Rene Ritchie of iMore:
The “iPhone 5S” problem is the idea that Apple has become predictable coupled with the perception that the next big thing might just come from somewhere else.
Agreed. But it’s also important to remember that the lack of huge, sweeping changes every year is a strength in some ways as well. Ritchie hits on the economies of scale aspect. Another: consumers (and to some extent, developers) already know and understand what they’re going to get with the iPhone. With some of these other new devices, it’s a total crapshoot. It’s “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” versus “new”.
Of course, not changing things or adapting is a recipe for disaster long term. But it’s not really that Apple isn’t changing things, they’re just doing so methodically and sweating out the details as ticks lead to tocks.
I do definitely agree that it hurts Apple in some ways to be too predictable with release cycles. But I also think it would be a mistake to get too cute there. Release things when they’re done. Not too soon, not too late. Product perfection will always trumps timing.
Interesting. I don’t think it is hurting Apple to be predictable with release cycles, quite the contrary. If they were starting from scratch today, then maybe a more chaotic (or adaptive, call it what you want) approach would be preferred, but they are not. Just look at the backlash they got for releasing an iPad 4 so close to the iPad 3, destroying the shiny new thing in the minds of thousands of owners. I’ve read testimonies that people are “quitting Apple” because they can’t be trusted anymore, because they release a superior product earlier than expected.
The release cycles serve a purpose. Innovation won’t come on a yearly basis. And when the Next Big Thing do arrive, well it is a New Thing, so fuck release cycles anyway, right?