Apple has finally unveiled the iPhone 5, the first since the death of Steve Jobs. Would Steve be impressed? Sadly I think not.
It’s a nice phone and a decent upgrade if your contract is up, and that’s about it. Apple, the company that got where it is now by taking bold, new, and exciting risks, has become a company that’s failing to impress, playing it safe, and constantly playing catch up.
So, from the launch of the iPhone 4S until now, what did Apple have time to design and develop as the next best smartphone we could possibly feast our eyes upon? Well, they replaced the tiny 3.5 in screen with a slightly less tiny 4 in screen. Wow, talk about revolutionary! This couldn’t have possibly been inspired by Samsung’s Galaxy S3, with its still significantly larger 4.8 in screen. Which by the way, outsold the iPhone 4S in the United States last month, the first time any smartphone has ever outsold the iPhone.
Alright, well obviously the iPhone 5 must be the new fastest smartphone on the market. Wait, nevermind there have already been several phones on the market with even faster more impressive processors for a while now.
Ok then, how about the all new Siri voice guided navigation in the even newer wonderment that is the new and improved Apple maps? Oh man, you mean to tell me Google has had that same exact feature on Android phones since 2009?
Apple seems to think there is little reason to really shake things up once it has a successful product. The strategy is clearly going after what worked for them before, and slowly tweaking it as long as they can get away from it. Sure a lot of companies do this, but that’s not the Apple we’ve come to know and love, and definitely not an Apple Steve Jobs would have been a part of.
Obviously this will work, and the iPhone will get better and keep getting refined. But how long can they keep doing this before they lose what made them Apple in the first place? They’re dangerously close to just becoming any other company. It’s looking like Apple’s “Think different” slogan has become “Think about what everyone else has already been doing for years”.
I think we’re beginning to see a sad new trend. Apple used to lead the way, now they’re barely keeping up.
I’m sure Apple will sell millions. They’re already the biggest company in the world, bigger than any company in US history. But if you’re looking for something truly innovative that sets a new standard for smartphones everywhere, look elsewhere. Apple has become boring.