Innovating the iPhone

I’m kinda getting tired of two arguments:

  1. Apple isn’t innovating with the iPhone
  2. Apple didn’t add NFC because it isn’t ready

Here’s the thing, making something smaller while improving performance doesn’t happen on its own. Apple’s first innovation is to be able to fit a 4" screen in a phone that’s barely 10mm longer than the previous one. The iPhone 4S hits the sweet spot in terms of form factor. The Lumia 900 for comparison feels heavy and uncomfortably huge. iPhone 5 in black looks gorgeous.

And stop comparing iPhone launches to the original iPhone launch. For one, that phone lacked most of the commonly available features, much like today’s iPhone 5; second, we saw the software and hardware announced on the same day–it was a double whammy. Apple wasn’t the first company to use a capacitive screen, they weren’t the first ones to do a touch screen phone, but what they showed was a good combination of hardware and software with some compromises.

We already knew pretty much everything about iOS 6, that effectively kills 50% of the intrigue. If Apple was to unveil their Maps, Passbook, Shared Stream, and the Geofencing features, we would’ve been hailing this as the best Apple event ever.

Apple has been innovating, you just don’t realize it. Innovate doesn’t have to be the first at anything, Apple never has been. Innovate also means finding better ways of doing things, ways that others haven’t.

Coming to NFC, Schiller says they don’t see a problem that NFC addresses, and I think that is a legitimate answer. However, we know Apple for being a disruptive company. They do things that invigorate enthusiasm in a market, for example music, books, education, ecommerce. Unfortunately Apple is waiting for NFC to be more mainstream. Schiller doesn’t believe that adding NFC to the iPhone 5 would’ve helped eliminate the need of a 30 to 9 pin converter. Schiller doesn’t believe NFC can make sharing between phones easy. Or maybe Schiller doesn’t think that Apple could get retailers to jump on the NFC bandwagon as a payment option working with Passbook.

Whatever the case, with NFC, Apple decided not to push boundaries. Saying Apple wants to do it right is a lame excuse.


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