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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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RE: Hardware upgrades, software stale
By messele on 9/13/2012 7:09:34 AM , Rating: 3
NFC is an 8 year old technology, is still riddled with security holes and these flaws will never be plugged as they are baked into the ill-thought out user procedure, among other things.

I'm happy that this was left out, same as I was happy that LTE was left out in the 4S as the chipsets were just not mature enough last year and I would never have been prepared to sacrifice battery life.

Anybody who wants all these features before they mature has plenty of options and there are loads of phone companies who will give you whatever you want but not without downsides.


RE: Hardware upgrades, software stale
By Chaser on 9/13/2012 1:13:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I was happy that LTE was left out in the 4S as the chipsets were just not mature enough last year and I would never have been prepared to sacrifice battery life.
The Galaxy S3's battery life is very good and quite livable with LTE. There was a time with "older" LTE/WiMax phones it was challenging.
quote:
Anybody who wants all these features before they mature has plenty of options and there are loads of phone companies who will give you whatever you want but not without downsides.
Only if you measure features from the altar of Apple. I'll go with the "loads of phone companies" that offer phones with somewhat current features like LTE, true nonfaux multitasking, removable/replaceable batteries, SD card capabilities and yes NFC all with reasonable battery life. Imagine that?


RE: Hardware upgrades, software stale
By retrospooty on 9/13/2012 4:09:25 PM , Rating: 2
Its funny the excuses Apple fans make for the lack of features. A larger than 3.5 inch screen isnt needed, 4G sucks too much battery, NFC isnt secure, SD card expansion is not needed, micro usb isnt needed, plug and play as a flash drive isnt needed, removable battries areent needed... None of the missing features are important until Apple catches up. then of course its revolutionary.


RE: Hardware upgrades, software stale
By messele on 9/14/2012 3:19:00 AM , Rating: 1
You can mock all you like, the things you list are clearly things that are important to you personally. Let me tell you about the overwhelming majority...

3.5" is fine for pretty much anything in a phone. People own laptops etc. if they need a monster screen. I've yet to see anything that can be done in 4.7" that cannot be done in 3.5"

4G DOES suck battery life and it was chronic up to the latest chipsets. You cannot seriously deny this.

That's right NFC isn't secure. And it's a bit slow. It's a big reason a lot of organisations (London Transport for example) have shunned it. Once we reach critical mass then you will see what the whole security issue is about. Even touch-less credit cards are already being ripped off from people brushing past wallets.

Micro USB is fine but try docking a heavy phone levering on that puny, badly designed port. Doesn't last very long, does it? Devices designed to dock need something a bit better engineered.

Removable storage is wonderful for about 5% of people. The other 95% buy one card and never remove it again. Digital cameras etc. were exactly the same for the last 15 years or so.

Removable batteries are not needed. Well designed hardware that doesn't suck the life out of the battery and great battery technology is what's needed. Also a shitty OS that doesn't crash every day necessitating removable of the battery to kill it helps...


By retrospooty on 9/14/2012 8:56:28 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, you really are full of excuses.

"3.5" is fine for pretty much anything in a phone."

Yet even Apple was forced to go higher becasue everyone wants larger.

"I've yet to see anything that can be done in 4.7" that cannot be done in 3.5"

Games and movies/video suck on 3.5, especially on the iPhone with 2:3 ratio.

"4G DOES suck battery life and it was chronic up to the latest chipsets. You cannot seriously deny this."

Yet every other manufacturer figured out how to make it work.

"That's right NFC isn't secure. And it's a bit slow."

It is what is happening, it is the standard of transactions to come. Apple WILL have to support it. I am sure when they do your tune will magically change.

"Micro USB is fine but try docking a heavy phone levering on that puny, badly designed port. "
Its about being compatible with every other charger on planet Earth. Dock? WTF toy are you playing with. LOL.

"Removable storage is wonderful for about 5% of people. The other 95% buy one card and never remove it again"
I agree and I am one of those 95%... However with iPhone you cant put in your one and keep it. You dont have the option.

"Removable batteries are not needed. "
LOL, lame excuses all of them. Not needed by you. Those of us with jobs and that travel are often away from the charger for long periods and options to A) get a replacement battery or B) get a larger 3dr party battery are invaluable.

Excuses Excuses Excuses. Enjoy your "starter phone"


RE: Hardware upgrades, software stale
By tayb on 9/13/2012 6:32:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The Galaxy S3's battery life is very good and quite livable with LTE. There was a time with "older" LTE/WiMax phones it was challenging.


That's a bit unfair. The iPhone 4S was released September 2011 while the Galaxy S3 was released July 2012. I can't recall phones released in the same Sep '11 time period but I do remember the HTC Thunderbolt spring '11 that managed about 2.5 hours of 4G web browsing so the battery life comment isn't completely bogus.


RE: Hardware upgrades, software stale
By TakinYourPoints on 9/14/2012 1:51:23 AM , Rating: 2
There's that, plus the fact that most Android handsets got around the LTE battery life issue by increasing the size of the phones (and consequently their screens) to fit in bigger batteries so that they didn't drain out in only four hours.

An LTE chip in a 2011 iPhone 4S would have resulted in half the battery life of the iPhone 4. The alternative solution would be to increase the size of the chassis to accommodate a larger battery. Neither are acceptable, so they waited until more efficient LTE chips were available.

Qualcomm's 28nm LTE chip released this year fit the bill perfectly and surprise, LTE is in there now, all along with a lighter/thinner chassis and the same battery life as before. Great, people will be happy that their iPhones are faster and last all day, all that's important.


By TakinYourPoints on 9/14/2012 1:56:09 AM , Rating: 2
Just look at which smartphone has the best 4G talk time of any device out there, it is the RAZR MAXX with its HUGE battery.


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