The reaction is obvious
This is the best phone ever! This changes the game! It’s a revolutionary step forward in terms of design and functionality!
But is it?
I have my doubts
I appreciate the utility and evolution of the forward facing camera with IR sensors — sure, unlocking your phone with your face sounds like a good idea, but I sincerely doubt it’s usefulness.
And sure, an edge to edge display and added filters to portrait images are nice to have, but where is the revolution?
And that black notch? Come on
Apple has stood at the forefront of customer centricity for over a decade. Instead of designing products that their customers wanted, they invented products that were paradigm leaps forward in terms of innovation.
They didn’t just make new products, they created new markets
Their products were so far ahead of what customers wanted people became desperate for anything they offered
At a time when MP3 players were strange shapes, low capacity and hard to use it introduced the iPod which revolutionised personal music. When Nokia was creating handsets who’s only innovation was shrinking Apple introduced the smartphone and changed the world. When laptops were becoming tired they introduced the iPad.
These developments weren’t steps forward they were massive leaps
They completely changed the game. Customers never even knew they wanted these things because they couldn’t even conceive the evolution of technology that was possible.
Sadly those days have passed
Apple has become a parody of itself. The product descriptions, the advertisement and the product announcements are a novella in futility which trumpets their ‘innovations’ as revolutionary when they are iterative developments which could have been introduced years ago. Instead, technology is drip fed to consumers to maintain profitability.
Why even launch the iPhone 8?
Steve Jobs wouldn’t have
He believed in premium products and had the courage in his convictions to follow through on that promise. He would never have stood for a flagship product overlooking it’s poorer cousin in the same product line.
Apple was about simplicity
They remained ahead of the curve by ignoring it and building the things it wanted to. They knew if they built things which were truly beautiful people would come. And established new markets. What they are doing now just feels like exploitation of the avid following they have created for profit.They no longer sacrifice capital in order to create incredible products with unmatched service.
It seems to be technological progress for progress sake, packaging it as a massive breakthrough without understanding the reality that it is a similar product.
And that is what my problem is. Apple has become predictable — consistently so. Perhaps unsurprisingly their relentless progress has slowed to an iterative sprint.
They should be applauded for how far they have taken the tech industry in the last 10 years but we must recognise that each pronouncement of the best phone ever comes with a significant lowering of the bar.
It feels like we are losing Apple, it’s still the same company, it looks the same but something is not quite right and that’s sad, it’s lost the spark that made it beautifully different.
Maybe I am being harsh
Maybe we hold then to a higher standard than other companies because of their history of success and the reverence we have for their products.
Maybe the S-curve for Smartphones is simply flattening out and what we are experiencing is the inevitable convergence of smartphone technology to it’s homogeneous conclusion
Maybe the X is the pinnacle of all that smartphone will become
But that only talks more loudly about that existential threat to Apples superiority.
While Amazon was buying wholefoods Apple was treading water
Their stockpiling of cash is indicative of this
Apple needs to do something else
Instead of persisting with an inferior product they should have bought Spotify. To compete with Prime they should have bought Netflix. In order to remain at the forefront of consciousness they should have bought Tesla. They could have done this and still had $50B in cash on hand.
Ultimately, their biggest mistake was missing out on Instagram. We see this shift in Snapchat to become a camera company — Apple is the camera company. Strategically missing out on Instagram has been it’s biggest mistake.