Tim Cook told Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco that, ”Innovation is strong as ever and in the DNA of the company.” This from a company that has been playing catch-up and suing it’s competitors for the past two years other than really innovating. Noting that the smartphones and tablets are the backbone of Apple’s cash cow Cook underlined its “experience” is the true force of Apple’s innovation. ”Apple has skills in software, hardware and services. The model that grew the PC industry where companies specialized. That model is not working for what consumers want today,” said Cook. “Consumers want this elegant experience.” Why service definitely helps pack Apple Stores and customers snap up shiny new products, it’s not the only thing that keeps them buying. No, true innovation keeps them coming.
Apple brought itself into a new era, and market, with the iPod. It innovated a product that the founder of the MP3 player, Rio, couldn’t manage. Then again Apple innovated a product that was birthed elsewhere and took away the smartphone market from Palm. Lastly, it showed Microsoft, the company that first brought the tablet to us in 2001, how to really innovate.
So now Apple has over $100 billion in the bank, packed stores, and enjoys the majority market share for tablets, smartphones (hardware), and even still for audio players. But all those numbers are slipping and show little sign of reversing. Sure, Cook can tell worried investors that the market is just increasing in size and it still has a larger chunk than it originally had, but those are excuses, not innovation. Instead of showing the world anything of great significance in the last three years, we simply hear how great Apple is and nothing more. No talk of the future. No talk of pushing the envelope. No talk other than a nice shined marketing speech.
Apple’s last true innovation was the release of the iPad in 2010. That’s three years ago and in that time, the Android Army has been hard at work chipping away at Apple’s market dominance and even forcing Apple into a product it bad-mouthed later that year. Steve Jobs famously told investors, “7-inch tablets are tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with the iPad. ….7-Inch tablets are dead on arrival.” Dead, huh? As not to further damn his himself, Jobs went on to state, “While one could increase the resolution to make up some of the difference, it is meaningless unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one-quarter of their present size. Apple has done expensive user testing on touch interfaces over many years, and we really understand this stuff.” Last I saw in the Apple Store, the iPad mini does not come with sandpaper. No, Jobs didn’t understand that the market actually DOES know what it wants sometimes – another famous saying Jobs liked to quip – and Apple’s own Eddie Cue urged Jobs to his death bed to let Apple make a 7″-ish tablet. Clearly, innovation was ignored, bad-mouthed, and fought before it was it acknowledged. Of course, in classic Apple style, it was quick to point out that the iPad mini isn’t really a 7″ tablet and it has “features” that improve the experience of an Android tablet. Please…
Moving on, let’s look at the iPhone now. Again, a truly innovative product when introduced, Apple seemed to slow down the gears of innovation and trickled out features year by year. Even though 3G was active in nearly half of AT&T’s network, Apple waited until the second generation to release a phone that supported the faster data speeds. Outside of that, the iPhone 3G had little more to offer than a new look. The camera still sucked, battery life was still dismal, and the OS had little advancement.
Apple continued this little-by-little strategy with each release all the way to the iPhone 5. Instead of caving into the larger screen that has pushed sales of the Samsung Galaxy S III to a market leader and the talk of the town, Apple stretched the screen and chimed about how it was still easily used one-handily. That, was its innovation. Apple’s previous yearly trickle of innovation was Siri. Siri, the voice-to-text software, was an application in the App Store for about a year that gained much attention when it first was released. Quickly scooped up by Apple and re-established as an integrated aspect of the operating system, Siri was reborn an Apple innovation. No, excuse me, as a beta. Now as we near two years – in beta – Siri is nothing more than a feature to ask it silly questions and become extremely irritated at its inability to send a text message that is even 40% accurate or – heck – even finish your sentence as it often just gives up leaving a partial text output. In the meantime, Google released it’s Google Now app for the iPhone with stunningly quick and accurate speech-to-text. No, it’s not beta, either.
I could go on about how iLife, once considered a stunning collection of multimedia applications for the Mac, hasn’t even been touched in over three years and languishes away or how its extremely expensive Thunderbolt technology two years later lacks a plethora of accessories. Financial analysts bonked Apple over the head on the market a few weeks ago after Apple produced its best quarter ever. Why? Analysts see little in the future to hold Apple up and the numbers are indicating this. Apple continues to be mute on future product and shows little innovation in the last three years. Sure, the Retina display has dawned screens across the board, Bluetooth 4 graced wireless devices, and a great camera in the phones. But it’s not enough when compared to the competitors. Instead of really kicking its competitors butt, Apple sues them. Real innovators respond with, “Top this!”
