With the forthcoming release of Apple’s new iPhones (and to some degree with the previous release of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Blackberry’s Z10 and Q10) there are voices in the tech and investing worlds openly wondering where smartphone innovation has gone.
They fret almost obsessively about tech companies’ apparent inability to create a “wow” factor with the release of new products.
To those people, I ask you to please chill out.
There is very little to be gained from demanding new bells and whistles for the sake of having bells and whistles. Features are great but what’s the point of having them if no one uses them?
What is the point of change for the sake of change? In one review of the iPhone 5S I read today, the author seemed rather dismayed about the form-factor of the phone not really having changed since the release of the iPhone 5 last year. Oh, the horror!
Let me put it to you this way: No one frets about technological advances in the construction and design of the wheel. Sure, we’ve found ways to make wheels prettier and integrate wheels into new applications — but at its core the basic design of the wheel has been pretty much static for more than 5,000 years. Wall Street and designers are clearly not outraged about that. And why should they be? The wheel is a perfect machine. To do anything to its basic shape and design would destroy it.
Tech and financial analysts alike need to prepare themselves for the idea that high-end smartphones might only evolve incrementally from now on. Why wreck the devices’ design and usability by re-inventing them just for the sake of hunting for that elusive “wow” factor?
(Disclosure: I own several Apple devices and an old BlackBerry. I don’t own any Android devices. I also don’t own any tech stocks of any kind.)