Apple has suffered from a severe lack of competition...
Despite the palpable Apple fatigue among consumers in the past year, the company is mostly peerless in terms of competition for its user demographic -- affluent, brand loyal, creative professionals. True, there have been a smattering of objectively good smartphones out there -- Samsung's Galaxy S7 is arguably a better phone with a better camera -- but none that is truly nipping at Apple's heels in terms of design and user-friendliness, the two main selling points that draw people to the brand.
One of the more insidious side effects of a lack of real competition for a tech company like Apple is a sense of complacency, which ends up stalling innovation. After all, why make any groundbreaking improvements to the iPhone when the existing versions are already very successful, and no other brand is breathing down your neck with something better?
... until now
Enter the Pixel -- a phone that actually represents a real threat to Apple. It's impressively powerful with an allegedly best-in-class camera, all wrapped up in a sexy-as-hell body that could have conceivably come straight out of Jony Ive's design lab. And while Google lacks a certain cool factor that Apple has, its new product lineup is an obvious step away from the nerdy software and data the company's known for. Apple has no choice but to launch a counterattack.