Software Innovation

So a few days ago I was showing a fellow iPhone 5 owner how to do a Panorama shot. I thought it was cool. The fact that other smartphones have had Panorama features for some time didn't matter; the fact that iPhone 5 can take a really good Panorama photo was what mattered. But that person simply said, " LOL. Today's smartphones have really weird functionalities." Okay.. It was perfectly fine that a average consumer who doesn't travel a lot doesn't find it useful or even interesting.

And this got me thinking... All those 'software innovations'( for example, the new HTC One can use both front and rear facing cameras to record videos) that Android OEMs are advertising as the main features of their flagship smartphones: are they really useful( or really used by the users) or made for the sake of marketing? Are consumers really interested in this kind of things? I don't know the answer because I haven't tried the features in person. However, one thing I want to say that if these features are indeed useless, it negatively affects the brand image of the company. Users lost trust in the company.

Then it led me to justify the 'boringness' of recent Apple products. Is Apple saying, ' Hey, we got a new product that builds upon what you already loved. We know it isn't perfect, has many flaws and limitations, and the general experience hasn't really changed much. But at least we didn't fill it with useless cool-looking features to allure you to buy it. We only changed things that can make it truly better,without you having to do anything or being aware of the new features, and left all others the same because we care deeply about changing every small detail. The new version overall doesn't look dramatically better or different than the previous version, but the new version is truly better, because we put all our energy into improving things that truly matter to our users. We care about making truly better products more than making new products that look different or innovative only in advertisements. If you trust us, I recommend you buy it.' ?

Or is Apple just satisfied with the status quo and think that incremental, not-much-different updates are enough to make people buy Apple products because they are already stuck in the Apple ecosystem?

I don't know the answer. I am just (still) more excited about WWDC than any other product launch event.