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Critics say Apple is moving to slowly to compete with innovative competitors

"While many will no doubt proclaim the iPhone 5 to be a miss due to the lack of radical change, I say look at it logically. The last time a product as successful as the iPhone got a radical change it was a total disaster. Remember New Coke?" wrote James Kendrick, a contributor at ZDNet.

I. Some Reviews Blast Apple for Slow Progress

There's praise in there for Apple, Inc.'s (AAPLnew device -- indeed Mr. Kendrick even titles his piece "Just what Apple needed".  But by the same token Mr. Kendrick is openly acknowledging that some folks will be less-than-impressed with Apple's modest hardware improvements and virtual standstill on the operating system front.

Others like "Fake Steve Jobs" -- Dan Lyons -- were far less kind.  Writing for BBC News, Mr. Lyons comments:

Somewhere up there, I can hear Steve screaming.... Apple's renowned designer Jonathan Ive has replaced the tiny 3.5in (8.9cm) screen with a slightly-less-tiny 4in (10.2cm) screen? Wow. Knock me over with a feather. What do you do with the rest of your time, Jony?  ...despite all its bluster about innovation, Apple has become a copycat, and not even a good one. Why is Apple making the iPhone bigger? To keep up with the top Android phones.
In terms of products, Apple has become the one thing it should never be. Apple has become boring.

And CBS writes in a piece entitled "Apple iPhone 5: big innovation takes a holiday":

Let there be no doubt, the device will sell a boatload of units. However, the changes seemed all incremental improvements -- new features that were nice, but none that catapulted Apple ahead and left all rival Android phones in the dust.

Doubtless the hardcore fans will argue that Apple is revolutionary, blazing trails and creating amazing products. But from a more detached view, the company's pace of major innovation seems to be slowing. For example, there didn't seem to be anything new that was the equivalent of a Siri or Retina display.

To be fair, there were some glowing articles as well -- and the majority of bloggers took the high road in terms of simply reporting the facts and details on the presentation.

But the iPhone 5 is perhaps the most mixed reaction to an iPhone since the product's 2007 launch.  If the iPhone 4S launch left some lukewarm, this one left the critics downright chilly.

Surely this kind of negative publicity would never have occurred under Apple co-founder and two-time CEO Steve Jobs' watch.  But Steve is gone, and Tim Cook is at the helm, and so far Apple seems to have lost some of its magic which once enraptured most members of the media.

II. Is Apple "Pulling a Vista"?

The reaction draws some analogies to the reviews of Windows Vista.  That's not to say the product is the same -- it clearly isn't.  Nor are the circumstances.  But reading the reviews recap:

I'd say the majority were guardedly positive, saying that Vista looked good overall but wasn't a killer product that demanded instant installation on every PC on the planet. ZDNet’s Ed Bott (who didn’t publish a comprehensive review), PC World’s Preston Gralla, and Paul Thurrott were enthusiastic overall; BusinessWeek’s Steve Wildstrom, CNET's Robert Vamosi, and PC Magazine’s John Clyman all accentuated more negatives than most. Only Forbes’ Manes was extremely negative, period.

...from Technologizer's study on the contentious Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) product and one observes some similarities -- a massive company pitching a flagship product that leaves many neutral, and a few vehemently negative, to the point where some were complaining that the innovative fire was gone from the product maker's eyes.

Windows Vista
Windows Vista was another iconic product to draw mixed reviews; yet it generated decent sales overall. [Image Source: FoxNews]

The Vista comparison isn't very flattering.  But remember, Vista sold 60 million copies in 7 months -- almost 30 million licenses per calendar quarter.  The lesson?  Even if Apple's product is as much of a dud as its strongest critics state, residual product loyalty and its massive sales machines will drive modest sales, much as similar factors at Microsoft helped move Vista licenses.

