The iPhone has grown stale and old.  So how do you reinvigorate a product that lead a mobile revolution and is now the corporate cash cow?

If we look to Microsoft, their approach to this problem was to simply copy whatever innovator was getting market traction.  Not just Internet Explorer imitating Netscape, but even, maybe especially during MS-DOS days when  smartdrv replaced PC-Kwik as a disk cache and the Mace Utilities disk defragger was replaced by Microsoft’s own.  Imitating successful market leaders is virtually in Microsoft’s DNA.

We always expected Apple to be different.  We always wanted Apple’s definition of a new product, not a rehash of other companies successes.  However it’s pretty clear from today’s Apple event that Apple, for the time being, has run out of ideas.  So borrowing the oft-used strategy from Microsoft and other large companies, Apple has imitated the mobile tech innovators.

Today Apple introduced the 4.7 inch screen-sized iPhone 6 and the 5.5 inch screen-sized iPhone 6 Plus phablet.  Clearly these are aimed to be direct competitors to the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Samsung Galaxy Note phablet.  What was striking was how much of analyst predictions came true:

  1. Two new iPhone models. Check.
  2. Bigger screen sizes.  Check.
  3. One 4.7 inch screen and one 5.5 inch screen.  Check.
  4. NFC.  Check.
  5. New smartwatch.  Check.

Since Apple manufactures in Asia and really since Apple manufactures so many units, it’s pretty neigh impossible to keep a lid on what’s in the new products coming down the pike.  The only thing analysts flubbed was the inclusion of sapphire glass which is not on the new iPhone 6, but is on the new Apple Watch.

When I look over the new offerings from Apple I don’t see any reason an iPhone 5 user would upgrade or an Android user would switch.  You can get all of these features on your Samsung, LG or HTC phone or Galaxy Gear or Moto smartwatch.  So to me this looks like just treading water in the marketplace.  I don’t see any respite from the relentless increase in Android smartphone marketshare (now up to 85% as reported here).

The new Apple products will keep existing Apple users however, so I don’t see much downside either.  I guess we can’t get a revolution every year from Apple.   We’ve gotten spoiled by the four recent Apple revolutions:

  1. Macintosh computer in 1984 (okay not so recent).
  2. iPod in 2001.
  3. iPhone in 2007.
  4. iPad in 2010.

I just don’t see 2014 being remembered for the Apple Watch.  It MIGHT be remembered for the introduction of Near Field Communication mobile payments that really worked, but it’s too early to tell if that will work out.  The NFC payments in iPhone 6 will be the potential game changer to keep an eye on.  If it does take off then every marketeer will be sending coupons through Apple iTunes.

For a price.

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