Technology

The Apple’s going sour

Patrick Stafford /

It’s that time of year again.

Whenever the next Apple product inches closer, the rumours begin to ramp up. While many of them turn out to be false, a surprising number are correct. With all the various component manufacturers working overtime, a few bits and pieces of information always make their way into the mainstream.

As much as we can all grow tired of speculation without confirmation, there’s no doubt the rumours provide us with plenty of discussion. Even though Apple may have lost its edge – according to some – the company is still at the forefront of tech and any new phone is likely to show off some cool future tech.

Depending on who you believe, the next phone will feature a fingerprint sensor for security purposes. Nifty.

But at the same time, there’s a greater sense of disappointment with each new Apple design. Or, for that matter, any smartphone design at all.

It’s no surprise. The jump between the first few versions of a device are always going to be new and exciting. Remember the launch of the App Store in 2008? It was revolutionary, changing the way we all thought about software and micro-purchases. A few years on, it’s old news. We’ve moved on.

So what, right? All of this is pretty typical. But it’s important we frame these types of announcements in context. There will no doubt be disappointment following Apple’s announcement – armchair analysts (including myself) will no doubt throw forth judgment about how disappointing the new device is.

And you can almost guarantee Apple’s shares will take a hit.

From Apple’s perspective, what’s the best move here? The company’s traditionally grandiose statements about technology – “gorgeous”, “revolutionary”, etc – were once seen as charming and tongue-in-cheek when the company was actually pushing boundaries.

But each iPhone leap is shorter than the one before, and the impact of the hyperbole leaves a more sour taste each time.

Simply put, is it time for Apple to cut the crap, and tell it how it is?

Tim Cook and Apple marketing boss Phil Schiller are in a tough position, though. If they dial down the excitement any lower, Apple fans and shareholders alike will grow suspicious. So they have to put on a smile and act as if everything is fine.

But the writing is on the wall, here. In a few weeks when Apple debuts its next piece of tech, it won’t be enough to just say something is revolutionary. They have to follow through.

Something tells me they won’t.

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Patrick Stafford

Patrick Stafford is a freelance journalist and a former deputy editor of SmartCompany.

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