MG Siegler writing about people who are “disappointed” that the iPhone 5 looks the same as the iPhone 4S:

Apple is not and will not change things just for the sake of change. And while some may now be clamoring for this change, the paradox is that if Apple did make some big changes, many of the same people would bitch and moan about them. Apple is smart enough to know that in this case, most people don’t really want change, they just think that they do because that’s the easiest way to perceive value: visual newness.

Siegler’s post is fantastic and worth a read, but I have a counter point to his argument that is something to be mindful of. That is, RIM was very good at ever so slightly making the BlackBerry devices better — iterating design — but in the end they got pigeoned holed into thinking the same.

I don’t see Apple doing this at all, but I think it’s important to remember that iterating to perfection is fantastic just so long as you recognize that perfection may be a completely different device than what you are iterating on today. This in my mind is what explains the move to a 4-inch screen. I am sure that in 2007 3.5 inches seemed fantastically big, but Apple kept their eyes opened (and their minds) realizing that 4 inches maybe a better device.

This is counter to what RIM did, deciding that a trackball was better than a jog dial and color screens better than monochrome — so we have nothing to worry about with Apple right now. I just want to point out that there’s two types of iteration: iteration for the sake of perfection and iteration for the sake of selling new devices. It’s the latter that we need to be worried about, Apple’s still well in the iterating to perfection mode.


Posted by Ben Brooks