Apple had an event this week where they announced new products. But it lacked the excitement and wow factor that we have come to expect. Has Apple lost its mojo, or is something else going on here?
New product announcements from Apple and Google seem less impressive than they used to be. They seem more evolutionary than revolutionary.
There could be a number of reasons for that.
Product innovation is happening at a faster pace than ever before. Are we getting so used to that pace that we have higher expectations for innovation than before?
Is the smartphone / tablet field so mature that it is less likely to be the subject of any new revolutionary “wow” or “just one more thing” developments?
Has the prospect for revolutionary development moved from the relatively mature smartphone / tablet field to things like virtual reality, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, drones, self-driving cars, wearables, and the internet of things? (See Gartner’s latest Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies.)
Many of those are in early days, and we have not yet grasped how they will impact us. Some, such as AI, are behind the scenes, so while we have the benefit of it, its not something we can hold in our hand. And some are not as personal or multifunctional as a phone or tablet, and may never be something everyone will have.
To put that in perspective, almost everyone has a smartphone or tablet. But it wasn’t that many years ago that a phone was considered a household or office device that you just made phone calls on – not a personal device that is basically a internet connected computer that performs a myriad of tasks.
We forget that while the ipad, for example, was revolutionary when it came out, there had been several attempts to create tablets earlier. They failed because they missed the mark on features and useability – in part because the tech had to catch up with the concept. Like the entertainer who is perceived as an overnight success, but has spent years as a starving artist.