Former Apple Executive Says Company Stalling in Design Innovations Following Death of Steve Jobs

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    A recent report by The Wall Street Journal has taken a look into the smartphone design war happening between Apple and Samsung, suggesting that the latter company has begun edging out the former with the design of the Galaxy S8.

    According to Hugh Dubberly, formerly of both Apple and Samsung, Samsung isn't ahead of Apple because it has "gotten better" at designing smartphones, but because Apple has "fundamentally changed" following the death of former CEO Steve Jobs.

    While smartphone innovation has "plateaued" over the last few years, analysts said that consumers are focusing more on the aesthetic of a smartphone to determine if they will buy the device or not.
    The report cites recent data accumulated by Consumer Reports, which compared 2016's iPhone 7 to 2017's Galaxy S8. The newer Galaxy S8 bested the iPhone 7 in categories like battery life and design, while most of the iPhone 7's shortcomings are rumored to be addressed in the iPhone 8 later this year.

    According to analysts, the iPhone 8 needs "a new distinguishing feature," with The Wall Street Journal referencing a fingerprint sensor embedded under the display as a potential game-changing addition -- although recent rumors have suggested Touch ID could be nixed from the iPhone 8 altogether.

    Apple and Samsung's smartphone design war has been raging for years, heating up in 2011 when Apple sued Samsung and accused the company of copying the design of the iPhone and iPad and committing patent infringement in the process. Last December, the Supreme Court reversed a decision to award Apple $399 million in damages related to the case, which it was originally awarded by a lower court, and the case will now returned to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

    For the next devices, Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 8 in the traditional September timeframe, and the smartphone is believed to include a 5.8-inch OLED screen with an edge-to-edge display, glass body, wireless charging, facial recognition, and no physical Home Button. Samsung is rumored to announce the Galaxy Note 8 in August, potentially launching with a curved display that is "marginally larger" than the 6.2-inch display of the current Galaxy S8+, while also including two rear cameras.

    Article Link: Former Apple Executive Says Company Stalling in Design Innovations Following Death of Steve Jobs
  2. predation macrumors 6502a

    Apr 3, 2013
    Hoping Apple knocks it out of the park with the iP8
  3. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2007
  4. Sunny1990, Jul 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017

    Sunny1990 Suspended


    Feb 13, 2015
    Steve Jobs was true legend,a visionary, nothing can replace him.

    The last iPhone design which Steve Jobs was involved in was iPhone 5. Even today it's Gold Standard in Smartphone design. It was the best looking iPhone Apple ever made till date in my Opinion

    iPhone 5 = Best design Among the lineup
  5. JaySoul macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2008
    Samsung push the boundaries of hardware every year. They give their all, every year.

    However, Samsung don't give the same importance to their software, ecosystem, customer service and countless other factors.

    Apple have slowed down their push for amazing hardware - but they still deliver a much more well-rounded product, with complimentary services and a solid ecosystem. It's not always so exciting but they (usually) deliver consistent satisfaction for their users.

    (PS - I have a Samsung S8).
  6. krfr macrumors member


    Sep 11, 2015
    They better not nix Touch ID! So much more intuitive and faster than any facial recognition in my opinion.
  7. djcerla macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2015
    In related news, Apple caught the whole industry pants down, once again, with ARKit, the foundation of the next leg of innovation and growth for tech and society as a whole.

    But "Apple's innovation has stalled since SJ death" has a sweet, irresistible ring to it, no matter what reality looks like.
  8. Nr123*123 macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2014
    Whether you're an Apple or Samsung fan, it's hard to disagree with this.

    The iPhone 6 is more or less indistinguishable from the iPhone 7.

    What Apple is bringing with the iPhone 8 has been done by Samsung already.
  9. jaded-mandarin macrumors regular

    Jan 1, 2008
    The article is about design innovations, as in hardware.

    Read the article title/content properly before jumping to defence?
  10. Macwatcher123 macrumors newbie


    Aug 24, 2016
    Watching Apple since '99.
    Why on Earth should Apple do all that design hard work if fast followers like Samsung can then delay reparations in court by years and then imitate everything it does? So much better to develop a convincing and powerful software-based ecosystem the competition can't hope to emulate. Which is why Apple's doing just that. Heck, if Samsung has a good design idea, Apple can always copy it -- it knows how to defend itself against accusations of doing that in the courts, doesn't it? After all, Samsung showed it how it was done.
  11. Rogifan macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2011
    Yawn. Never heard of the guy. Must not have been that important at Apple.
  12. nwcs macrumors 65816


    Sep 21, 2009
    A classic example of a product in full maturity. Sales aren't driven by features or need but cosmetics and gimmicks. We've seen this already but I don't think people have accepted it fully. It's a sure sign that the market will be ready for a disruption of some sort within the next 5-10 years and the top players will shift around quickly.
  13. Rogifan macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2011
    What design innovations does Samsung have? Everyone is moving to bezel-free displays. Nothing special about Samsung.
  14. thisisnotmyname macrumors 68000


    Oct 22, 2014
    known but velocity indeterminate
    I don't buy into all the beatification of Steve. At some point we've "innovated" the design of an item that connects to speech and ear with a touch screen for interaction about as much as we can. We're ready for the next evolution of mobile devices (wearables and then implantables) to go big but until then "design" innovation will remain fairly plateaued with minor changes and face lifts.
  15. nt5672, Jul 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017

    nt5672 macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2007
    Hard to disagree with the fact that an accountant is not qualified to run a technology company known for its technical innovations. Today, Apple is just a stepping stone for Cook's political activism and correctness. He should spend less time on magazine covers and in interviews and start pushing his team to create. Of course, it is really hard to create when there is no vision at the top.
  16. ValO macrumors 65816

