Apple Worms

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but it is also the cheapest form of revenue.

apple-share-price-350wApple has devolved from being a generator of disruptive innovations to instigator of imitations. This week’s iOS 7 preview is meeting with weird-not-rave reviews noting that the mobile operating system borrows design elements from Microsoft Vista and Google’s Android. The big hype is that the UI design is completely overhauled, meaning that Apple is now copying Microsoft’s mode of destroying what people have become accustomed to using, and by jettisoning that investment may also jettison customers. One commenter rudely said:

“Say what you want about Apple products, but at least they always had their own vibe. The new update eliminates that. Now, iPhones and iPads will look like more expensive versions of their Android cousins. That green felt and wood aesthetic that Apple was so excited to discard at least allowed Apple to stand out from the crowd.”

In short, iOS 7 seems to be a letdown, which may explain why investors are letting Apple’s share price down.

Changing the game is a marketing maneuver as well as a product plan. But changing the game means more than merely changing the product. It means breaking patterns, not repeating them. It means delivering the unexpected, not commoditized features. It means seeking a new way of doing things, not a revamped scheme. Apple once knew this:

  • The iPhone was a truly personal and portable computer
  • The iPod was a truly mobile joy machine
  • The iPad was a true and viable alternative to PCs for the average consumer

iOS 7 is truly a copycat.

Change is inspired, and if you cannot continue creating change, you have to open the doors and let others create it. Apple and its closed ecosystem are not doing either.

“Don’t waste it living someone else’s life … have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” Steve Jobs


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