NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- If measured by popularity alone it's no contest. Apple's ( AAPL) iPhone 5s beats Google/Motorola Mobility's ( GOOG) Moto X hands down. However, when comparing the actual components and technologies inside each device it's an entirely different story.
After performing teardowns of the handsets, research firm ABI Research concluded the Moto X is the more innovative of the two new designs.
ABI feels the Moto X "shows a number of creative engineering solutions," while the two new iPhones show only " minor improvements" over last year's model. The report dismisses the iPhone 5c as last year's iPhone 5 "with a new housing in a variety of colors".
The comparison of the iPhone 5s and the Moto X goes a lot deeper. The researchers found the new 5s keeps last year's metal housing while adding fingerprint ID and a dual-core, 64-bit processor but noted all of those features were not new. ABI found that fingerprint ID was first introduced by Motorola in its Atrix HD 4G and feels the 64-bit processor (other smartphones are still using 32-bit designs) is "just Apple's way to provide more processing power."
The study goes on to say that other manufacturers have taken a different route by adding processing cores - four cores in most cases although Samsung uses an 8-core chip in some designs. The Moto X uses a number of separate chips to handle the load. The result is Apple's new A7 processor design uses more battery power to accomplish tasks - in some cases more than double the battery drain than last year's iPhone 5.
Jim Mielke, ABI Research's VP of Engineering reports his company's teardown found Moto X is more innovative that the new iPhones in a number of other ways including always-on voice commends, screen quality, screen efficiency and an overall more ergonomic form factor.
In conclusion, ABI believes: "The combination of solid engineering, creative features, and timely introduction of those features was Apple's trademark but it has faded in this category over the last two years. Q3 2013 marks the start of another potential company that has put together that rare combination of traits that bring user friendly, innovative, practical products to market."
The full report is available here..
Written by Gary Krakow in New York.
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