Are Apple still an innovative company or are we buying into the brand?
10 October 2019

Technology has rapidly grown in recent years and Apple is still one of the biggest names on the market. Most of us have or currently own an Apple product. But are the Apple products of 2019 still the new and innovative tech we saw announced 10-20 years ago or are we just so brand loyal we won’t switch to better devices.

The iPhone

Steve Jobs announced the first iPhone in 2007. For its time it was extraordinary and something we had never seen before. This small device could store all your music (removing the need for an iPod or MP3 player) and had a front and back facing camera as well as access to thousands of apps all whilst only having one button on the screen. Time magazine named it the Invention of the Year in 2007.

According to reports, Steve didn’t originally want users to have access to third party apps. Yes, this would have meant no Instagram...! Thankfully he decided against this in the end, therefore opening up opportunities for developers to create applications on a brand-new operating system which would ultimately be able to do more than any other mobile on the market. The App store we know today has grown astronomically since the first iPhone, there’s an app out there for practically everything. But the iPhone was only the start, three years later the iPad was announced, another device that is compatible with a whole host of apps. It has evolved similarly to the iPhone, becoming lighter and faster with bigger screens and better cameras.

Design

From early on, Apple’s designs have been ahead of the game. Jony Ive, Chief Design Officer, has played a big part in this. You may not recognise the name, but you will recognise his distinctive English accent from marketing voice overs in Apple’s advertisements. Jony studied at the Royal College of Art in London and joined Apple in 1992. The 1998 iMac G3 was his career breakthrough, the risky design really paid off and brought Apple back in the game after many setbacks, making them stronger than ever. The iPod was also a big design success (overtaking MP3 player sales) and was a totally different look for its time. Jony even designed Apple’s main building, working for five years with architects to refine every detail. He left the company earlier this year, after 27 years of shaping the look and feel of Apple products. There are many questions around his departure and the consequences of his absence remain to be seen. We could start to see fresh developments from other talented designers; alternatively, the refined quality designs we know and love could be on the way out.   

Healthcare

The company have delved in and out of Digital Health for a while now. In 2015 the Apple Watch was announced with a wide range of great functionality. It can monitor your heart rate and if it detects a significant fall it can automatically call a nominated contact or emergency service. Apple have now gone even further, iOS devices can be seen in hospitals using apps to access health records and data.

What’s next?

So now we come to the Apple credit card, released this year, which offers control of finances through your phone. Is this yet another idea only popular due to the power of the Apple brand or will it truly change the way we track and spend money.

In the upcoming years we hope to see wireless charging become commonplace, removing the need for wires completely and not just stopping at mobile charging. This is something Apple have been slow to introduce to the iPhone. As this technology emerges from other providers, we could be waiting a while for Apple to catch up.

What does the future hold for Apple?

Steve Jobs may have predicted the fall of the company. In an interview he spoke about John Sculley who worked for Pepsi before joining Xerox. As Pepsi felt it didn’t need new ideas and development it focused on the sales and marketing team - these were the employees who got promoted. Therefore, Xerox lacked real product development. Are Apple now following in Pepsi’s footprints. They now appear more focused on marketing and sales than creating new innovative products.

The bottom line is that Apple need to develop something new, exciting and truly innovative. However, this is highly challenging when they are up against so many companies striving to achieve the same thing. Back in the early 2000s there was much less competition. Despite the myriad of options out there we have so far remained steadfast to the Apple brand but there is a definite risk this may not last forever. 

 

Sources

Downfall of Apple: https://guff.com/steve-jobs-predicted-the-downfall-of-apple-when-he-was-still-young

Jony Ive leaving Apple: https://www.engadget.com/2019/06/28/jony-ive-legacy/?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAGdT_uW-W8JIjnpfM7SK3KJJ5xcTxGI0ii86rhPe6sIjNB5wh3JVZhNN9MnU0kH8tn8ZGkontHyF9csdMgo8dURfZoeo8LlxzU9K9L8SbxJSLb19fVEcuwBICj8FtzD8jMPUzduOnYtYSsMY_M3OCSKFNwF0Y_Y1DjQH2Yd5FTDJ

Third party apps: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/appsblog/2011/oct/24/steve-jobs-apps-iphone

Invention of the year: http://content.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1677329_1678542_1677891,00.html

 

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