One of my readers commented on a blog a while calling me out for “talking crap” about the iPhone 5 and we started a debate about whether Apple really does innovate products anymore or have they lost a bit of the allure that once was when Steve Jobs was around. Of course the answer to this is subjective, but what I found most interesting about this conversation was that he called me an early adopter, thus explaining why I have moved on from Apple.
So after watching Apple’s latest keynote speech where they introduced the new iPad mini, the new iPod nanos and some other product upgrades, I began to think about that conversation and what it actually means to be an early adopter. Essentially what I was being told was that because I like to get in on the ground floor of new tech items, it’s easy for me to get bored with the tried and true. In other words…the moment all my NON-tech savvy friends, my parents or anyone from the older generations start using things like the iPhone, I decided to jump ship to a less-saturated market. I guess sub-consciously I don’t want to be grouped in with all of the people that just buy iPhones because they see celebrities using them.
Anyway, back to the original purpose of this post…
Apple just launched the iPad mini which is really nothing special other than it provides a smaller iPad solution for those seeking one or just interested in owning an “i” device without shelling out tons of money. I feel this is great, but as a tech person, I tend to look at things from an aerial view. When done this way, it appears that Apple isn’t really creating anything new and exciting, but rather just releasing newer versions of their flagship devices.
Now I know all you business-minded people out there will tell us that this is the perfect business model: sell the hell out of your most popular products, but when is enough, enough?
The New iPad
How many versions of the iPad do we really need? And I’m not just talking about the different colors or sizes, but actual upgrades! The new iPad (iPad 3) came out just last March and already it’s been replaced by the new iPad (iPad 4)!! That’s right, as of today, the “new” iPad of November 2012 just replaced the “new” iPad of March 2012.
TechRadar exposes the key differences between iPad 3 and iPad 4 on their blog, but basically you’re getting a faster processer, a better front-facing camera and the new Lightning connector that everybody loves to hate.
I feel bad for everyone that bought the new iPad last March after scrimping and saving for it only to be trumped by a new, new iPad today! The old adage that technology is outdated the moment you buy it is coming true for iPad 3 owners today.
At least back in the day, there was some unwritten business plan that only released new products every year, which I still think is too fast, but seriously…only eight months?!
To top it off, the people who somehow didn’t know the iPad mini was coming, they too probably feel ripped off that they just dropped $500 for a new iPad when all they wanted was a slightly bigger iPhone.
As if my thoughts aren’t evident enough, here’s some more for you to chew on. I’ll give Apple a pass this time around. Rather than complain that there are too many versions of every Apple product, I’ll just say that maybe they’re just re-aligning their product line.
They now have a full line of Macbooks, iPods, iPads and iMacs that come in a variety of sizes and colors. If we started at square one, then we can say that Apple finally has a product for everyone at almost every price point.
Yes, saying that made me feel better. But I have a feeling that next year isn’t going to bring anything new and spectacular. I think the tech world is going to have to slow down like the video game console world has. There’s no need to release a new device every single year.