Bad Apple: The iPhone No Longer Has the Advantage

It pains me, truly, but Apple has a real problem on its hands.  That problem is called Android.  Apple’s iPhone has essentially become the same 800 pound gorilla that Microsoft was in the 1990’s: it achieved critical mass and has become slow to adapt as a result.  While Google iterate quickly with every release of the Android operating system, Apple’s iPhone is now evolving slowly in comparison.  And that inability to evolve is costing Apple.

Software is only half of the what it takes to win.  Apple still has a great thing going with the iOS.  It remains the gold standard.  It’s the mobile operating system one can hand to a novice with confidence that they can find their way alone.  People who are not accustomed or comfortable with traditional computers can grok the iOS because it has a uniform user interface and controls which remain consistent from one app to the next.  This is an area where Android is, and always has been, lacking.  But every version of Android improves dramatically.  Apple needs to pay more attention to that threat.

The significant threat to Apple’s dominance, at the moment, is the hardware running the Android operating system.  Because, to put it plainly, some of the latest Android phones are down right sexy.  They have large, high quality screens and very fast, multi-core processors.  Hardware development is advancing quickly— far faster than Apple can counter.  And, for whatever reason, Apple seems strangely reluctant to make even the most obvious hardware updates to offset their deficiency.

The iPhone 5 is a perfect example.  One would think that Apple engineers realized users wanted larger displays.  But rather than increase the phone’s display by an even aspect ratio, by some perverted act of self-loathing, the screen of the iPhone 5 was only made taller and not wider.  WTF?  WTF!  Messing with the aspect ratio was madness.   It was painful for the ENTIRE development community, and therefore traumatic for end-users as well.  And the result was a phone with a screen that still could not compete with the larger, more elegant displays of the smartphones on the other side of the fence.  The iPhone 5’s new, taller screen?  FAIL!

What Apple needs right now is a new phone.  We’re not talking about an iPhone 5s.  They need an entirely new phone.  Call the iPhone 5 what it was, a dickbrained idea.  Move on.  Go back to screens with an aspect ratio shared by EVERY OTHER PHONE BEFORE IT.  The same aspect ratio shared by every iPad ever made.  In short, return to the aspect ratio of every iOS device that was not the iPhone 5!  Then make the screen 50% bigger.  And not just taller, dumbass…  50% taller, and 50% wider.

Will it cost more?  Sure!  Will it be harder to make “retina” displays that size?  Maybe!  But if Apple doesn’t make a move soon, it simply won’t matter.  Android is ready and willing to eat Apple’s lunch.  Don’t think so?  Google’s already stealing Apple’s lunch money.  Have you seen their respective stock prices lately?  Google will happily craft and refine Android until Apple executives sit in their half-finished corporate “space doughnut” headquarters while Google improves its software and Samsung spanks Apple with more innovative hardware.

The iOS is the best thing Apple has going.  It’s brought a massive increase in market share to the Macintosh and it has literally made Apple the company it is today.  Updates and innovation might come slower to the iOS but to date those updates have been well thought out, consistent, and polished.  The iOS is a mobile operating system that anyone can use.  But it’s iPhone hardware that has become a detriment to Apple.  The lack of innovation on the hardware side has become a set of concrete shoes laced tightly to a company in the middle of a marathon while a very focused, agile, and well-funded competitor nipping at its heals.

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