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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 10:13:42 AM , Rating: 2
You simply cannot use terms like 'fast lens' and 'great sensor' when talking about the cameras on phones. You just can't. The best you can say is 'somewhat less horrible', but never infer any ability that goes beyond 'casual picture taking'.


By foolsgambit11 on 9/13/2012 7:31:33 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know, I'm constantly depressed when I try using an iPhone camera after using my Galaxy Nexus. The photo quality is pretty close (maybe Apple has the edge) but the responsiveness of the camera is miles apart.


"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg














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