The 5C makes all the business sense in the world, it has Tim Cook’s operational experience written all over it – razor sharp manufacturing efficiency from re-tooling last year’s parts. Split product lines in order to maximum market appeal. Ballmer believed the same – when you’re onto a good thing, squeeze it for all it’s worth.
Unfortunately, refinement only goes so far, the bigger picture is one of a blind man swinging wildly, hoping something will stick. When the big, truly revolutionary ideas stop, a company like Apple evidently turns to the minor details – serving up specs (which they not long ago declared an act of irrelevance) and turning to gloss/colour as a stop gap.
Nearly everybody I know who uses an iPhone has been asking for a bigger screen and/or more app freedom/functionality. Nobody has been crying out for a fingerprint sensor or 64-bit architecture (which is mostly irrelevant on a device with 2GB of RAM anyway).
Even though I don’t entire agree with this line of reasoning – that pointless glitter is a symptom of stagnation, I do agree that the vast majority of innovation comes from third parties. The basic set of apps included or the underlying OS is rarely regarded as anything more than basic tools, or a platform to build functionality upon.
To that end, the capabilities of apps, which each user specifically chooses to their exacting needs, is limited by the platform, ecosystem and security policy that it’s been given. We can already see that with open slates like Chromecast and Glass, on a platform which isn’t suffocated by restrictions, provide a glimpse to what can be done.
As to the author’s original point about iOS, change for change’s sake is pointless. There must be a reason for change, in this case, aesthetic change should be for improved usability or functionality, not just to try to make things seem ‘fresh’.
“And without question, the real innovation now happens in the Android ecosystem. Smartphone functionality has matured to the point of saturation, and real progress can only be made in Internet-based services that integrate seamlessly with a smartphone OS. Google’s superiority in information services and Android’s general openness are perfect for that. I’m not an Apple fanboy, I’m a fanboy of great products. And as much as I hate to see Apple lose its lead, it’s time to switch.”