For the first time in recent history, the American public has become disenchanted with Apple. Despite reported record-breaking sales, the new Apple product has come out to an overwhelmingly negative reception by non-loyalists. One of the major issues is that consumers are accustomed to Apple products that boast new and exciting features and innovations. Unfortunately, Apple's latest creation has solved problems that consumers weren't asking to be fixed. It also boasts incremental changes, rather than the radical new developments that consumers have expected for the past two years.
The iPhone 5 invented problems to solve. No one complained that the iPhone 4S was too heavy, that the screen was too short, the casing too wide, or the screen too blurry. Yet these are the major changes that Apple made. It boasts a new reversible connector dubbed the 'lightning,' that is incompatible with the millions of accessories that are currently on the market, including those in cars such as BMW and Mini. Another 'brag worthy' feature is the LTE network - networks already have trouble supporting 3S speeds, so LTE seems more like an empty promise than a functional upgrade. The most apparent misstep is the replacement of Google Maps with Apple's default travel tool, which boasts missing locations, inaccurate information and inferior visual displays. Perhaps rather than inventing problems to fix, and in some cases making problems worse, Apple should have spent a little more time listening to what consumers wanted in their newest upgrade.
Even after upgrading the iPhone 5 to be 20% lighter, 18% thinner, and with a longer screen than its predecessor, it appears as though not much has been changed for the better. People expect innovation from Apple. They do not want the incremental improvements they've seen over the past couple of years, they want radical changes. Unfortunately, what they've been given is roughly the same product since 2007. All iterations of the iPhone have been about the same size with essentially the same interface, yet loyalists keep shelling out a premium to upgrade year over year.
Apple's history of innovation and sleek, stylish designs has created a loyal fan base, which is still turning up to buy all their latest updates. Luckily for Apple, loyalists do not care that the new iPhone solves problems that never existed. They do not care that they now have to buy new connectors, adapters and accessories due to the new connector. They do not mind that this latest product is not revolutionary. But everyone else does. Non-loyalists are well aware that the iPhone is being beat by its competition, and that Apple, once known for industry advancements is falling further and further away from that reputation. Perhaps it's only a matter of time before we come to the end of the Apple era.