Is Apple really not innovating anymore?...

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Kal-037, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. Kal-037, Oct 13, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015

    Kal-037 macrumors 6502a

    Kal-037

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    #1
    I see not just here but most everywhere people commenting on how Apple is no longer innovative. My question is how is that true? They came up with that awesome Force Touch Trackpad, 5k iMac, 3D Touch, Retina MacBook Pros (the first above HD laptops if I recall) and that new Apple Pencil is showing that it will be a big piece of quality tech. I mean let's say for arguments sake that Apple isn't innovative anymore... so what can they do? If they release a true hybrid-like MacBook/iPad they will be called copycats of the Surface. If they add a better camera or higher dpi for their phones they'll just be called copy cats to samsung or LG... Either way they lose. I think we already pretty much have such advanced tech that the only thing Apple can do is refine and make things run better. I also think many of us forget that without Apple's innovations we wouldn't have the grade A tech we have now... and yes much of that is due to Tim Cook's reign, not as much obviously as when Jobs was around but it's only been 4 years.
    Not saying Apple is the king of everything, but let's be honest, without them launching the iPhone and iPad we wouldn't have near the quality tablets we have from other tech giants.


    Kal.
     
  2. shanshor macrumors regular

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    #2
    Who cares? As Steve Jobs said at D11 (great interview if youre interested), products are packages of emphasis. "If people like the product, they'll buy it, if they don't, they wont. And it'll all work itself out." Apple responds to our purchasing power, so if we stop buying their stuff, they'll have to "innovate" more. Otherwise, we are approving of their strategy. And I've gotta say, I think they're doing fine.
     
  3. fitshaced macrumors 68000

    fitshaced

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    #3
    Innovation seems to be often defined as building concepts, selling to public and keeping them in beta until they get scrapped.

    Innovation is purely new thinking creativity and most companies are doing that. Putting higher spec into a thinner body phone is innovation. But people want to be made to think different about technology before they call it innovation. Companies like Samsung have rushed out devices with average implementation and so they are seen to be more innovative than Apple. Yet, Apple can take these weaker efforts and make a better device. That's innovation.

    No-one is inventing a time machine, they are all just shuffling boxes and adding more pixels. It's mostly existing technology applied differently. But much of that is still innovation.
     
  4. mtneer macrumors 68020

    mtneer

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    #4
    Apple, with its history, has also setup high expectations for itself in the minds of the consumers. If this were a Dell or a H-P; there would be almost no expectations of innovation. But Apple has played up a tune of innovation with the masses; and has to constantly keep paying the piper to keep the public satisfied.
     
  5. maxsix Suspended

    maxsix

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    #5
    I would not suggest that they aren't but Apple has found the sweet spot of innovation versus profit taking.

    Thereby insuring they are grabbing all the cash they can, when they can.

    Never underestimate Apples obsession with our wallets :eek:
     
  6. Robnsn2015 macrumors regular

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  7. Kuroz macrumors member

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    #7
    Maybe I didn't keep up with the news on the pencil, but what is so special about it compared to the surface pen? The pen will be able to have 1024 pressure sensitivity. I don't know if the apple pencil will have more. The only special thing I can see about the pencil is that it can tilt? I'm disappointed actually by the size of it honestly, it looks way too long from the photos and videos I've seen.
     
  8. Macalway macrumors 68000

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    #8
    They are innovating as usual. The force touch thing is a good example.
     
  9. sjleworthy macrumors 65816

    sjleworthy

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    #9
  10. engineerben macrumors regular

    engineerben

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    #10
    Folks mistake innovation for the "next big thing" - the tentpole products that either succeed or not in the market place, but that mark a big shift in market perception. The iPod, the iPhone, the iPad, Apple Watch - none of these were the first of their category, but Apple made them attractive, friendly and accessible, and people see that as "innovation."

    To me, the real innovation is happening behind the scenes; for example, this: how does a manufacture of consumer goods manage to challenge the number one builder of CPUs on the planet on raw horsepower? Apple's products may succeed or fail, but they've built up a very impressive R&D team, and I certainly wouldn't count them out in the innovation department.
     
  11. engineerben macrumors regular

    engineerben

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    #11
    The pencil is actually an interesting case, and I can't wait to see the tear-down.

    How do they sense force? Strain gauge? Piezo? How do they sense tilt? With another strain gauge at right angles to the down-force gauge? With a solid-state gyro? And if a gyro, is the tilt relative to the screen or to the force of gravity? If to gravity, then you can only use tilt when the tablet is flat on a surface; if not, then you have to do some differential math between the gyro in the pencil and the gyro in the iPad to come up with the tilt angle. And what drives the proximity sensor - RF pickup or something else?

    And yet...it's just a pencil. Something you casually pick up and draw with. That's innovation - take massively complex systems and make them simple to use, and so far, nobody does this better than Apple.
     
  12. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

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    #12
    Current innovation is less revolutionary and more evolutionary, but it's still innovation.

    For many, however, they yawn and complain that their new consumer electronics device doesn't give them goosebumps any longer.

    I think the fact that the press and general public typically go more batty for the yearly aesthetic changes rather than the internal (S) upgrades is evodence of this.
     
  13. Rogifan macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #13
    Why do you care whether other people think Apple is innovating or not?
     
  14. CEmajr macrumors 601

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    #14
    Of course they're innovating.

    Voice assistants are now standard in smartphones
    Fingerprint scanners are becoming standard
    Force touch will likely be implemented in some form by other manufacturers
     
  15. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

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    #15
    Oh, and I forgot to mention that everything is now thinner and snappier.
     
