Apple's Next-Gen iPhone will Introduce Real Innovations despite the Snarky Commentary from the Mainstream Press
When Apple launches its much-anticipated 10th anniversary iPhone this fall, it's expected to include new features such as high-resolution displays, wireless charging and 3-D sensors. Rather than representing major breakthroughs, however, most of the innovations have been available in competing phones for several years. Apple's competition has shown that they could innovate faster than they can at times, a sign that the smartphone industry is maturing.
A new Reuters report today claims that "Apple's relatively slow adoption of new features both reflects and reinforces the fact smartphone customers are holding onto their phones longer. Timothy Arcuri, an analyst at Cowen & Co, believes upwards of 40 percent of iPhones on the market are more than two years old, a historical high.
That is a big reason why investors have driven Apple shares to an all-time high. There is pent-up demand for a new iPhone, even if it does not offer breakthrough technologies.
It is not clear whether Apple deliberately held off on packing some of the new features into the current iPhone 7, which has been criticized for a lack of differentiation from its predecessor.
Still, the development and roll-out of the anniversary iPhone suggest Apple's product strategy is driven less by technological innovation than by consumer upgrade cycles and Apple's own business and marketing needs.
'"When a market gets saturated, the growth is all about refresh,' said Bob O'Donnell of Technalysis Research."This is exactly what happened to PCs. It's exactly what happened to tablets. It's starting to happen to smartphones.'"
Despite Apple's new line-up of features such as a high-end OLED display, wireless charging and 3D sensors, don't expect to see a radical new iPhone design as once thought, according to analysts.
Reuters also noted that "Some analysts also speculate the company could remove the phone's home button, placing it and a fingerprint sensor beneath the front display glass, based on patents the company has filed."
In fact a new Apple patent on this surfaced today. Of course Apple introduced Touch ID beneath the OLED display of the new MacBook Touch Bar, so it's already a proven methodology we could expect to see this fall expand to the OLED based iPhone.
In the big picture, the mainstream press has missed the boat again on what innovation really is at times. Apple will likely introduce the next generation of 3D Touch and that's way ahead of their completion. Touch ID beneath the display will be an original innovation even if their competitors are now scrambling to beat Apple to market.
Apple may appear to be slower, but they have been proven countless times to have patents for new technologies that date back some 5 to 10 years while their competitors scoop up these ideas and run with them half-cocked.
The Microsoft Surface Book was an idea of Apple's since 2011, years before Microsoft delivered one. Apple had been working on an advanced smartpen (Apple Pencil) since at least 2008. Apple worked long and hard to deliver a pen that had little to no latency, a problem that most if not all other competing smartpens have.
So the impression from Reuters that Apple is somehow copying ideas that others have introduced first to market is a bit of a hack. It's not always the case at all. Apple works on inventions for a lengthy period of time and works on many angles and accompanying software that competitors don't bother doing at all.
When Apple introduced Apple Pay, Google had a digital wallet out for years that most of the world simply ignored and didn't trust. Apple Pay on the other hand was a hit with Apple fans on day one and Apple has led the way on digital wallets ever since.
Apple Pay is such a hit and threat that the Financial Tech industry in Australia and South Korea are fighting Apple tooth and nail because Apple Pay is killing their business. They fell asleep in the market and couldn't make their respective digital wallets a reality and they're now trying to get their respective governments to force Apple to open up Apple Pay's API's.
So in context, most competitors come out with some innovations ahead of Apple, but it doesn't ever mean that Apple is copying them. They're always working on leading edge technologies and only release them when they're ready. That's a huge difference the mainstream press and lazy Wall Street analysts always overlook because it actually takes a little research to find that out. Most are too busy trying to manipulate the market towards their chosen stocks for gain; it's a joke.
So when Apple launches their anniversary iPhone this fall, real Apple fans will know that they're incorporating original technology and innovations that they've been working on for years while the mainstream press will lazily report that Apple is just copying Android competitors. It's an old story that never goes away.
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