Is Apple Lacking Innovation?

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s that time again. Rainy Season? No. Summative week? Not quite right either. A new $1000 slab of technological innovation marketed by Apple? Yes!

As the unfunny joke before this suggests, a new iPhone has come out. Three, actually. This probably isn’t news anymore by the time I finish writing. Either way, a new year, a new iPhone. It’s an ongoing tradition to see your brand spanking new phone be outdated after only a year ago, you spent a grand total of 40,000 baht on it. What a shame.

Before recent times, though, people actually considered upgrading iPhones every year or two. People actually saw the difference between each iPhone and its’ predecessor. This article details why we don’t see the difference from last year’s phone anymore, and why Apple is lacking so severely in the innovation department.

I hear the same argument from everyone, from consumers to established reviewers such as MKBHD or Lew from Unbox Therapy every day. “Android’s innovating”, “Apple is 3 years behind”, “Apple is ripping us off” and I can’t help but agree. The quintessential differences between an iPhone 4 and an iPhone 5 were the screen size, construction, camera, processor and many more additions, that’s precisely why people want to upgrade to something better. Differences. The iPhone 5 fixed the problems the iPhone 4 had, such as AntennaGate (regular cellular disconnects stemming from hardware). The glass back was also removed in favor of an Aluminum one, for more durability and strength to impact.

Now contrast this with the iPhone X and iPhone 11. The most riveting problem regarding this phone was the notch or chin. The little bar that bars this phone from a full display aesthetic. Did Apple fix this in the 11? No. The other riveting problems include, but are not limited to, the fragile glass back, the lack of RAM, the recurrences of glitching on the OLED panels Apple uses, and the extreme cost of repairing any part of the phone. None of it was solved in this new iteration.

So what did apple add, exactly? Well, you’ve got the third wide-angle lens in addition to the already powerful Dual Camera setup, an A13 processor, advertised as being 50% faster than the A12, and a gigabyte more RAM. This helps the phone run smoother, even without external differences, the innards are still worked on and each iteration is better than the last. The cameras are also being raved as some of the very best on the market by many tech YouTubers and consumers alike, which begs the question,

Is apple truly lacking innovation?

Yes, and No. It depends on how you look at it. If you’re a feature-oriented person, you may find that it lacks innovation beyond an added lens. Or a tech spaz like me, who cares about the raw numbers that the processor can crunch, we can see that Apple has massively boosted the innards of this phone so that it can do much more than its’ predecessors.

In my view, the definition of “innovation”, as we know, has changed within Apple, and it’s changing for the worse. But how you see this data is up to you to judge. If you want to buy it, that’s up to you, but if you don’t, that’s fine too, but one thing is for sure, innovation is still happening.

(but hey, I agree that none of those phones should cost 1000$. Insane pricing)


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