When Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone, the world marveled at its impressive specs. At the time, lined up against an array of its competitors, the device stood out. Apple’s bold decision to ignore the trend of plastic keyboards in favor of a 3.5 inch screen set the iPhone apart from the rest of the competition. Apple’s slogan for this revolutionary product, “Apple reinvents the phone,” reflects its innovation. Recently, however, newer generations of iPhones seem to have failed to reinvent themselves. Sorry to break it to you, Apple, but a third camera is not an innovation.
From that first iPhone’s release in 2007, the company has made great strides. Originally, the iPhone had a maximum storage of 16 GB, today, the iPhone 13 has reached a maximum storage of 1TB, which marks a 62.5 times increase. Another measure of the improvements of the last decade and a half would be the screen to body ratio skyrocketing from 52% to 86%.
In today’s market, a comparison between a cheap $120 off-brand smartphone, for instance, and a $1,000 iPhone 13 pro yields relatively few differences for the consumer. For $120, an Oukitel C21 offers more than 3 rear cameras and a near full screen product. To be fair, though, the iOS stands miles ahead of the Android OS running on Oukitel’s budget device. The point this comparison seeks to make is that while technology has gotten cheaper over time, the iPhone has failed to match that trend, even while competitors do so.
Another reason for Apple’s problems is not their inability to design great products, but rather the fact that most improvements that are yet to be made just do not matter to the average consumer. Each year as the camera keeps getting better, for example, the number of buyers that improvement is a priority for – falls. It is possible that the iPhone has already converged between excellence and efficiency, leaving little room to grow. Reaching this peak, one could argue, is not necessarily bad, after all some products reach a point where they no longer need to be redesigned, like the paper clip.
While the iPhone still remains an attractive product to users, Apple needs to re-evaluate its redesign strategy to prioritize more widely felt changes than an even better or high number of cameras. In order for Apple to continue its success, they must either improve the technology or their prices.