Sadler HeadsetsDotCom is disappointed Apple doesn’t knock his socks off anymore:
Unfortunately, this has been the state of Apple for the past few years. Yes, the iPad was a great new product, and reaches an entirely different market. But I can live without it. The iPhone 3/4/4s/5 are faster and brighter, but haven’t changed my life. The latest line of Macbook laptops (Pro and Air) show pixels better and are physically lighter and thinner. But they aren’t groundbreaking. I jumped on the Apple train because they created devices that I simply couldn’t live without. This hasn’t happened for awhile, and unfortunately, doesn’t look like it’s going to.
I really don’t understand posts like this. Tech pundits galore have lost their shit complaining that Apple isn’t innovating or is playing catch up because the company isn’t blowing their socks off. Why has everyone collectively gotten drunk on cognitive dissonance of the digital variety?
Even Samsung, after catching up to Apple doesn’t innovate, it iterates and spit shines gobble gook with fancy names. From the S1 to S2 to S3 all simply beget faster processors, bigger screens, etc. etc.… Rinse repeat. Samsung is even copying other people’s vacuum cleaners for crying out loud, because there’s only so much one can do to re-imagine a vacuum cleaner. Everyone’s idea of “innovation” in the smartphone business is simply a different way to arrange existing technologies.
Google’s Motorola chickened out of actually making a decision on their next phone and instead “innovated” letting you get your phone as a build to order Moto X. Yay!
What’s happening right now is that the industry has pushed up against what previously only existed in sci-fi imagination and Star Trek, waiting for technology (processor size, heat, touch sensitivity, wireless connectivity, software, etc.) all to catch up to that imagination.
Steve jobs dared to take a leap and catch up to our collective imagination in 2007 by essentially making Star Trek’s Tricorder a reality (albeit a very derivative first attempt). 5 years later every one has figured out the magic and can pretty much copy/paste themselves an iPhone clone. 5 years later, Steve Ballmer is regretting laughing at the iPhone and his company has and is doing everything to try to stay relevant because they were caught coasting.
About the only person daring to bring sic-fi imagination to reality is Elon Musk – the real-world Iron Man/Tony Stark. He is obsessive in seeking to make today better than it was yesterday, by daring to make yesterday’s imagination and movie magic into today’s reality.
The innovation in the iPhone is no longer the iPhone itself, it is what you can do with it, not what Apple can do to it. Apple’s iPhone and iOS ecosystem is a platform for the imagination. It is not the be all, end all of what innovation should be. Apple doesn’t invent all the technologies in the iPhone. We know that. It assembles the best technologies out there into one form-fitting package around a business model centered on maximum profitability. That’s why it is the most profitable device maker in the world.
I think we collectively got spoiled with the iPod –> iPhone –> iPad innovation cycle that we forgot the amount of years each iteration lasted before the next big thing. If you think about it critically, the iPhone was a natural, logical evolution from the iPod. And the iPad fit somewhere in between those two devices (losing out to the iPhone in go-to-market sequence because apt decision making by Steve Jobs).
So for everyone clamoring that Apple doesn’t innovate any more. Tell me which company actually is doing something in the smartphone arena thats vastly different from assembling variations of processors, glass, camera and battery technology. They are all falling over each other to build it slightly different in the hopes it’ll be better. Heck, even Microsoft and Google threw in the towel and bought Nokia and Motorola respectively in effort to copy a little of Apple’s ownership of the entire stack – seamless packaging of the software and hardware.
No one knows what Apple is or isn’t working on. They may very well never blow our socks off and they may very well do so. No one knows. But that’s not the point. The point is, if we want to constantly be wowed, perhaps we should contribute to thinking and stretching what’s possible. Inventing what’s next isn’t the sole dominion of one company, it is the collective effort of human ingenuity, pushing, pulling, inspiring, borrowing, remixing our collective intelligence until something goes… in the words of the immortal Steve Jobs, “Boom!”
I think it is safe to say that the next wow isn’t going to come from the smartphone industry, it is going to come from a completely different market segment we haven’t remixed yet. Maybe it’ll be Apple that does it, maybe it won’t. Can we all please calm down and just wait?
Oh, and Jason. You want Airplay everywhere? Where were you when they introduced this? It is heading in the direction you want.