Apples most recent releases the iPhone 5 and iPad mini depicts a movement away from their previous willingness to innovate and capture new consumers. In fact, both these products demonstrate Apples complacency in the mobile market place and their reliance on maintaining their current users. These products are both good commercial performers and have the stereotypical build quality that the world associates with Apple. In fact both are highly competitive pieces of technology in terms of their physical specifications and performance with other devices but their existence shows an alarming trend for Apple Fan-boys.
Simply that Apple have begun to follow the lead of their competitors rather than provide the innovative leadership which brought them success with the original versions of the iPod, iPhone and eventually the iPad. In the case of the iPhone 5 the major change for consumers was a larger 4′ screen and a slimmer design. These changes were clearly following the lead of Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy which had already gained significant market share before the 5 was announced. In the same way Apple’s release of the iPad mini was reacting to the success of other small tablets in the market place like Amazon’s kindle line and other Android tablets.
Despite this both products have been successful and continue to add to Apple’s bottom-line. However, it would be interesting to know how many of these sales is due to the familiarity of IOS and existing costumers upgrading to the latest phone from an older model. this represents a logical reason to explain some of Apple’s more recent success as people familiar with an iPhone but not already iPad users could easily have considered purchasing the more affordable mini.
By no means is this doom and gloom but this strategy is unlikely to capture new uses for the Apple ecosystem and seems to focus on maintaining their existing costumer base with the expectation that they will buy new products when they are released. It’s obvious that these thoughts have been plaguing shareholders from the last 6 months of constant falls. After-all if the mobile industry has shown us anything it is that companies find it hard to stay on top for long. The clear example is Nokia which dominated the market as people went from snake to snake 2 and then Motorola made a dent with the V3 which introduced a bit of slick style to the game, even more recently RIM’s Blackberry had a clear advantage in the business sector and now has less than 3% of the market share.
Apple’s rumored upcoming releases could provide us with a statement of the company’s future direction. The much hyped iTV has been in the works for what seems like forever and the question is has the delay meant other companies have made the first move. Already smart TVs are becoming common place and the Xbox 360 is the most dominant living room accessory with 77 Million units sold compared to Apple TV’s 7 Million, while products have clear differences Microsoft are pushing the towards Steve Jobs vision of a single device in the living room with the up coming Xbox One. In this setting will the next big Apple release be an innovation or just a sheep.