History shows that Apple is on a four-year cycle of innovation. The iPod, iPhone, and then iPad. That gives us about a year before the next big thing. Many think it’s a TV and I can see that. Apple’s true innovation is taking something that already exists and making it better. TV sales have declined and consumers aren’t fooled by bells-and-whistles such as 3-D. The networks are the issue for release just like the labels were for the iTunes Music Store. I feel Apple can overcome that opposition but without Jobs, it will be tougher.
What after the Apple TV television? I can’t imagine that the road map goes dry after that. I’m sure what ever it is, it’s already on the books and is being ironed out. But will anyone care by then? While the four years worked in the last decade, competitors and patent trolls have changed the landscape accelerating change. Apple has already shown with the last two iOS updates, iPad mini, and the iPhone 5 – to a point – that it does better at catching up than pushing the competition. If it doesn’t wish to become the next Sony – one of Steve Jobs’ biggest fears – then it needs to stop this madness of its delusional outlook on innovation and actually innovate again. Stop riding the gravy train and trickling out features. Apple had the money to demand LTE chips that are low power consuming a year before it finally hit the iPhone. Apple had the money to make Siri actually work…upon initial release. Apple has the money to force new technologies to market quicker than the other guy. Jobs pushed Corning for a glass iPhone when its own CEO said it couldn’t be done. Apple shoved a desktop operating system into a handheld device while others said it couldn’t be done. Apple can do it. If it wants. Right now, it looks like it just wants to pats its own back. Ask Sony how that’s working, Tim.
Remember that classic look of radios from the late 80s and 90s? Relive the past in three colors along with the ability to stream from your Bluetooth device. That’s right, the Geneva WorldRadio lets you listen to FM, wakes you up, belts out Pandora via your smartphone, and even supports DAB+ if you are in Europe. It’s a bit on the pricey side at $300 but it sure is versatile and stylish.
If battery life has got you down on your new iPhone 5 and you’re looking to extend it, now you can while protecting it as well. iBattz brings the first-ever battery case that is also a snap-on case for your iPhone 5. According to iBattz, “The Mojo Hi5 case is a two-part protective case that features a detachable 2500mAh aluminum battery to keep users powered up on the go.” You can use it to charge other USB devices as well. The unique thin case will set you back $80 but for extra juice in a “…minimalistic design…”, you are getting off with a pretty good dea.
The dearth of iPhone 5 docks is disappointing and the few – literally – that do exist are complete nonsense. Sorry Belkin, I do not wish to advertise your company when docking my phone. Fortunately, within sixty days, you can have a truly fitting dock for your iPhone 5, or older, that not only looks killer but compliments your Mac and as a magnificent bonus, keeps things tidy!
The OC Desk Display Stand ingeniously removes any hint of cables by placing a super thin cable under your Mac’s stand. Routing the cable up the rear and through the wire hole of the stand allows the cable to never be seen by the casual user. Even looking behind the Mac reveals a clean cable connection. The stand itself sticks onto the lip of the stand but is easily removable, leaving no evidence of stickiness once removed. The adhesive is strong enough to allow you to remove your iPhone single-handed without any fear of the stand coming up with your device. If you like to protect your investment with a case, no worries, as the OC Dock even allows for you to dock the phone inside the case. For those that prefer to show the beauty of your iPhone, you can purchase the more slim OC Dock for naked iPhones.
This is a Kickstarter project, so I would strongly recommend helping the boys out and donating to the cause so we can all clean up our desk and dock it right!
For your new product/tech/organization features, please consider OC Desk – revolutionizing the workspace organization industry, OC Desk iPhone docks eliminates excess wire with a wireless appearance due to its paper-thin cable connection that runs underneath the stand. Often referred to as “Obsessively Clean Desk,” OC Desk has a missive to clear wasted space – allowing for a minimal, simple workspace, which results in performance efficiency.
Today, launches the official Kickstarter campaign to raise awareness and funds before the e-commerce launch set for mid-December.
Affordably priced at $79 to $98, OC Desk has the capabilities to fit iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 (upgrade kit is priced at $98) and will be available for purchase at www.ocdesk.com.
Looking to spew music, audio from your video off your Camera Roll, or even from your Netflix app on your iPhone or iPad? Well, dude, you’re in luck because TuneLink Home is here and it’s pretty much amazing. More than just a way to get audio from your iOS device but also an amazing universal remote the TuneLink Home is very much worth a look and a purchase if not finding high placement on your Christmas list. Read the review and find out why.
