Why I’m getting tired of my iPhone

Let’s get something straight. I love my iPhone.

Really, I do. But it’s getting a little moldy.

I don’t mean mine in particular. It’s fine and I keep it pretty clean.

I mean the iPhone in general.

It’s been years since the iPhone really had any major changes or “new stuff” added to it, and to be honest, it’s getting moldy.

This begs the question a lot of people are asking these days.

“WTF has happened to Apple?”

I don’t mean this in a snarky way. I mean it in a troubled and somewhat surprised way.

For a company that prides itself on innovation, it seems they are falling behind the curve.

Other platforms and hardware vendors have done amazing things in the past few year. Android has finally figured out they need to address their “fragmentation” problem…er…excuse me…the fragmentation “situation”. Things are improving and the industry is seeing lots of new stuff that runs across the board on different Android devices.

Apple has rested on their laurels, the loyalty of their fan base, and their market inertia to keep them where they are.

But let’s consider a few symptoms of the underlying problem.

Stock prices are dropping. Used to be Apple stock was the hottest thing on the planet. In the past couple quarters they have lost billions in overall valuation. It doesn’t seem to be getting any better.

Sales of iPhones have slumped. iPads still sell like crazy. They should. They are fantastic. But the iPhone….not so much.

I’ve got two main complaints here. They are hardware stagnation and IOS stagnation. So, pretty much the whole thing.

You see, the hardware of the iPhone, while it’s gotten updated and upgraded over the past few years, hasn’t really changed. It’s fundamentally the same device. OK..new stuff here and there, and how much can you really change a device that has one button (three if you count power and volume).

But the guts aren’t really my beef. It’s the design of the hardware.

Where the hell is the cool design? Why do we still have the clunky iPhone 4 design (that sucks BTW) when we have the cooler looking iPad mini design? Where is the teardrop shape we keep hearing rumors about? Other companies have done some cool stuff with their hardware designs. They are more pleasing to look at, and to be honest, feel better in your hand.

Apple needs to seriously update it’s design of the phone.

The real concern here is IOS. It’s stale, out of date and behind the times. Honestly, it’s boring.

Let’s start with the “swipe to unlock” issue. A PIN code? Really? Let’s move into the modern era. There are so many more effective and better ways to lock/protect your device. I love the pattern code Android has. Next is the iOS home screen. Dull and not really that functional anymore. If Windows Mobile has taught us anything, is that a “tiled” home screen with things like weather data, frequently use app shortcuts and such are valuable.

The real estate on your home screen is the most valuable there is. You see it ALL the time. Make it do more than just show you a list of app icons. Make it “work”.

How about a fingerprint reader? That covers hardware AND IOS. See any uses there for this? I sure do.

You now what? Even a better calculator would be nice. There are a myriad of other issues.

I’m not alone in wanting these things. I read stuff like this all the time. Apple has lost it’s creative mojo. It needs desperately to get it back.

When I read that Apple plans no product announcements planned through the next two quarters of this year, two things come to my mind.

First, I hope they are using this time to work on something big. A new iPhone, from the ground up is not only what I’m hoping for, it’s what Apple NEEDS.

Second, if they aren’t, and come out with a new version of AppleTV and an iPhone in blue, they are going to be in real trouble.

I question Tim Cook’s leadership at this point. I realize he appears to be a hell of a business leader. But where is the creative leadership? Jony Ive needs to step in a big way. I’m willing to give him time to work since he’s been given more responsibility. Probably more than Wall Street is willing to give him.

But I’m not waiting forever.

It’s like the Jimmy Buffet song says, “Can’t you see them circling….can’t you see them schooling around. You’ve got fins to the left, fins to the right…”

Apple isn’t the only girl in town these days, and the sharks are circling.

If they don’t do something soon, Android is going to be looking mighty good.

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