It's a cycle. Has no one else noticed?
After yesterday's announcement of the greatly anticipated (and even more greatly leaked) iPhone 5, I was not the least bit surprised to find every tech blog, forum, news site etc. filled to the brim with details and analyses of the day's events. After 6 years of these announcements, it's really become routine.
As usual, among all the chatter of the new 4", 16:9 screen and the lightning port, there was forum post upon forum post, comment after comment, essay after essay, regarding massive discontentment with Apple's newest offering. At this point it is not the least bit shocking to see this kind of overly dramatic outrage, but what I do find utterly baffling is that, after all these years, no one seems to realize that the same cycle of iPhone release has taken place every single year since the launch of the iPhone 3G.
The cycle is quite simple, really, and hasn't changed since 2007, but to break it down for the uninitiated and/or jaded of us:
- Rumors surface.
- Anticipation of the unknown sprouts.
- Unrealistic expectations are formed.
- Excitement grows.
- Last minute, wildly absurd rumors spill all over the blogosphere.
- The next iPhone is announced.
- Disappointment due to unfulfilled unrealistic expectations is rampant.
- Outcry among the tech crowd regarding Apple’s decreasing ability to innovate/Android or WP superiority/where’z teh specz n' octo-core processorz???
- Prophecies of Apple’s imminent demise rule the interwebs.
- Pre-order insanity crashes servers.
- Official release takes place.
- Massive, virtually universal praise blankets the media.
- Discontent with the new iPhone’s perceived shortcomings subsides.
- Enormous sales figures are posted. New records are set.
- General adoration of new iPhone by owners/would-be owners becomes the norm.
- New rumors surface.
- etc. etc. etc.
This same cycle takes place EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. The simple fact is that at this point we are running out of new features and/or technologies to implement in flagship smartphones that represent any significant value to consumers (all smartphones, not just the iPhone). Is that a bad thing? Not at all. It is merely a sign of the times; proof that within the past 10 or so years the tech industry has made such significant progress, seen such enormous growth, particularly in the mobile space, that there is little that can be added to new devices (for now) that will not feel tacked on or unnecessary or included just as a "me too" feature.
We are now at the point where it is time to slow down in the cool but useless, impressive but gimmicky feature addition department, and instead work toward improving on and ideally perfecting that which we already have, until the next new, potentially game changing thing comes along (which I have no doubt will happen again fairly soon). From where I’m standing it looks like Android, iOS, and WP are all doing just that, each in their own unique and exciting ways, each at their own paces, each with their own goals, and each is doing an absolutely fantastic job. What does this mean for us as consumers? It means better stuff for EVERYONE - better phones, better performance, better ecosystems, better everything.
That is a very, VERY good thing.