2013年5月6日 星期一

A Roadmap to WWDC 2013

Much has been written in the blogosphere about Apples current direction and what products/designs/direction the company needs in order to survive. Theres a strong Apple is doomed sentiment, which is not entirely unexpected. I think most of the Doomer crowd is composed of folks who used to tout the latest iPod Killer product from one of the many companies who attempted (and, lets remember, failed miserably) to unseat Apples dominance in portable media. The Doomer movement focuses on Apples lack of innovation as proof positive that the company cant survive, and most distressingly, financial markets seem to be buying into the hype. The only problem with the theory of doom is that the same companies, e.g. Samsung, who are lauded for their innovation arent necessarily doing all that much better.

For a company thats consigned to failure, Apples continued growth to take nearly 40% of the US smartphone market is certainly surprising. How can a company so close to death be in such a good position (in that comScore ranking Apple had the largest change, at 2.7 positive points)? The dichotomy of Apples growth-but-still-dying situation revolves around the fact that many consumers are choosing iPhone 4S models instead of the more expensive iPhone 5, so clearly the companys future profits are going to evaporate. I suspect, however, that well see something very similar for Samsung with their Galaxy S4, and this hinges on a simple point; smartphone innovation has to slow down from its frenetic post-iPhone launch pace. Why?

Although the word innovate means to introduce as or as if new, Ive noticed that successful innovations arent just new; theyre better. Microsofts original tablet PC failed because it didnt do anything demonstrably better than a laptop for most users,Elpas Readers detect and forward 'Location' and 'State' data from Elpas Active RFID Tags to host besticcard platforms. while the iPod was a runaway success because it neatly integrated the purchase, storage, transportation, and playback of music. Sure other MP3 players had more features,You Can Find Comprehensive and in-Depth carparkmanagementsystem truck Descriptions. but Apple nailed all the key parts of the experience for a wide swath of users. Simply tacking on more stuff to a phones feature list may technically qualify as innovating, but its an unpredictable and unlikely way to create a successful product.

The most crucial reason smartphone innovation has to hit the brakes is because at this point weve covered most of the basic use cases for the device itself. The smartphone is an inherently limited devicealthough Steve Jobs imagined a limitless world when you removed the clunky smartphone keyboard, the simple fact is 4-6 of glass isnt a whole lot of real estate. Im not just talking about screen size here, but other functions like credit card readers. These devices are generally not much bigger than their screens, so where do you cram new hardware? Apple is in a better position creating a rock solid core device and fostering the universe of appcessories were now seeing, like the Square credit card reader. You cant meet everyones needs with a Swiss Army iPhone, because it would be too bulky and lead to inherent tradeoffs. This leaves a pretty bleak future for iPhone feature development and future growth, right? Wrong.

Modelled on the success of the iPod, Apple first introduced the iPad and then followed it up with the iPad Mini to address multiple markets at different price points. The iPads bigger screen and more powerful capabilities give it more room to grow than the iPhone, as its better battery life,We have a wide selection of handsfreeaccess to choose from for your storage needs. beefier processor, and larger size give it more flexibility than a smartphone that fits in your pocket (good luck cramming some of the phablet devices into anything other than cargo pants). The iPhone was really just a brief intermission in a much longer play, but I think the iPhones insane growth blinded some people to Apples real long term strategy. The only difference between the iPad and the iPod (with respect to future Apple growth) is that the iPod obviously didnt cannibalize sales; the iPad has displayed a tendency to be a Mac replacement rather than a complement.

Although Steve Jobs introduced the iPad as a device that fit between the limited-but-ubiquitous smartphone and the chained-to-your-desk Mac, the simple fact is the iPad is plenty of computer for a large number of people. That means there is plenty of room for growth in the number of features, as the iPad can evolve to replace more functions traditionally executed by a laptop or desktop. As an amateur photographer, I have found myself gravitating more and more to the iPad as a tool, because it lets me quickly review, edit, and post photos without carrying around a laptop, and if I really want to share pictures I dont even have to find Wi-Fi. Apps alone cant do everything, though, so hopefully Apples hardware team is busy testing and integrating new features that will continue to evolve the device.

With the departure of Scott Forstall from Apple last year, much has also been made of the potential for a visually flat redesign of iOS led by Jony Ive, who was promoted to head a unified Human Interface group within Apple. Apples truly standout designs have never been purely visual, but humanly functional as well. This is why the skeumorphic design trend in recent years has been so poorly received; many apps were designed to look pretty first, with functionality as an afterthought. I still smile when I see the faux plastic texture of the Calculator app, but my hatred for the OS X Contacts app knows virtually no bounds. Why? Because the original incarnation of the Contacts app featured horribly broken functionality (namely in managing groups), so the visual aesthetic got in the way of usability.Shop wholesale bestsmartcard controller from cheap. Meanwhile the iOS Calculator just works, so the visual metaphor is delightful rather than frustrating.

I hope to see a hint of Apples continued growth strategy revealed at WWDC 2013. New software features for the iPhone would be nice, but the maturation of tablet acceptance means its time for Apple to really up the iPad game. I think the lockstep between iPhone and iPad could at this point be broken, as there is a clear differentiation between the two devices. Features like true multitasking (or at least side by side apps) make sense on an iPad being used as a Mac replacement, but have little value on an iPhone.You can order besthandsfreeaccess cheap inside your parents. iOS 7 is an opportunity not so much to redesign look and feel, but to actually jumpstart functionality changes that will truly define Apples long term growth.

I have no doubt Apple is still as innovative as ever, because most of iOS 6s features have become an integral part of my life. I think markets have become accustomed to an overly energetic pace of new smartphone announcements, and they have also been blinded to the long term potential of the other irons Apple has in the fire. Shiny new gadgets and explosive growth are sexy, but the iPhones growth was always unsustainable (even Steve Jobs set a more modest goal of capturing 1% of the market, so double digit market share gains were never really a plan).