Car makers do it all the time and get away with it. Guess what? Apple does it, too, and so often that I wonder if the iPhone or iPad I buy next is actually planned to be obsolete once I plunk down my hard earned money to buy it.
The latest report from a popular tech gadget digital rag says the upcoming iPhone 5S will look just like the iPhone 5. On the outside. But not on the inside.
Inside, the 5S model will be ‘All New!‘ and ‘Completely Redesigned.’ You’d almost think that Apple’s engineers are former government workers who need to keep busy year after year by coming up with new ways to do the same thing.
What’s in an iPhone anyway? iOS. A phone. A media player. Apps. A camera. A battery. A motherboard with CPU, RAM, and flash storage (and assorted other parts). Does technology advance so quickly that popular devices need to be completely redesigned on the inside every year?
In fact, many tech critics pounce on Apple for product refreshes that occur only once a year. To some, every six months would be better because a little unpredictability is good for the soul. Or, marketshare. Or, something to write about besides rumor and conjecture.
Speaking of unpredictability, Apple isn’t doing much of that lately. Mac. MacBook. MacBook Air. MacBook Pro. Mac Pro. iMac. See?
How about iPhone 4. iPhone 4S. iPhone 5. What’s next? The ‘All New!’ and ‘Completely Redesigned!’ iPhone 5S. If Apple did such a great job designing and building the iPhone 5, then why must it be completely new inside for the iPhone 5S model a year later?
The answer is actually easy. Things change. Technology changes. And the components inside the iPhone and iPad (and nearly everything else except chocolate cake and hamburgers; and I’m not all that sure about the latter) change in size, weight, dimensions, and often capability. Change one component inside and that messes up the internal design from last year.
Progress seems to march forward in fits and lurches– pioneers, so to speak; only to be followed by the slow moving covered wagons with settlers to stake out the new frontier for the great unwashed masses.
I can’t fault Apple for marching to the beat of a traditional drum. You know what? Maybe Apple should get on the subscription model the way Adobe and Microsoft have with Creative Cloud and Office 365. Customers would pay a monthly price and get a new model every six months to a year, as Apple updated iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
That’s an idea whose time has come.