  16. cycledance Suspended

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    #16
    apple has become a cold technology company that is driven by quarterly profits instead of a visionary, perfectionist, powerful leader who takes risks.
     
  17. littelsquidge macrumors member

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    #17
    I think it's more a case of Apple becoming more risk averse in their innovation. The iPod was a risk, the iPhone was a risk. Heck even the original iMac was a risk. The company is so valuable now that they must be careful in their assessment of product viability. Stock value being an important factor, I suspect.

    I agree that they seem to have hit the sweet spot in terms of long term product evolution. They'll introduce a new product or service every 2-3 years then spend 4-5 years refining and improving that product/service. At the point where the market viability is established, they can gradually transfer resources to research and develop their next product.

    Think of the iPad for example. The iPad Air 2, I'm guessing, has pretty much achieved their original vision. There is little else they can do other than add some bells and whistles. The iPad Pro is the next step, and whilst it contains some innovative and important advances in mobile tech, the device as a whole is not ground-breaking. I don't think it's a coincidence that the iPad pro is similar in weight to the original iPad. The weight of that device would have been heavily tested and researched to ensure it was comfortable to use as intended. Once they felt they could bring their envisioned 'pro' experience to a device that same weight, they did it. I wouldn't be surprised if a few years down the line, there's an even larger iPad, that's the same weight.

    The iPad is an established market, requiring less and less development. So they've long since switched resources to the watch, or to the TV, which will be refined and improved over the next few years until something... the Car?

    My guess is that the iPhone has swallowed up the vast majority of development resources for too long. This has probably been at the expense of major innovation in other/new categories. I don't blame them, the iPhone is such a successful and lucrative product that they must keep pushing.

    The fact that force-touch/3D touch appears to have been developed for the watch before the phone, could indicate that the iPhone has now reached its development peak. Resources are being reallocated, ready for the next big thing.
     
  18. rowspaxe macrumors 68000

    rowspaxe

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    #18
    I personally think the pencil low latency claim is pure hype. I look foward to super slow mo analysis of pencil and surface pen on this issue. The tilt feature, however, is a nice touch and I hope developers support it
     
  19. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

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    #19
    It's rare that Apple focuses on a feature so much that doesn't wow. I suspect it will live up to the hype.
     
  20. rowspaxe macrumors 68000

    rowspaxe

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    #20
    I dont really see anything innovative happening on the iphone since its introduction, except welcome incremental improvements. How this would exhaust the development resources of a company like apple is hard to imagine. The iphone was a hugely innovative product and defined apple as an innovative company. No one is pointing to power pc, thunderbolt, or the watch. Elon Musk is openly mocking the watch. I feel the ipad is innovative, but really is part of the iphone revolution.
     
  21. littelsquidge macrumors member

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    #21
    I agree. Kind of. There's lots of little innovations being made in the iphone, but there's no big innovations. The welcome improvements are sometimes overlooked. Just off the top of my head, the motion co-processor is very significant. The camera technologies are impressive developments one their own. Many elements of tech are dependent on nailing something else beforehand. For example, they introduced contactless payments once they'd successfully implemented touch ID and so on. It certainly gives the impression that they're drip-feeding upgrades.

    I think it's a common misconception that Apple has limitless resources. They actually operate surprisingly small engineering and design teams. These small teams are much effective than large unwieldy ones. I'm not sure about the exact figures, but total Apple employees is around the 90K mark. About half of that is in retail alone. Compare that to Dell or Microsoft who have around 120k employees apiece.
     
  22. lagwagon Suspended

    lagwagon

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    #22
    The most exciting thing many are talking about and those who have actually tried one out. Is that is has next to zero latency. Which no other pen+screen combo has been able to accomplish. Beating out high end Cintiq tablets that cost over double what an iPad Pro+Pencil cost. Cintiq's have been around for quite a while, and this is only Apple's first attempt.
     
  23. Mystro macrumors 6502

    Mystro

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    #23
    A need will foster innovation. As long as the need is met innovation only needs to be incremental.
     
  24. rowspaxe macrumors 68000

    rowspaxe

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    #24
    I am skeptical of claims of near zero latency. People have just taken the word of apple enthusiasts/tech reviewers about this claim. Please google reddit for interesting screen captures disputing this claim of check below--

    https://www.reddit.com/r/apple/comments/3kaapx/do_you_think_apple_pencil_will_be_a_viable/

    A lot initial impression claim the Apple Pencil is lag free. From the hands on videos, I can conclude the Apple Pencil has ~60ms (+-20ms) lag.

    (reference video with guy claiming lag free)

    http://imgur.com/a/hA9qm (screen shots of lag in action)
     
  25. TechZeke, Oct 14, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015

    TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

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    #25
    Thank you. Who started the high-resolution craze? No one was trying to put a 1080p in a smartphone before Apple went 'Retina'. After the rMBP came out, every manufacturer was trying to put a 4K display in a laptop. I still haven't seen a 5K AIO Windows PC yet. It took what, over 3 years after release of the rMBP to get proper retina scaling support with Windows 10?

    Heck, Windows PCs still haven't perfectly matched Apple's Trackpad from 2008 and Apple has already made the jump to Force Touch. Every manufacturer is probably rushing to add some form of force touch right now, but you will still hear nothing but about how Apple is copying and not innovating.

    The problem is everyone wants a new redesign and only think a true redesign or new product category counts as innovation, ignoring all the amazing new useful features Apple has introduced that is now standard across the industry.

    Sometimes I feel like Apple must literally reinvent the wheel every year to be considered innovative.
     

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