Apple, you disappoint me. Since when is it OK to thoroughly bore your customers to death? The recent “amazing” announcement of their next round of phones, 5S and 5C, was toted as being a game-changer and incredible. Really people? Apple used to be the innovator of innovators, especially when they propelled the smartphone world into chaos with the iPhone. They also changed the game with the iPad… tables are still a new innovation people!
They’ve done great things for the technology industry, but perhaps that is the albatross around their neck. The pressures to innovate, be better and better, increase stock value, etc. may have driven them to the brink of being nearly obsolete. Seriously, you upgrade the camera and make a phone “faster” and expect consumers to jump all over it? I also blame Apple for creating this annual product release that drives people into a frenzy. The Samsung Galaxy S4 just came out, and yet they’ve already started a rumor mill about the S5. Why the heck would I want to buy a phone that becomes obsolete just weeks after it’s purchased!? It’s just wrong.
Apple is taking its power position for granted, although they certainly aren’t the only ones. Samsung gets lumped into the category of innovating in unimpressionable ways, although they’ve had a more monumental impact than Apple has in their product category. I want devices that change my life, not simply offer me something faster and “better” just for the sake of. I don’t give a crap that the new iPhone does 64 bit processing. Does that really change the function of the phone? Not yet. And don’t get me started on Siri… talk about an overrated feature! It’s a great idea on paper and sounds good in theory but Apple still hasn’t gotten it right. At least Google’s version works 80% of the time…
And what the heck, WHO CARES THAT IT COMES IN GOLD OR OTHER BRIGHT COLORS!?! Are you freaking kidding me!? It doesn’t bring new, futuristic features, it certainly can’t compete toe to toe with the Android powerhouses, and really, it leaves more to be desired than fulfilled. Changing the color just seems to signal that they’ve given up on creating new and amazing things. I’m so, so glad that I got off of the Apple train while I could. But look out, it has a fingerprint reader… ooooh. Uh, really?! Why the heck would I even want a fingerprint reader on my PHONE!? Are you really keeping confidential, military documents just waiting to be leaked to the interwebs on your phone? And I’m not the only one disappointed with Apple’s new toy… http://cnettv.cnet.com/iphone-5s-disappointments/9742-1_53-50155034.html. I’m still not even sold on the tablet industry as a whole. It’s great for email… it’s “cool” for games and YouTube but are those productivity items or just overly expensive toys? I have yet to be convinced.
Granted, Apple isn’t the only culprit but they’re so easy to pick on. In my post-MBA world, I spend a great deal of time thinking on the impacts of things. What are the impacts of my purchasing decisions? If I recommend products to people, who does that really affect? What did purchasing a Subaru impact downstream in the economy? How does my commute change the game for gas stations? If I’m competing with outsourced employees, how can I get better at my job to keep it secure? What happens if I start investing in organic foods instead of the garbage we usually get? The list goes on and on…
Capitalism is the ultimate machine for weeding out the waste from the gold mines, and these technology companies need to be careful as the market tightens and becomes more relentless. You can’t just live on a prayer anymore, you need to provide products that astound, amaze, change the game, offer something new, or just provide real, genuine value.
I finally ditched my old iPhone 4 for the HTC One. The thing is a beauty! Massive screen, crisp colors, and a speedy processor that continually makes it more embarrassing for me to admit that it took so long to ditch my prior phone. However, I refuse to run out and buy the HTC One 2, (if that is what they deem an appropriate name), just because it’s coming out sometime before my phone contract expires.
I understand technology moves at the speed of light, it just seems like the consumer base is becoming more and more OK with blasé changes and an apathetic approach to being amazing. Sounds kind of like our politicians…
The further I get into the professional world and away from the undergrad years, the more I realize how common being unimpressive is. It’s frankly disturbing. People should strive to always be a standout in at least one area if not more. I’ve ranted about being spectacular, a cut above the rest, etc. many, many times, but today it rings ever more true. Go read The World is Flat and tell me it doesn’t rattle you to the core at how unimpressive we all can be.
Happy Hump Day!