It's time for Apple to fix what isn't broken

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| March 13, 2013

We’re a couple weeks into March, and already we’ve seen the flagship devices from HTC and BlackBerry announced. The HTC One could see some speed bumps after its rollout due to the camera, but overall the One is the pinnacle of HTC’s top-tier design sense. It’s a phone that, for all intents and purposes, we’ve all been waiting for from HTC. More to the point, it’s a phone that Android has been waiting for in its level of design aesthetic and execution.

The BlackBerry Z10 has been available in select markets around the world for a little while now, and it’s set to debut on AT&T’s network on March 22 for those of us here in the United States. (T-Mobile’s business customers will see the phone first, though.) While BlackBerry is quick to say that sales have been better than expected, we’ll have to wait and see how well the phone fares here in the States before we’ll be able to gauge the device’s, along with the brand new mobile operating system’s popularity.

Now that HTC and BlackBerry are out of the way, we’ve got two other companies that are sure to crave even more attention from the populace. First, and just one day away, is Samsung. On Thursday, March 14, the company will officially announce the next Galaxy device, which is believed to be the Galaxy S IV. We’ve seen a few leaks, and heard plenty of rumors, about the upcoming device, but it really is anyone’s guess what Samsung will unveil until tomorrow. The anticipation is probably getting to a lot of people by now, though. We’re just hours away from Samsung’s next flagship device. It’s exciting.

And then there’s Apple. We should be hearing about what Apple has coming down the pipe for consumers here soon, but not soon enough. HTC, BlackBerry and Samsung all have quite a bit of time to announce, launch, and reap in the rewards before Apple even unveils the next version of iOS, let alone the new iPhone later this year. Will that work in their favor? It’s certainly possible. But, I think something else might work for them even more.

The fact that many people believe Apple’s not going to change much this time around, either.

Before the Cupertino-based company announced iOS 6, the speculation was that Apple would unveil a brand new version of iOS aesthetically. That it would be the big change everyone wanted, whether outwardly or privately. iOS has grown stale since its launch, even if it still works as well as people want, it’s aesthetically the same thing we saw Apple launch in 2007. There’s no doubt in my mind that iOS needs to change.

Does Apple think the same way? “Don’t fix what isn’t broken,” comes to mind, and I have a feeling that Apple’s been stuck in this state of mind for quite some time. Yes, they’re adding features to iOS, which they’ve always done, but the idea that iOS “just works” could be a defining reason why they aren’t going out of their way to change the mobile OS. They may see it that they “don’t need to,” and considering the iPhone continues to sell like hot cakes, along with the iPad which also runs iOS, I can understand where that train of thought would come from.

But the mobile industry isn’t about stagnation. Certainly not anymore. Just look at the leaps and bounds that Android has made since its launch. Look at BlackBerry! And then we’ve got other contenders, like Microsoft’s Windows Phone, or Ubuntu for Phones. These are where the mobile industry should be going: new, and different. We shouldn’t be talking about how a mobile operating system looks the same as it did in 2007. We should be talking about how Apple is making strides to keep innovation alive, and strive to bring new and bold ideas to the mobile industry.

But if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. What’s the point? Why go out on a limb and create something that people may not like? Does Apple really want to risk alienating its huge user base and release something new? Can Apple risk that, when Android is picking up speed, and BlackBerry 10 is gearing up to steal customers at any chance it can?

I think that’s something Apple executives are talking about. But, if you ask me I’d say they absolutely need to try. They need to use their powers of convincing to tell customers why they think the new iOS, with its new user interface, new features, is something they need, even before they come up with reasons on their own.

Take the risk, Apple. Do something new and exciting. Please. While I use iOS, it’s because of the apps now more than anything else. I’ve outsourced practically everything, from the camera to email to note taking. You’ve got options, yes, but I’m trying to find my way out of the iOS environment as much as I can because I’ve grown tired of looking at it. It’s the same thing I’ve looked at for years now. It’s time for a change.

It’s time for a change.

Do you think Apple will change things this year? Do you believe that they’ll show off a brand new version of iOS, and tuck it away inside an iPhone 5S later this year? Or are we going to see just the same iOS, with new features, inside an iPhone 5S? Let me know.