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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: It's About Iterating, Not Re-Inventing
By mcnabney on 9/13/2012 10:09:30 AM , Rating: 2
No, it is 640 because the iOS platform requires it. Apple is not resolution independent like Android is. iPhone 5 users will actually see black bars on the side when running most apps that weren't rewritten for the new resolution.

RE: It's About Iterating, Not Re-Inventing
By othercents on 9/13/2012 12:38:45 PM , Rating: 2
What Apple has done well is getting all applications to run across all the phone models smoothly. I rarely have a complaint about application performance on the iPhone or iPad like I have on my android devices or WP7. However what other competitors have done well is the home screen interface. Creating an interactive interface would do wonders for the iPhone. Apple did well adding the notification center, however I don't think it is enough to capture business users or those interested in social networking capabilities.

The interactive interface is why I switched to WP7. Since I was always launching Twitter and Facebook the integration was more important to me than the loss of the Apple App Store.


RE: It's About Iterating, Not Re-Inventing
By jimbojimbo on 9/14/2012 12:55:10 AM , Rating: 2
You do know Android had the notifications LOOONG before Apple put it in right? You do also realize that older apps on the iPhone5 will have letterboxes along the top and bottom right? How is that doing well getting all the applications to run across all the models?

By othercents on 9/17/2012 9:23:39 AM , Rating: 2
Yes I know Android had notifications first because I own 5 or 6 Android devices, however it doesn't matter what was, but was is and right now I like the iPhone's implementation of the notifications better than the Androids which is still much better than the WP7 notifications. I also like the lock screen notifications that iPhone provides which in my opinion is much better than the Android version.

Yes, I understand letterboxes and I also understand that developers will need to update their software for the new platform. This is all part of being a software developer and I don't understand why anyone would choose this as an argument point. Do you know that the same things happens on Android devices too? You know if you watch older TV shows on your HD screen there are letter boxes? In my opinion this isn't a big deal since gameplay or quality of the app should overriding decision made on purchasing an app, not if it fits across the whole screen.

Getting applications to run "well" on all models is a plus for Apple especially since their competitor has issues with doing the same. When I recommend phones to people I take this into account since the people asking my advice definitely are not technically savvy and they keep phones for a really long time. In most cases I can't even download some applications from Google Play since my devices isn't supported. I haven't seen this issue on the iPhones and typically on the iPhone the games will adjust to the screen and processing power to give you the best experience. Most of the applications in Google Play that are introduced with the top end devices don't work with the previous generation or if they do they crash all the time.

NOTE: I won't purchase another iPhone unless they put in a smart screen that can integrate the messaging and social aspects of the phone, however I still recommend it to some people. Everything I have stated above is my experience with my devices which are numerous different iPhone, Android, WebOS, etc...

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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