in one form or another trash talking would only make them look bad. It's Windows vs Mac days all over again in the phone arena.

98. audibot

Posts: 634; Member since: Jan 26, 2017

because they just copied everything thats on android phones and samsung phones and htc phones after years of delays and they know it. also thanks apple my shares lost almost $2 each share. should have sold last night and bought today.

127. sumphatsmack

Posts: 29; Member since: Aug 10, 2017

That's due to the Face ID not working

145. BlackhawkFlys

Posts: 914; Member since: May 07, 2014

No, because they gave that job to phonearena.. They couldn't throw jabs at Android because most of what they did with the iPhone X was catching up with Android..

2. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

You dudes are milking it for all it's worth I see. No shame.

3. Metalspy8

Posts: 148; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

because they are still playing catch up to android...im sorry PA but we all know iphone Xrap is old tech..every youtuber i know is not WOW with anything apple does ..let just wait for google to announce the pixel...heck SHARP had promotion before the ipad pro and sad to say iphone X didnt have that. so when an android phone comes out with 120 hz i dont want to hear apple did it first..

128. sumphatsmack

Posts: 29; Member since: Aug 10, 2017

You are going to hear it, I will remind you ;)

4. tedkord

Posts: 17357; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

It comes down to two things - first, like Michael said, a lot came from Android, and why would you draw attention to that? Second, Tim Cook is an adult, not a petulant child like Steve Jobs was.

78. sissy246

Posts: 7112; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Exactly Why would you put down what you took from Android.

105. AxelFoley unregistered

Tim Cook is still the one who said "we can't be the innovators for the world" and "we just want people to invent their own stuff." All the while he was copying everything invented by everyone else. As good as he is overall, he's not above immaturity at times and taking unfounded shots at competition..

5. Mels13

Posts: 117; Member since: Jun 23, 2014

Because its a copy of s8 with 2010 year specs

10. Well-Manicured-Man

Posts: 688; Member since: Jun 16, 2015

Certainly not. This year‘s iPhone Camera is without competition. Especially the one from iPhone X has no competition maybe only from iPhone 8 Plus.

17. tedkord

Posts: 17357; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

We hear that every year at launch, then the reviews come out.

43. Jolliebee

Posts: 39; Member since: Sep 12, 2017

Seriously? Most of the new camera stuff is all software related. All we want to see is what most will do which is point and shot. If you look at the camera specs, the iPhone X camera still has tinier lens vs the Note 8. The Note 8 is 1.7 and 2.4 aperture While Apple is 1.8 and 2.8. I am sure the camera will be better than it was on the iPhone 7, but it wont be better than the S8 or Note 8, accept on this site probably, in seeing the complaints about bias.

62. Well-Manicured-Man

Posts: 688; Member since: Jun 16, 2015

Iphone X has 1.8 and 2.4 aperture. The software in combination with the ISP and the camera sensor make the difference. My feeling is that Apple has the edge here over Samsung. Not to forget that Apple is also using its neural engine to analyse the scene. Quite remarkable if you ask me.

135. sissy246

Posts: 7112; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Both cameras are going to be awesome. I think they will be very close to each other. One will do one thing better then the other but they will both be very nice cameras. I mean really , between Pixel, V30 , Samsung and apple they all have great cameras.

146. BlackhawkFlys

Posts: 914; Member since: May 07, 2014

"Not to forget that Apple is also using its neural engine to analyze the scene. Quite remarkable if you ask me." It sounds great. Words like neural engine.. Don't base your opinion on hearing big words... make a decision after comparing real life photos of the same scenes...

157. RoryBreaker

Posts: 218; Member since: Oct 11, 2015

Now I'm convinced that you've never seen images from the S8, Pixel or LG G6

6. mikehunta727 unregistered

Don't think Apple is scared of Android at all. They have no reason to be

12. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

The two platforms operate under two starkly different principals that keeps them from encroaching on each other's foothold. Trying to frame it as though Apple would fear Android is the same as an American fearing civil war in Somalia; why would they care? (Should've probably chosen a different scenario other than a humanitarian crisis...)

44. Jolliebee

Posts: 39; Member since: Sep 12, 2017

You don't have to be scared when you already lost. Not talkign about money. I'm talking about who really is advancing tech and moving forward and gettign us better stuff sooner.

50. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Techie's new account? Because businesses give f**k all about any of that "giving us advanced tech" bulls**t, that I can assure you. It is ALL about the dollars. Always has been, always will be.

57. tedkord

Posts: 17357; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Sad but true.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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