Kate MacKenzie on the annual crystal ball and palm readings from Apple’s many critics.
Every year Apple’s critics, fanboy gangs, and unemployed tech writers state the obvious. This year’s new “insert expected Apple product here” will be an incremental advancement, but next year is the revolutionary redesign. Yes, that’s what they say, unless they’re already busy saying that Apple doesn’t innovate anymore, and Apple has let hardware competitors get ahead of “insert current Apple product here.”
That’s not how Apple works now, and not how Apple worked under Steve Jobs. Apple innovates two ways, and they overlap.
First, is revolutionary innovation with products or upgrades that change the direction of a product industry. And, second, iterative incremental innovations which improve a product each year. The former examples are Mac, iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iPad, and Watch, each of which changed the course of their respective technology segments. Examples of the latter include more incremental improvements, including SSD storage, Retina displays, TouchID, 3D Touch and ForceTouch, fashion colors, and the like, which collectively make for a revolutionary change over time.