So here we are, post-iPhone 5 announcement and guess what? Nothing envelope pushing. In fact, nothing even surprising. Every leak was true. Every one! While Jony Ives called the iPhone 5 a “complete redesign” (I’m sorry, did his head get stretched, too?), on the contrary, it’s mostly catch-up with whom Apple just sued (hint, hint, Samsung). In perfect Apple style, with Steve Jobs Smoke and Mirrors, Tim Cook and crew made yesterdays technology look freaking amazingly new!
“The biggest thing to happen to iPhone since iPhone.”
So states Apple’s web site when you go looking for the details on the 6th iPhone called the iPhone 5. Shaving off some body fat to give it a leaner and lighter feel, the diamond cut shell consists of the two-tone color scheme seen in early prototype images dating years back from the Apple vs. Samsung case as well as reminding one of the first the iPhone. The screen is stretched up – not out – to add an extra row of icons and to give you a true 16×9 image for movies. Storage hasn’t changed in years but the price remains the same. Nice. Oh yes, the camera has a new cover. Oooh! Ya, it’s still the same otherwise. The front camera is at least 1.2 megapixels and can capture 720p video. So last years Android.
Ya, so let’s talk about the Android factor. So while Cupertino’s tech magicians attempt to use their slight of hand to pawn off the iPhone 5 has “the most amazing thing” they’ve ever done, how does it compare to let’s say Samsung Galaxy S III? That front camera? Well, double Apple’s and you’ll then pass its court rival. The screen? The Galaxy S III has 1,280 x 720 versus Apple’s amazing 1,136 x 640. Yes, Apple’s is smaller and it’s 20 ppi better Retina display isn’t that big of a deal. The Galaxy is a wee bit heavier but it’s not even by an ounce. Tell me you can feel that? Earlier benchmarks show the iPhone barely running faster than the months old Galaxy. NFC? Are you kidding? Phil Schiller says Passbook is way better! Screw NFC!
The iPhone 5 does not even support simultaneous voice and data on Verizon and Sprint networks that AT&T has been doing for four generations now. Don’t worry, though, the Samsung Galaxy S III does support this feature on LTE networks such as Verizon’s due to some true engineering know-how. But don’t sweat it people, remember, this is “The biggest thing to happen to iPhone since iPhone.” Now that I think of it, wasn’t there a handful of 3G phones available when the original iPhone with EDGE (2.5G) released? Sorry, got distracted.
The truth is, the iPhone 5 is all catch-up and nothing revolutionary. I wouldn’t even call it evolutionary. This is the exact issue Apple had with the Macintosh back in the 80s when it rocked the computer world with a truly stunning computer. Apple seriously put personal into the personal computer. But like Apple letting Microsoft along with IBM steal its thunder and push the envelope with Windows and the PC while it kept trying to tell the world, “Hey, look at how cool we are!”, Apple once again is repeating history with doing nothing and calling it something. Last weeks keynote was the first in over a decade that had no surprises and was – if you’re honest with yourself – a let down. Everything the iPhone 5 is the Android market has had in Motorola, HTC, and Samsung for months if not over a year in the case of LTE. Even when Ford put on a new skin to the Fox body Mustang in the 80s, everyone in the automotive world still knew it was still the crapy old 70s car with some new hardware. That’s what this is iPhone is, a third re-iteration of a tired design with a new engine under the hood.
So how do you sell 2 million iPhone 5s in just one day of pre-orders? And that’s the million dollar question. One thing Apple does still have down is sex appeal and that’s what its products produce. Even though there’s only a new coat of paint on a stretched out canvas, it’s still cool looking and all the hip people will have one. Additionally, to give credit to Apple, it’s operating system is still more refined, stable, and polished than the fragmented and heavily customized interface per vendor offering from Google. Buyers also know that all iPhones from the last few years will get a brand new update all on the same day unlike the guessing game over in the Android camp. But note my words, this will be the last time Apple will enjoy such sales as it will the iPhone 5. Google is snapping up companies left and right to tighten the noose on Apple and as soon Android is able to get sway over iPhone users over with some migration plan away from the Apple halo as well as tighten up the Android operating system, we will be calling Google the new Microsoft and Apple the, well, the same Apple of the 90s once again. Learn from your past Apple and push the envelope all the time or be doomed to repeat it.
