The title of this post is a completely theoretical headline, but it is a headline I would like to be true. While most of us a reasonably happy with the new iPhone 5 it seems that the general sentiment is that the iOS look and feel is starting to bore us. The other issue is the rumors were so spot on that there really wasn’t any surprise. Everything that happened to the iPhone 5 was predictable. Predictable isn’t exciting. Moreover, Competitors have caught up in a lot of ways and in some cases surpassed the iPhone.
I think the biggest reasons Apple fanatics cling solely to iPhone is based mostly on iOS and the Apple ecosystem. iOS was easy to use and it “Just Worked”. With the release of iOS 6 , Apple has lost some traction on that last statement. iOS 6 comes with some nice flash and a lot of familiarity but it doesn’t “Just Work” when it comes to Maps. Unfortunately for Apple, customers seem to care a lot more about maps than they would like right now. Most of these things will likely be fixed and addressed in due time as new software bugs are are inevitable. The problem is, People were generally happy with the Google maps with the exception of turn by turn. Now we like the turn by turn addition, but we don’t entirely trust them yet. As a committed iPhone user, these bugs don’t bother me as much as the somewhat antiquated look of iOS. I feel like I’ve been using the same phone for 10 years. It works great and I agree with the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mantra, but I like a change every once in a while too.
Fortunately, the group sentiment seems to agree as iOS 6 user satisfaction is down from when iOS 5 was released. This kind of hint is something I think Apple will notice. iPhone 6 will probably get a nice iOS refresh and hopefully we’ll get it with the iPhone 5s.
Looking at the trends of iOS releases, Apple releases a new revision of iOS every year. I think it is likely iOS 7 will get a good refresh but I’m guessing Apple will focus on fixing issues for that revision more than a complete redesign. Therefore, I think iOS 8 will be a good candidate for complete iOS refresh. A refresh could be a good move to bolster iPhone sales by the 5s release date however.
As far as the iPhone 6, I think Apple will take note of the rumors and features that people are complaining about. People seem to want wireless charging, better battery life, and a bigger screen. These are all things that are predictable and will very likely show up. I think Apple will surprise us with the iPhone 6 though. They will introduce one feature, either software or hardware that will wow us. Something as groundbreaking as the Retina display was with the iPhone 4 release. Apple needs to surprise us to keep their well respected image of innovation.Joe Hoffman