Apple released the newest iPhone yesterday and well, you’ve probably have read by now that it definitely fell short of the expectations. The last decade of Steve Jobs-led innovation have given the tech giant a reputation for radically redesigning their products on an annual basis and yesterday’s announcement was supposed to be no different.
Unfortunately for consumers and shareholders alike, the iPhone 4S is basically a beefed up version of its predecessor. While it’s exterior is virtually identical, the insides have been given a make over and it now sports all the latest and greatest specs. So why did it get a lukewarm reception then?
The first and most glaring hole in the phone is that it doesn’t have 4G LTE data support. That alone instantly gives its Android competition the advantage because Google’s latest generation of phones all come with comparable hardware, leveling that playing field. Additionally, none of the software enhancements scream improvement or entertainment. For the most part, features like Cards and Siri will end up being gimmicky selling points that will collect virtual dust and cobwebs in one corner of the phone. Worse still, by the time buyer can upgrade, they will have been using something that looks exactly the same as the model that came out three years prior.
So yes, in the short term the iPhone 4S is a small snag in the lineup of otherwise stellar products, but it does raise some very conspicuous red flags. It’s no secret that former CEO and primary visionary Steve Jobs has been away from the company for almost all of this year, meaning the phone was largely designed in his absence. What’s also well known is that when Jobs was fired from Apple in 1985, the company immediately regressed into a stagnant mess that was on the brink of folding, before bringing him back in 1996 and subsequently leading into the Golden Age of the 2000s. That brings up the question: is Apple as a company already suffering from the loss of their former, long-time leader?
Just from casual observations, I’d stack my chips on yes. Judging from yesterday’s substandard product upgrades, it would indeed seem like they’ve gone into cruise control, at least temporarily (or so I hope). Apple’s competition smells blood and there’s no doubt Google and Microsoft are going to take complete advantage of this hiccup.
But of course, Apple is still comfortably occupies on the throne and there’s a long, long way to go before their reign can even begin to be threatened. However, in a few years, if the bumps in the road become a trend and the company does start to regress, October 4, 2011 will definitely be the day that changed everything.