iPhone 5: Gorgeous Hardware, Outdated Interface and Declining Services?
Today is the annual iPhone appreciation day. Lots, if not millions of people worldwide get their new, shiny devices. Designed by Apple in California, assembled in China. The launch of a new iPhone has grown into a phenomenon of pop culture. But what is this buzz all about? Is it still the hardware that matters?
Today is the annual iPhone appreciation day. Lots, if not millions of people worldwide get their new, shiny devices. Designed by Apple in California, assembled in China. The launch of a new iPhone has grown into a phenomenon of pop culture.
But what is this buzz all about? Is it still the hardware that matters? It’s not, as Chris Gardner argues:
What Apple has failed to understand, but its competitors have banked on, is that the smartphone market is not about swish hardware any more, but the device’s software and how easy it is to both use and customise to make the phone yours.
The iPhone hardware itself obviously follows the trend towards lighter, thinner and faster devices – infinitesimal, these gadgets will become invisible. But to get as close to that goal as possible, the key is no longer hardware but software. It’s the interface that matters.
iOS 6, Apple’s latest iteration of its mobile operating system, launched this week but didn’t deliver much innovation in this regard – the interface still looks more or less the same as back in 2007 when the first iPhone appeared. And there isn’t much users can do to customise the interface, complains Owen Williams:
Apple has not addressed the one thing that’s always bothered me about iOS. The iPhone just isn’t personal. It doesn’t know me and allow me to adjust it to make it my personal phone. I don’t think they understand that their end users aren’t a big faceless group of people.
Owen touts Windows Phone 8 and its “live tiles” interface as the current best practice.
The thing is, Microsoft gets it. They’re completely right. Live tiles actually do make the technology disappear.
This means, if we follow Owen, there is one example of an interface that comes close to that nifty goal of invisible technology. And it’s not from Apple.
Now add to this mix the disaster with the switch from Google Maps to Apple’s own maps. What we now get is a picture with gorgeous hardware, an increasingly outdated interface and a service experience that is even declining.
But I think that’s how tech pundits view the world. On the consumer end of the spectrum, things are completely different. These days, consumers view Apple products as a safe buy, make no mistake.
The average consumer trusts Apple to sort things out for them. They expect Cupertino to present them with an updated interface and better services when they are ready. Or, in the case of services, leave that to the (app) market. Expect the return of Google Maps to the iPhone soon.
Photo: Blake Patterson, License