Apple is set to announce the latest iPhone on September 10th. This has been an annual tradition for the folks in Cupertino since 2007 when Steve Jobs walked on stage at the Moscone Center in San Francisco to tell us all about the widescreen iPod with touch controls, revolutionary mobile phone and a breakthrough Internet communicator. These “three things” turned out, of course, to be one thing… the iPhone.
Since then, updates have been pretty evolutionary. 3G, 4G, LTE, better cameras, more local storage, an ability to run custom apps, slight form factor changes. Competition eventually caught up. Some argue, in fact, that the competition has surpassed Apple as a leader in smart phone innovation. It would be a shame if the announcements next month remove all doubt for the Apple haters.
The rumors out on the ‘interwebs’ are disturbing. Much talk is being made that the phones will now come in colors. Gold, in fact, is getting a lot of attention as one of the major features that Apple CEO Tim Cook is expected to announce. This is not what I would call innovation by any stretch of the definition.
When Phone Colors Were a Big Deal
Do you remember what phones were like prior to 2007? If so you may recall that Motorola was selling one of the hottest phones out there. They called it the Razr. It was a thin flip phone that had the same poor excuse for apps that every other phone (sans Blackberry, of course) had at that time. Poor web browsing, poor contact lists, limited features, and usually some junky apps that came preloaded.
Ahh, but the Razr came in sexy colors. Remember the gunmetal gray, hot pink and celery (yeah, look it up)? Remember when they made you want the phone in those colors and they marketed that as a feature?
If Apple “phones it in” (sorry) this year with a new selection of colors and that makes it into the top three list of new things that the 5s will deliver, then it will be time for CEO Tim Cook to go. His Board of Directors has already put him on notice that he needs to innovate faster. Please, Tim. Don’t tell me your idea of innovation is a gold iPhone.
GoldFinger? A gold phone with a fingerprint scanner
Rumors persist that a fingerprint scanner will make its debut next month. If so, that will be your headline. A phone that makes it easier to unlock each of the 75 times I use it during the course of a day will make it more likely, in fact, that I will want to put a more secure password on the device. If the fingerprint swipe lets me unlock it, that would be a welcome addition. OK, that’s one thing. What’s number two?
I’ll be disappointed if they don’t increase the storage capacity and bump up the megapixels on the front facing camera. But that’s not innovation. What else?
I hear those colors lurking in the background. Don’t color my world, Tim. This may be your last chance to impress us as the two year anniversary of Steve Jobs’ passing looms. Time to show us all of those ‘exciting new products’ that you’ve been hinting at for most of this year. If you wait much longer, the next guy may be doing the unveiling.
If you want to be inspired, take a look back at the MacWorld keynote from January 2007 with Steve Jobs announcing the original iPhone. Before you do, it may help if you pull one of those old Razr phones out of the drawer just to remind you what it was like not that long ago.