Over the lifetime of the iPhone there has been a very obvious pattern. First we get an awesome and completely new iPhone, then we get an iPhone that is the same phone with a bit more oomph. I guess I can’t complain about this pattern as my cell phone contract is for 2 years and I don’t miss out much when the “S” iteration comes out. Still, wouldn’t it be cool if Apple surprised us with some crazy hardware update that was completely out of the blue? Instead, we get the same thing: Better processor, better screen, and a better camera. How much more can we honestly expect them to add to the hardware though? Innovation was easy in the beginning, but now incremental changes are harder from an engineering standpoint. As awe inspiring hardware changes get more expensive to engineer, Apple will continue to rely on selling hardware with software features.
I honestly believe that missed sales expectations has more to do with iOS then it does with the iPhone 5 hardware. The hardware is amazing: Twice as fast, way thinner, way lighter, a fantastic camera, a bigger screen, and it looks good too. The problem is, when you turn it on you are faced with nearly the same screen you saw on the first iPhone. It’s a new phone but it doesn’t feel new. iOS is not fresh anymore. People like change from time to time and many are switching to the competition to get it. Now that the competition is actually creating competitive hardware, Apple needs to focus more on the most unique and enjoyable part of their devices: The Software. iOS needs some love. Jony Ivy to the rescue!
As mentioned previously on this blog, iOS 6 was more a benefit to Apple than it was a benefit to the customer. The goal of iOS 6 for Apple was to remove dependency on Google. Now that they are over this hump they can get back to pleasing the customers. With Jony Ivy is in charge of design, there is a good chance the styling of iOS could change substantially. The question is whether or not they will put much effort into adding some more features such as widgets and better app integration. A newly designed iOS could also be a great addition to the rumored Apple television as well.
While the new hardware won’t surprise anyone, iOS might. It has been 6 years since the first iPhone and a refresh has not happened yet. Now is the time to change things up a bit and the new strategy without Forstall suggest that Apple is on the same page. I am alone when I say I will be severely disappointed with Apple if they don’t give us something worthwhile in iOS 7.Joe Hoffman