USB seems to be the replacement plug of the future but until homes are built with a USB port in the wall, you’ll still need adapters to charge your plethora of devices. Sadly, many of those adapters are large, bulky, and ugly. Today Staechi takes the ugh out of that and brings beauty and versatility to your adapter. The cute little green receptacles has a slot for your USB cable along with a few holes for your 110 plug. Ya, so while you’re charging your smartphone or such, you’re not wasting a spot for something like your lamp. Bonus, there’s a light on the plug to let you know that the built-in surge protector is, well, protecting! Take a read below for all the details.
SAN DIEGO – Sept. 18, 2012 – Satechi, a leading mobile accessories manufacturer, is pleased to announce the availability of its new Compact USB Surge Protector. The invaluable surge protector features one grounded outlet and a 1 amp USB port to charge most smartphones and other electronics while protecting them from potential electrical spikes and surges.
The Compact USB Surge Protector features a sleek lime green and white design with a LED indicator which illuminates when the surge protector is providing sufficient protection to the connected electronic devices. The surge protector is small enough to conveniently fit into any backpack, purse or laptop bag allowing users to keep all electronic devices safe while on the go.
Established in 2005, Satechi is fully committed to offering unique accessories that people can integrate with their electronics in their homes, cars, and on the go. Satechi offers a broad selection of accessories from FM transmitters, battery chargers and speaker systems to car mounts, stands and keyboards. For more information, please visit www.Satechi.net.
Sometimes it’s the little things in life that enhance ones day-to-day in big ways. I see GoSmart as one such item. A simple piece of plastic that clips your iPhone onto either a shopping cart, steering wheel, or at the gym’s treadmill, you will now be able to use the GoSmart to place your iPhone right in front of you. Shopping will be a breeze freeing up both of your hands. I know I’d love to use this for my many trips to Sam’s Club and such. Fearing I’ll drop my phone while browsing the isles, the GoSmart would definetly put comfort into my life! Read more below.
September 18, 2012, Los Angeles, CA — GoSmart, Inc. www.justgosmart.com announced today that it is shipping the GoSmart Clip http://www.gosmartclip.com/, the essential tool for busy travelers for safer GPS phone call use in cars. A great gift for everyone that needs access to smartphones, the GoSmart Clip securely holds and clips iPhones, Androids, and other smartphones to car steering wheels or other places for quick access to GPS directions. The GoSmart Clip’s compact design lets you place the GPS phone on the steering wheel close to you, so you can keep your eyes on the road and hands on the steering wheel while using GPS, making it much safer than windshield, dashboard, or other GPS systems, that are further away from your eyes and increase the time you’re taking your eyes off the road.
Drive Smart/Travel Smart – for Business Travelers – Simple & Elegant Solution to Stay Connected on the Road
Compact and portable, the GoSmart Clip is ideal for business travelers, multi-taskers, salespeople, and drivers who depend on their mobile phones and who are always on the go. The GoSmart Clip is designed to secure virtually anywhere, allowing people to use their hands for other things rather than holding their phones. Great for business calls or video streaming on Skype or for sending emails and texting in the airport or while waiting for a car rental or on line, just clip your phone to the handle of your roll-aboard suitcase or other place to work hands-free while on-the-go.
For Hands-Free Leisure Activities from Golf to Shopping
In addition to using the GoSmart Clip for business travelers, it can also be used for leisure activities by mounting it on golf carts to keep score of the game; on beach umbrellas for music at the beach; on exercise equipment to read or listen to music; on shopping carts for keeping track of shopping lists; and on baby strollers for talking to friends or for soothing music for baby.
“The GoSmart Clip was originally designed as a new smartphone holder that securely fastens to the steering wheel, making GPS and phone calls much safer while driving,” said GoSmart Inc. President and Inventor, Jae Son. “But we’ve found it also useful for multi-taskers (which is almost everyone using a smartphone now), acting as a third hand to keep your phone available for easy access on the go.”
GoSmart Clip Uses:
• In a car: Use a GPS or traffic app on your smartphone in your car or rental car with easy access.
• Hands-free cell phone use: Talk on your cellphone safely, hands-free.
• At the airport or train station: Secure it to a backpack, suitcase, or shoulder bag and work, send emails, texts, Skype, or watch a video while waiting.
• At the gym: Fasten it to a cardio machine and listen to music, read, or watch a video while working out.
• On a purse or bag: Attach it to the strap or handle of a purse or shoulder bag for easy access to your cell phone.
• On a shopping cart: Attach to the grocery store shopping cart to view shopping lists, text, or talk without having to hold a phone.