    Sep 16, 2012
    It is all show. We have seen this before; apple is doomed! Innovation is dead at apple. New Iphones are delayed, etc.
    People want to drive stock prices down, because the iphone 8 is already taken into account in the current stock price.
    It is something like: trying to double dip, etc.
  17. BruceEBonus, Jul 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017

    BruceEBonus macrumors 65816


    Sep 23, 2007
    Derbyshire, England
    New Apple cant hold a candle to Old Apple. We know that. But as an investment buying shares in them is a long term goldmine. Despite having stagnated over the last three years their shares are impervious to market forces and go up and up. It's makes no sense. The evidence that things can only get worse if this pattern of inertia continues couldn't be clearer - yet profits rise. Crazy. How do they do that then?. If other companies knew that they too could save a lot of r & d money and spend it on charity meals and public self promotional events instead. (cough) Possibly. :rolleyes:
  18. Mjmar macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2008
    Remember the iPhone 4? Seems like Apple has stepped down a few notches since then.
  19. DaveOP macrumors 65816

    May 29, 2011
    Portland, OR
    The article ties "innovation" to "fancy looking hardware" FAR more than it should. Apple is still extremely innovative on the software front, which matters more IMO. Everyone will get to bezel-less displays, slabs of glass that look like the S8. Not everyone will come up with something to the level of ARKit.
  20. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Boston, MA
    In terms of physical design, it seems Apple has been focused more on finish, color, and durability than with coming up with new shapes. Nobody else has been able to make that that smooth yet matte aluminum as well as Apple does it.

    I know people will disagree with me regarding the durability thing because iPhones are still pretty fragile, but I have two points to make on it first: First, the iPhone 7 is probably 10x more durably than the iPhone 5 or iPhone 6 was - durability has improved a ton, even if the improvement was very super fragile to just fragile. Second, because the look and finish or a new iPhone is sooo good, small scratches and dings are more noticeable, and seem to bring out the obsessiveness in people - Samsung owners just don't care about the look of their phones to the same drastic degree because they don't look as nice and feel cheaper to begin with
  21. Mr. Dee macrumors 65832

    Mr. Dee

    Dec 4, 2003
    Considering Steve Jobs wasn't sold on the iPhone for a while and it took a lot of improvements to really get it to a point where he got religion. Steve Jobs did not create the iPhone, he didn't develop iOS or the iconic design, he just did a very good job at finding the right team, the financial resources and selling the iPhone to us the consumers. It took a lot of convincing for him to even consider a smartphone under the Apple brand. Steve is not necessarily the visionary we think, if people within the company didn't argue him down, the iPod would only be a niche device for the Mac. He didn't even want iTunes on Windows.

    Obviously, smartphones have reached a good enough point, old versions do what need. Sure, it could be thinner, but what difference would it really make? Apple is certainly trickling out innovation in new revisions because one, they want to stretch out the upgrade cycles and they are stuck between a rock and hard place. If the technologies are not there, what are they gonna do?
  22. zone23 macrumors 68000

    May 10, 2012
    You don't say..

    Attached Files:

  23. OldSchoolMacGuy macrumors 68040


    Jul 10, 2008
    A former employee has something bad to say about their former employer? Imagine that.
  24. 78Bandit macrumors 6502


    Jun 13, 2009
    The thing about an aspirational, luxury product like the iPhone is that design and exclusivity affect purchasing choice almost as much as functionality. People who will drop $700+ (and now rumored $1,000+) on a phone not only want the latest and greatest, they want others around them to know that too. That's why high-end clothing designers come out with new lines every year even though last year's line is still fine. Their customers have an innate desire to be seen in the latest fashion trend.

    Design wise Apple is stuck. You had major changes in the design that were not driven by function every couple of years. The iPhone 5, with the chamfered edges, was the last great design IMHO. The iPhone 6 tried too hard to be thin and as a result lost its character. The iPhone 8 is looking like a knock-off of the Galaxy S8 simply because they both are meeting the same functional goals in a technically competent manner without any passion in design. It is almost like the automakers back in the '80s and '90s when everything was driven around meeting low-cost production goals and the elegant designs of the '50s, '60s, and even early '70s were thrown away in favor of the lowest cost stampings available.

    I'm not a designer and certainly can't tell Apple what they need to do; however, I am a customer who appreciates aesthetically pleasing design. The iPhone 6 design which has been used for three years now is quite bland and boring.
  25. Pbrutto macrumors 6502a


    Apr 21, 2015
    Eastern PA
    Not really sure what to make of this. Apple, Samsung and everybody else can only do so much now. The bezel less iPhone would be a good example of continuing great hardware design. At this point, what else is a phone gonna look like? Is it apples fault that they mostly created a market, then destroyed the competition in the market, and now have slowed down along with everyone else? I think the “next big thing” is just that....another “thing” but not a smartphone. Our pockets aren’t getting any bigger, so the phone really can’t either. If any of us could know what we need next, then we would be Steve Jobs if 10-15 years ago and we would be rich in a few years. I can reasonably guess that it will be technology, and it won’t be in our hands, as cool as AR has the potential to be, do you really see us all holding our phones up to look at at stuff in 10 years??

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