Is Apple Becoming Boring?

Source: techdeville.com

Apple, a company that used to be revolutionary and innovative, is becoming boring.

Unless you’ve been living under a stone for the past day, you’ve probably heard that Apple released a bunch of new products yesterday- the iPad Mini, the fourth generation iPad, and new Macs. Nice. Or is it nice? After all, is Apple becoming boring?

Under Steve Jobs, Apple was an innovative company and its product launches were exciting. Have you ever watched an Apple keynote online (or in person?) Well, I have, and I can tell you that Steve Jobs was a master performer. His keynotes were exciting to watch. The new products in itself were also new and ‘innovative’: the iPod changed the music industry, the iPhone changed the smartphone industry, the iPad created a whole new tablet industry, so on and so forth. You could even go backward and talk about how Apple’s Apple II and Macintosh changed the computer industry.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Apple’s products are still pretty good (perhaps with the exception of Siri and Maps). All of them are certainly moneymakers, and I’m sure the iPad Mini will sell millions, like any Apple product. But have they become boring? Like, really. Apple’s products used to have new, exciting features. Even the iPhone 4S had a new feature, and that was Siri. But now let’s look at the post-Jobs products.

Apple logo source: walkersands.com. Text done in the most boring Verdana style possible! Okay, Times New Roman could’ve been better.

The third generation “new” iPad (not so new anymore, now that the fourth generation is out- so what do we call the iPad 4? The Newer iPad?) was, frankly, not very exciting. All the details have already been leaked, there was no exciting ‘totally new’ design (the Retina display isn’t really something to make much of of a song and dance about). Same goes for the iPhone 5: a slightly longer iPhone is not exciting. At all. The iPad Mini is perhaps a new product, but it seems to simply be an iPad that’s downsized and has lower specifications. The fourth generation (“newer”) iPad is the worst of them all: a new processor. That’s it. (And now I’m not going to be so evil to blame Apple here: if you release a fourth generation iPad just after the third generation had been a few months ago people are gonna feel cheated; imagine how bad it’d be if the newer iPad had tons of new features!)

Do you see something that’s missing here? The thing that’s missing is a breakthrough product. There isn’t anything revolutionary. Apple used to always present new, breakthrough innovations. It isn’t doing so anymore. Apple seems to be using a tried-and-tested formula:

1. MAKE IT THINNER

2. MAKE IT FASTER

3. CHANGE STUFF UP A BIT

Is it true? Well, we can see:

  • iPhone 4S: Faster
  • iPhone 5: Faster, thinner, longer, iOS 6
  • iPad 3: Retina display, ligher, faster
  • iPad 4: Faster

Mhm.

Image source: Wikipedia

Now, I think Tim Cook is probably very fed up with being compared to Steve Jobs all the time, but that’s inevitable since Jobs was so legendary. From what I’ve read and know, Cook is an operations guy. He can squeeze out a lot of profit, and he himself admits that he isn’t a ‘products’ sort of guy. But Apple does need something new. Something that’s revolutionary. Something that clearly shows that they “think different”. There’s that ad campaign that Steve Jobs ran, about how “the ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” It’s a great line. Is Apple actually following that? In my opinion, I think they seem to be chasing the competition. Their attitude seems to be “everyone’s making bigger phones, let’s make ours bigger. Everyone’s making 7 inch tablets, let’s make one too!”

My voice doesn’t matter. Not at all, since I’m just a student who’s pretty much a nobody. But since this is my blog, I guess I’ll write a final opinion anyway. I really like Apple’s products, but they should step up their game when it comes to innovation, making “the next big thing.” It’s pretty much what the company is about: innovating and coming up with revolutionary ideas. Thinking differently. I really hope that Apple would continue to be innovative and make awesome products with good designs, but if the “Faster, Thinner, Change Stuff Up A Bit” thing keeps going on…well, Apple has become boring, then.

-Ken

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2 thoughts on “Is Apple Becoming Boring?

  1. “Becoming”? No, sadly it already is.

    That Maps debacle was showing pretty obvious flaws in the innovation aspect of the company and the iPhone 4S and 5 are brought “new” features which were already out on Android devices much earlier (notably the Galaxy series, which you chould say was related to that patent infringement thing, but that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms).

    It’s true, Cook probably is sick of being compared to Jobs, but that’s to be expected and it would have been naïve of him to think otherwise. The iPad Mini will sell millions only because there are millions of Apple fans out there, not because of the device’s own merits. The Nexus series is now arguably a better device if we’re to leave behind brand names.

    Cook can turn this around if and only if he follows the same tempo Jobs created. If he’s not a “products guy”, then he’d better get a few that are into the company and pull out the whips. You can only ride on the coattails of past glory for so long.

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