Sorry Apple, your “most advanced” features are already commonplace in China

Recently, for work-related issues, I’ve used the flagship phones of several major Chinese Android phone manufacturers, ranging from Xiaomi 8 and OPPO Find X to OnePlus 6. They all have their own advantages. Xiaomi’s MIUI operating system is easy to navigate, OPPO Find X’s borderless screen is stunningly beautiful, and OnePlus 6 is thin and light and feels good to hold. All of a sudden, I realized I haven’t used my iPhone 7 Plus for nearly 2 months. At least in my heart, the iPhone has fallen from grace.

I have been a loyal fan to iPhone. I’ve used iPhones as my primary phone since the first-generation iPhone. I changed my laptop to MacBook Air from Thinkpad and used it for a long time. At the moment, I am writing this on my iPad Pro. For a long period of time, I thought iPhone was my only choice as my primary phone and even though I didn’t update my phone to iPhone 8 or iPhone X, my next phone would still be an iPhone. However, after watching Apple’s September event on Thursday (September 13th), I started feeling uncertain about that thought I had because, for the first time, I found iPhone is replaceable.

Apple disappointed us several times in recent years, but, like the Chinese national football team, we placed higher hopes after being disappointed each time. However, this time, I feel more lost than disappointed.

When Tim Cook used the usual “the most advanced” type of phrases to describe their newest iPhone models, what I saw was a weak argument no matter how eloquent Cook was. Apple seems to be digging a hole for those who don’t know about Chinese smartphone manufacturers and transporting those people to the bottom of the hole, telling them Apple’s the most innovative.

Maybe those people aren’t aware that OnePlus is the best selling phone model in the high-end smartphone markets of countries include Finland and India. Xiaomi tops the Chinese and Indian phone market. Apart from strong sales momentum, OPPO and vivo are also surprisingly innovative. Those who praise iPhones’ borderless screens, they should take a look at Find X; those who claim iOS is the only smooth operating system, they should at least try MIUI; those who commend the big screen of iPhone Xs Max may have not heard of Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, all which have bigger screens. Those who compliment iPhone’s dual-camera system may not know that Huawei’s P20 Pro already supports tri-camera. Those who are stunned at a dual-sim card may not understand dual-sim card has been extremely normal in China for years and it’s totally a Shenzhen-developed tech.

Cook has visited China several times and the Apple Events become more and more Chinese characteristics – mentioning only Apple’s advantages and ignoring its weakness. I don’t understand why Apple is so proud of building the biggest iPhone of all time. Why don’t they mention the aspect ratio? Furthermore, I can’t figure out why emphasizing the battery of the new iPhones can last 30 more minutes than iPhone X. Why not tell if new iPhones support the quick charge function?

I believe Apple is still competitive as one of the world’s most innovative companies. Apple is indispensable because it has its own chip, a smartwatch that allows consumers to give themselves an electrocardiogram, MacBook, iPad, and most importantly, a closed ecosystem built on iOS and MacOS. In terms of constructing a closed ecosystem, Chinese companies look fairly naive in comparison.

However, iPhone is no longer the shiniest jewel in Apple’s crown. iPhone has become optional.

I wanted to buy an Apple Watch 4, but suddenly I feel embarrassed. If I don’t use an iPhone, why would I buy an Apple Watch?

Translation by Jiefei Liu