• At the beach: Strap to a beach umbrella for music at the beach.
• At the golf course: Attach to golf cart to keep score or view maps.
• On a boat or back seat of car: Attach to a boat steering wheel or the back of car seat head rest to watch movies.
• On your belt: Attach to your belt to use as a phone stand to prop at an angle to easily view the screen.
• On a baby stroller: Attach to baby stroller to talk on the phone or soothe the child with music, a book or favorite video.
The GoSmart Clip attaches easily with no tools required with a strong elastic strap that holds the phone securely in place. The innovative design works with most smartphones on the market today, including iPhones and Androids, at 4” to 5” long (100mm – 125mm) tall and less than 0.75” thick (20mm). The perfect gift, the GoSmart Clip is available immediately in red or black with a lifetime warranty, priced at $24.95 through Amazon.com and http://justgosmart.com/store/. For more information, see the GoSmart website: www.justgosmart.com YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/JustGoSmart?feature=watch Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JustGoSmart Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/justgosmart.
GoSmart, Inc. www.justgosmart.com is a privately held company headquartered in Los Angeles, California. GoSmart develops and markets exceptionally useful travel aids and consumer accessories for smart mobile devices. Their current product line includes the GoSmart Stylus with precise touchscreen pointing with an unobstructed view through a patent-pending capacitive wire tip; the GoSmart Restpad; and GoSmart Clip for iPhone for safer GPS viewing in the car. For more information, see www.justgosmart.com.
As we inch just hours toward the next iPhone announcement, we now have a few more leaks that may point us to five new products to be announced. Here’s the list:
- iPhone “5″
- iTunes 11
- iPod touch
- 9-pin Dock Connector called “Lightning” internally OR iPod nano
- “Earpod” earphones
The Dock Connector could be stretching the five products, but why can’t I if Apple is stretching the next iPhone screen?
My final prediction before the Apple’s announcement Wednesday is that it will not be called the iPhone 5, iPhone 4SS, or any other varient other than the new iPhone. Simply, it will be called, iPhone. Now before you label me insane and an idiot, just take a read of what I have to write about this name and why Apple is slowly changing the smartphone market once again like it did when it entered the phone industry.
If you read my article “Why The iPhone 5 Won’t Be the Last One to Look Like the iPhone 4″ (read it!), then you’ll understand the first part of this equation of bringing the PC era into the smartphone era. Slowing down the form factor change to a more reasonable time table as seen in the computer industry, Apple is not content with just changing the look of its phones every four years or so like it does with its current line of desktop and laptops. No, it desires a uniform convention for all of its products. Look closely and you’ll only find the iPhone with a model number. iMacs? Nope. MacBook Airs? Not there. MacBook Pros? Negative. Mac minis? Uh-uh. Well what about the Apple TV? Not on your life. What about all the iPods and its variants? Ixnay on the model-say. Oh wait, the iPad!! Aaah, now we’re getting closer but Apple axed the model name with the most current release; hence, the altered graphic here.
Folks, along with the iPad ditching the number 3 for it’s third release, I see Apple executing the same with the iPhone. Many were a bit perplexed - even stunned for some – that Apple was not going to call its newest tablet the iPad 3. Sure, everyone still calls the new iPad the iPad 3 (I’ve even overheard Apple Store employees in Sacramento refer to it as such,) but that will be long forgotten in a couple of years when the fifth-generation iPad is released. It will simply be the iPad with fifth-generation only stated for differentiation and only then by geeks.
“But the iPhone is different. It’s a phone,” may be the next rebuttal. Yes, it is a phone but who cares? This is Apple. Apple does what Apple wants not what the market enjoys. Again, just look back to the iPad as proof that it doesn’t have to follow what Samsung, ASUS, or Motorola does. This is Apple.
For those that think the Cupertino company that once had Computers in its name isn’t big on change in the way it does things, may I remember you that the iPhone for its first three generations released in late June or Early July. The iPhone 4 was bumped a few months later to September all while the press said no it wouldn’t do it early on because of the iPod announcements and such during the same season. Whelp, guess Apple did.
No, as my final forecast for the next iPhone, I am pretty certain it will be the new iPhone. Too many indications point to it with the leaks of the same body design being the strongest evidence along side the iPad just being the iPad today. Sure, I could be wrong and completely be reading way too much into the subtleties of the last six months, I won’t deny that; however, my gut and years of observing Apple says that the biggest surprise Wednesday will be the name, not the product.