Ramblings about startups, cellular, entrepreneurship, tech, & the future!

Was the Apple launch the non-event of the year?

One year after I moved from iPhone to an Android phone, Apple just announced their new lineup of shiny gadgets.  Was it enough to convert me back to the Apple fanboy I was once?

 

Not quite.

Apple’s launch event yesterday was, dare I say, rather boring.  Even though Apple products continue to look sexy, they also continue to underwhelm.

The new Apple Watch is great.  Unless you want something that will last more than one day, help you track your sleep, or can show you the time without you having to lift your wrist.  Yes it can now run a medical-grade ECG (in some countries) but how many people need an ECG-reader on their wrists?  While Garmin continues to pack additional sensors and days-long battery life into its flagship Fenix 5, Apple has simply offered a thinner version of the Apple Watch 3 with a bigger screen.

And the changes weren’t much more exciting when it comes to the iPhone. Although the ‘s’ model iPhones are usually evolutionary rather than a revolutionary, there has always been some kind of ‘wow’ factor that would entice you to upgrade (or at least make you think about it).  Yet these new iPhones don’t offer anything substantially different to the previous iPhone X model.  All you basically get is a better, faster processor which doesn’t matter to 99% of users.  You gain a bigger screen and bigger battery in the iPhone XS Max (whose large name matches its large screen), but my guess is you’ll still need to walk around leashed to your charger.  Plus the screen is a bit too big for my tastes (the iPhone Xs screen is already as big as the iPhone Plus screens used to be).

Apple, there may still be hope for you yet.  Just take a look at my wishlist for the next iPhone below and make some of my dreams comes true.

  • Wish 1: Multi-day battery life. Batteries on all smartphone are still dismal. There are some exciting new technologies available in the battery space, but none have been introduced to mainstream consumer technology yet.
  • Wish 2: An indestructible phone. It’s just ridiculous that you spend a thousand dollars on a phone and then either put a cover on it immediately (which hides most of the shiny glass you paid so much for) or you risk dropping it once and smashing the thing to pieces. Apple could, and should, focus their innovation machine on finding better materials to protect their hardware.
  • Wish 3: Integrated AirPods. I don’t know exactly how this would work, but imagine being able to detach a small AirPod-like device from within your phone, put it in your ear and chat away.  The phone could also charge the ear-peace when it’s not being used.  As each year passes, we get closer and closer to a technology like this becoming available and I look forward to when someone (Samsung? Apple?) making this happen.

Spending nearly 2 hours watching Apple’s theatrical performances reminded me how much the tech-world has really lost with the passing of Steve Jobs.  He may be proud of the exorbitant price points of the new iPhones (with the top-of-the-range phone selling for $1,449), but he would have been disappointed with the mess of a product range that Apple now offer.  Jobs and his laser-like focus would never have allowed the product range to multiply with so many different models of iPhones, with such confusing names, now on offer (there are 36 different phone models to choose from when you consider all the color and capacity options of the three new phones announced) . Jobs would also continue to push the envelope and innovate, offering at least something to make your jaw drop in every presentation.

Apple may be the most valuable company in the world and may have sold 41.3 million iPhones in the last quarter alone, but if they would like to rekindle some of their once-mystical magic, they better start pulling some rabbits out of some hats soon.


Also published on Medium.

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