The 5s and 5c are proof that Apple is changingNicholas Fearn - Blogger
2013 has been a huge year in terms of mobile technology. We have seen new flagships such as the Samsung Galaxy S 4, HTC One and LG G2 announced – all touting an array of impressive features and specs. However, it’s fair to say that Apple has received the most anticipation, and always has, with two new iPhones - the 5s and 5c - unveiled at one event back in September. But how prominent is this? Because going back a few years, no one would have even guessed that the California-based tech giant could ever offer up more than one iPhone at the same time. But it did happen.
Apple (even back in the early days) has always been known for its stubbornness as a company. They’ve never really listened to customers, deciding to be unique and do it their own way. This has changed though since the death of Steve Jobs. It was his personality that reflected on the way that Apple used to act. That wasn’t a bad thing back then, because mobile tech wasn’t a way of life like it is today. But nowadays, people want to voice their opinions and get results exerting from them.
Tim Cook, in this respect, has done a lot to sculpt Apple’s latest products around the customer. For example, Jobs was dead against the idea of having a miniature version of the iPad – and then in 2012, two years after the launch of the original iPad, Apple announced the iPad mini. This went against all the odds, and I can assure you that it’s a decision that’s probably had Steve rolling around in his grave ever since. Hats off to Tim though, because he’s done a great job as CEO so far.
But moving on...the dual announcement of the 5s and 5c draws on the fact that people are interested in more than one option when it comes to a product line-up. Look at Samsung, for example, and what they have managed to achieve with their Galaxy range. It spouted from the launch of one handset, and now they're practically a household name. I get the feeling (and while I can guarantee that probably every human being on this planet has heard of the iPhone) that Apple wanted to create a similar ethos to Samsung, yet show people that they’re also a risk-taker.
Risks are, in my opinion, important to the survival of a strong company – and by having more than one particular iPhone, they have done this. It also shows that they’re willing to change things and regularly announce new and exciting products, rather than just updating the same model with slight modifications every year. They listened to their customers, and have so far had a great response.
Looking more at the 5c though, there’s a few important points that I should elaborate on. First of all, Apple’s products have always been plain and simple, yet the 5c was announced sporting a plastic chassis plastered with bright colours. This is probably something that Apple has done (under the power of Tim Cook) to meet more needs of customers. It also gives people more options. The second point is that when the 5c was announced, it directly replaced the iPhone 5. Now, this is the first time that Apple has ever changed the sequence in the way that they launch and discontinue iPhones. If Steve was still alive, then the chances are that we would have only have seen the 5s announced, giving the 5 at least a year’s worth of survival. Another important point is that it’s not as expensive as the 5s. This means that it gives more people the opportunity to save money and own an ‘iPhone’ at the same time. Although if it was cheaper, then it probably would be flying off the shelves, right now, this festive season – but a bargain iPhone wouldn’t be in their best interests, as they’re solely known for producing executive products that sport executive prices. This is just who they are.
The 5s, interestingly, also reflects on how much Apple has changed: they’ve listened to customers again by implementing it with TouchID, the fingerprint scanning system exclusive to iOS. If you go back a year or so, the idea of a new iPhone coming with a fingerprint scanner was just as unrealistic as the ‘iWatch’ rumors of today – which can only mean that we could well see Apple entering the wearables market relatively soon. It’s also more evidence that backs up my comment on how Apple has started to take slight risks when it comes to new products. I mean, a fingerprint scanner is something that a lot of people can easily say is more of a gimmick than a sustainable feature to have.
Whilst I’ve outlined all of the positives, I seriously do think that Apple has lost its power streak. It seems that when Jobs was alive and head of the company, they were a powerful corporation that no one would stand up to or mess with. But now, all you hear in the world of tech is about Apple being in yet another court of law. As well as this, it seems that products are leaking more than ever, which I cannot remember happening as frequent going back a few years. Perhaps it’s to do with the use of digital media, which means by now, Apple should understand and know how to stop rumours and leaks from developing. Maybe they enjoy the hype, but choose not to show their emotions.
Apple's efforts have been solid to date. I’m personally impressed with both the 5c and 5s, along with the new iPad Air and iPad Mini 2. That said, I still expect and want to see more from them. Hopefully next year we’ll get some cracking products announced from Apple. I think if they want to continue being the market leader, then they need to continue to excite.