The common wisdom from members of the technorati elite and market prognosticators says Apple is not innovating the iPhone, that Apple’s every other year ‘s’ model is merely tick-tock marketing with little of substance in the ‘s’ versions.
Yet, every year the tech elite and market manipulators prove to be wrong, and every other year Apple’s iPhone ‘s’ models continue to innovate and outsell projections. This happens with such regularity that you’d think Apple critics would have learned not to take up limb sitting as a pastime. iPhone 6s and 6s Plus launched over the weekend and it happened again.
Do The Math
Math is merely one element of a core education, but it would seem that many employees of the technology criticism industry missed the class. Every quarter Apple releases new sales figures; revenue, profits, and unit sales of the company’s product core; iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
Only days into the iPhone 6s launch and already numbers appear to be higher than last year’s iPhone introduction, and those critics who said the ‘s’ model year is the anemic one with few changes have to admit that it’s just as Apple says. ‘Nothing has changed except everything.’
In a case that looks like last year’s model (slightly thicker, slightly heavier, different grade of aluminum) Apple rejiggered nearly every component. More RAM. Faster CPU (benchmarked at about the same as a new Intel Inside MacBook). Faster graphics. Faster Touch ID. 3D Touch for Peek and Poke. 12MP camera in back and 8MP camera in front. The iPhone 6s Plus has image stabilization for both photos and videos. 4k videos. In a freakin’ phone.
So much for not being able to innovate in the ‘s’ years, huh?
How is it possible that Apple can layer in new and exciting features year after year, while keeping the same case design for two years? The two year case design should be obvious. It helps to keep the accessories market always leaning in Apple’s direction. It helps Apple’s engineers know where to place improved internal components because they know what the case size will be a year in advance.
The so-called ‘tick-tock’ cycle is an urban myth. Apple does what Apple does and obviously pays little attention to the critics of the industry. Doing the math with Apple is easy. What you won’t find on iPhone or iPad is a screen with resolution more than users need (take that, Samsung) because it impacts battery life. What you will find are unique usability options like Touch ID which happens to be integrated into Apple Pay, and 3D Touch (Force Touch trackpads on the Mac), all of which combine to further differentiate Apple’s products and the user experience from the riffraff of Android and Windows PC devices.
This kind of process happens Every. Freaking. Year.
Despite Apple executives overusing the word, it’s not magical. It’s math. Apple is like a machine which churns out iterative and incremental improvements to products regularly, as if on a schedule, while implementing disruptive changes when the market, technology, and timing are right.
A case in point is the much maligned and obviously neglected Apple TV, the device which spawned a dozen copycats that do much the same, but Apple responded when it was ready to create a TV platform that ties together AirPlay, HomeKit, and GameKit into a single, powerful device controlled by a magic wand with a Siri connection.
Who didn’t see that coming?