The Mysteries of the Apple Product Cycle
The announcement of the
iPad 3 iPad HD new iPad has come and gone, and the overwhelming chatter on the web sounds a bit disappointed. This whole situation is all too reminiscent of the launch of the iPhone 4S. I, much like the rest of the world, was a bit underwhelmed by the iPhone 4S. I thought for having year and a half period of time elapse between the two iPhone releases, I expected more. People apparently feel the same with the release of the new iPad. Strangely (or not?), though…I am satisfied.
I’ve begun to view these mobile products in a different light than in the past. The problem with the general public right now, is that we are all expecting magical to be released on a yearly cycle. Problem with that: we already have a pretty darn good idea of what to expect, given the insane amount of rumors that are abound prior to any Apple product release. Obviously, this takes some of the magic out of a product launch.
But that is not all. Apple is the company that has revolutionized so many areas of consumer electronics. iPod. iPhone. iPad. One could even argue that the iMac changed the idea of what a ‘desktop’ is. The original launch of each of these truly was amazing and changed the entire industry. However as the fickle little consumers we are, we expect this sort of revolution each time an Apple exec takes the stage at one of these keynote events. Sorry to break it to you world…the times are changing.
When word first broke that Apple was dropping the numbering system on their iPad product line, it caught me off guard, and even confused me. I couldn’t figure out why…maybe this is a small update and the iPad 3 will come out in the fall? Who knows? But then it made perfect sense. These mobile devices like the iPad and iPhone are no different than the iMac or MacBook. My laptop is not the MacBook 7. It’s just the MacBook. When they release a “new” version, it’s still just the MacBook…only updated and better. Even when they made the major transition in their MacBook line from the black and white plastic to the sexy aluminum unibody back in 2008. It was still the MacBook! So this is exactly the path they are taking with the iPad, and presumably with the iPhone, too.
Suffice to say, we should be perfectly happy when Apple updates these products. No need to get upset that it didn’t blow your mind. It is simply an update. Naturally, some updates will be better than others, but that is how technology and business evolve. If anything, dropping the number from the tail of iPad may open the door to new versions of the iPad…iPad Mini, anyone?
Now, this article isn’t trying to say that the magic from Apple is gone. People are just looking for this magic in the wrong place. As hard as Apple may push it, these upgrades to their major product lines are not revolutionary. The first iteration was, but not the subsequent 6 versions.
That said, I’m sure Apple does have some magic up their sleeves, and it goes by the name of the iTV. This is the product that will revolutionize TV as we know it. Okay…so maybe those are lofty expectations, but that is what the world of Apple rumors is saying. We try to imagine how it may function, but until we actually get our hands on it, we can only let our imaginations run wild. Furthermore, the inevitable release of the iTV will coincide with the major new product line launch that Apple has become accustomed to every few years.
2008: MacBook Air
2004: iMac 5th Gen
It’s been a couple years now since a major release, and 2012 may be in line for the launch of the iTV. At this point, though, all we can do is start to embrace the upgrade…and hope to see more magic!