Opinion: Apple Finally Understands Software, But Can They Fix Their Hardware Problem?
A couple of weeks back, Apple held their biggest developer conference of the year, WWDC. At the conference Apple made no mention of any new hardware that the company was working on, but instead talked a lot about changes and improvements on the software side of things. More specifically, Apple introduced ways that the company was in many ways playing catch-up with other companies such as Google.
The main area that Apple is arguably playing catch-up with companies like Google is in iOS. If you take a look at iOS 9 today, you will see that Google’s Android is simply capable of much more. Don’t get me wrong, Apple’s iOS is superior to Android is many ways, but at the end of the day Android is much more customizable and is much better for power users who like control over every aspect of the operating system. However, at WWDC this year, Apple detailed how they were finally beginning to change that in some ways.
We can start with the first part of the iPhone that users interact with, the lock screen. Apple has finally announced with iOS 10 that it will be getting a significant redesign. Notifications on the lockscreen will be much more organized and show more detailed information to the user. Also, these notifications on the lockscreen will now have 3D Touch enabled abilities that will allow users to do things such as reply to an iMessage directly from the lockscreen. Apple is also showing signs of actually listening to what users want as opposed to telling them what they want with the new “Raise to Wake” feature built into iOS 10. This feature allows users to see their lockscreen by simply picking up their iPhone.
Apple is also doing things like adding many more features to the Messaging app and opening up Siri to developers. All of this combined with the new features of MacOS Sierra and “WatchOS 3” show Apple desperately trying to catch-up with other companies and fix mistakes they made with in their software. This isn’t a bad thing, though, it actually shows that Apple is finally giving users what they want. I ultimately believe that WWDC this year was all about Apple admitting that they’ve got to open things up a bit and follow in the competition’s footsteps if they want to be successful on the software side of things.
So, now that Apple is getting a pretty good grasp on some great software improvements, hardware is next. I’ll just come out and say it, the iPhone design is getting stale. Both the iPhone 6 and 6S have the same exact design and the latest rumors are all saying that this year’s iPhone 7 likely won’t be differing much from the same design either. In my opinion, Apple would be ignorant if they kept this year’s iPhone design almost identical to the last two. People are getting bored with the iPhone and Apple can see that in their sales numbers. If Apple was to stick with a very similar design with the iPhone 7, 2017 could be the year that Android flagships see significant more sales that iPhone sales. People with iPhone 6’s will be getting to that point where they have an upgrade on their two year contracts with their carriers. Instead of upgrading to the iPhone 7 that looks identical to their iPhone 6, they will upgrade to one of the more interesting Android flagships. So not only will Apple be losing sales, more importantly, they will be losing dedicated iPhone users.
There have been some pretty strong rumors that Apple will be making some big changes to the 2017 iPhone, the iPhone 8, but this will be too little too late. Apple needs to make that move with this year’s iPhone, but unfortunately it doesn’t look like the company is going to. If Apple was to make big changes to this year’s iPhone, the company would be in a fantastic position. A beautifully redesigned iPhone running iOS 10 with all of its great improvements and new features is exactly what Apple needs right now to get sales back up. Sadly, as all the rumors are strongly suggesting, Apple will not do that this year and that’s so unfortunate. Apple may be about to make a mistake that can hurt them pretty bad, even for a big company like themselves.