Sources: BBC News, CBS News, ZDNet, Technologizer [Vista Reviews]

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Same story every year
By TakinYourPoints on 9/13/2012 1:10:15 AM , Rating: -1
Same story every year. According to nerds/pundits, Apple releases the biggest tech fails/disappointments.

iPhone 3gs: Underwhelming -
iPhone 4: Biggest Tech fail of 2010 -
iPhone 4s: Biggest Tech disappointment of 2011 -

Now an iPhone 5 that blows away the 4S, which itself smokes the majority of newer smartphones out there, is a fail.

Either Apple has amazing luck that they're still in business with so many epic failures, or nerds/pundits still have no idea what makes a good product.

RE: Same story every year
By Fuzz1111 on 9/13/2012 3:04:05 AM , Rating: 2
I was thinking the same thing - the fact that the CPU and GPU are getting that much of a boost is amazing given the fact that the 4S was a long way ahead for quite some time (and even now not far behind the S3).

I'm not an apple fan but performance is not really something you can accuse them of neglecting.

The screen size is a different matter though - its an odd res and all I can think is that it won't be nice to 720P videos (other resolutions will be fine because they are scaling by a larger amount), that is unless they just crop/overscan.

RE: Same story every year
By Tony Swash on 9/13/12, Rating: -1
RE: Same story every year
By Rukkian on 9/13/2012 9:00:48 AM , Rating: 4
Tony - you are the person that cares about sales. Nobody else here cares. Will it sell, yes because there are plenty of sheeple. My wife is one of them. She has said numerous times she does not want anything else, and will not even try anything else. She wants apple, because it never changes.

The main issue most of us have with the limited improvements is that it did not raise the bar with that new functionality that would push others to innovate more. While I never thought Siri was more than a gimmick, havign it get attention lead to Google now, which is everything siri was and much, much more.

Apple will sell alot, great for you (if you have stock). I do not care how many sell, I do not go buy what everybody else buys, I do not feel the need to "convert" others to what I have. As a tech I try to recommend the best for a certain person in a certain circumstance. In some cases that is apple, some cases microsoft, and some even android.

I really detest the lawsuits in the industry and wish they would just stop. Apple seems to have been the biggest perpetrater of them, but now google is firing back, as will Samsung and Moto for 4g patents. It all needs to end.

RE: Same story every year
By degobah77 on 9/13/2012 10:33:43 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. I rarely post, only read, but no one here cares about sales or profit. Tech people only want to see the best on the merits of tech, not how a company can fool society with marketing tactics.

7-11 sells a lot of slurpees. I bet they make a huge profit with their slurpee machines.

RE: Same story every year
By TakinYourPoints on 9/14/2012 1:42:55 AM , Rating: 2
People would be freaking out here if an A15 went into the newest Android phone. The speed boost is going to be huge with the iPhone 5. All that best-in-class performance, 4G browse battery life, in something lighter and thinner than the model from last year is very impressive.

I don't know what people were expecting other than "lighter, thinner, faster, without compromising battery life".

It took until the S3 to finally edge out performance past the year-old 4S. This is one more big leapfrog in power for the iPhone here. When will others catch up by, next summer again?

RE: Same story every year
By Chaser on 9/14/2012 12:16:36 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know what people were expecting other than "lighter, thinner, faster, without compromising battery life".
Oh? Is that what they got with the 4S and all of apple's "cutting edge" iPhone features on prior models? And really, compared to the S3 the iPhone "needs" a speed boost.
So what will you do with your speed boost? Try new apps and features? :)

The SOC on the S3 combined with the lastest version of Android is silky smooth and quite capable. S3 owners are perfectly fine well past next summer.

RE: Same story every year
By Chaser on 9/13/2012 1:20:04 PM , Rating: 2
I rarely reply much less read what this troll posts while he wastes his time on this site.

But the yawning reception/reviews are coming from numerous respectable tech sites and also from the press. This big "announcement" about a phone that only plays catch up to the competition.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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