Why I think Apple is missing the iPhone mark
First of all, here's why I'm an expert and qualified to write this story. I've been an Apple fan boy since 1987. I vividly remember the surreal experience of using the first iPhone in public and having people ask me if they could see it.
iPhones were innovative. Surprising. Amazing. Today, they are just... meh. M-E-H.
More Expensive, Ho-hum.
I had the iPhone X and took it back. I've tried the "new iPhone experience" and found it lacking in usefulness to me. [See my post Why I got rid of my iPhone X.] I certainly don't want a newer iPhone X.
Here's why I think Apple is missing the mark:
There's certainly a market (obviously a huge one) for people who want an all-in-one device. Photographers (both hobbyist and professional), video junkies (their device is their TV), gamers, geeks and the average person who thinks they need all that but only uses four apps (they're a lot like the person with the high-end Macbook Pro who only uses Microsoft Office on it).
But there's also a massive (and growing) market for simplicity and common sense. We don't need all those things in a phone. We don't want BIGGER. We want a smallish phone, with some of the latest tech. Give us functionality and innovation, but don't wrap it up in a package that is a Cadillac when all we want is a nice Chevy.
Expensive. With these new iPhones, Apple's lowest price point is $750! Folks, let's back away from the hype and say slowly, "That's ridiculous." What happened to the $300-$400 price point? Or cheaper? The iPhone XS starts at $999, and XS Max starts at $1099. (You can buy a Macbook for that!)
Now I know the argument here. (Remember, I had the first iPhone and just about every iteration ever since except the Plus sizes.) The first iPhones were subsidized heavily by Cingular, AT&T and later every other phone company. The phones have always cost upwards of $500-$600. You get what you pay for, right?
However, all of these phones... they want you to use them for a year and a half and then upgrade. They don't want you to keep your iPhone forever. It's planned obsolescence. But it's expensive planned obsolescence. Not only are we paying for our cell service, but we're now forced into contracts where we "buy out" our phones over 12-24 month installments, which becomes an additional $30-$40 a month on our cell phone bills.
Ho-hum. As I read article after article on the new phones announced today, I thought, "They're just the same phone." Boring. Improvements and impressive abilities, but people... it's supposed to be a phone. Because they're making it a computer/camera/phone/TV, it's just too much.
Apple should make the iCamera and tickle the fancy of video/photography enthusiasts. Give the rest of us a solid, functional, fun device with a decent camera and we'll be happy. We don't print the pictures we take anyway, and I can't tell you how many people I know don't back up their phones and end losing their pictures on them anyway.
I think Steve Jobs would be ticked off. Under his leadership, Apple was not about incremental improvements. They stayed ahead of all of us and redefined (and re-invented) the computer, music, and cell phone industries. They created what we didn't know we wanted.
Now, I'm afraid they're just trying to keep up with the Joneses.. or at least stay one step ahead of them.
What I hoped for...
I wanted a smaller phone - smaller even than the current offerings. I loved the form factor of the iPhone 5/5S/SE. I was hoping we'd get new tech in that form factor.
Home button. I hate facial recognition to open your locked phone. I already talked about this in the article I wrote about taking the iPhone X back. I. Hate. It. I want a home button. With these new phones, Apple has dropped the home button completely. I wonder if the last iteration (iPhone 8) will actually become more popular now?
Fun features for $400-$500. Give me these things, with animojis and a portrait camera. It doesn't have to be the best camera - put the camera in it from the iPhone 7 Plus, and I'd be happy.
I'm still hoping Apple will create again. I'm hoping for a product unveiling that will cause our jaws to drop and will cause random strangers in a coffee shop to say, "Can I see how that works?"