“We looked at four of the most common Apple criticisms, specifically those for the iPhone,” Ben Taylor writes for TIME. “Has innovation really leveled off in Cupertino?”

1. Performance: When consumers see a new iPhone of identical shape and size, they assume nothing’s changed. In reality, Apple’s biggest accomplishment is maintaining its lauded design while keeping pace with Samsung’s powerful, shape-shifting phones. Granted, we can’t conclude that Apple is winning the spec war, but it’s certainly not losing either. Apple and Samsung have both maintained a dizzying pace, nearly doubling performance with each new release. Apple’s 2x leap from the iPhone 5 to 5s is particularly impressive, perhaps even more so than the all-new Touch ID.

MacDailyNews Take: In benchmarks, among other things, Samsung cheats. Apple does not. Only Apple offers 64-bit smartphones and tablets with iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and iPad mini with Retina display.

2. Features: Many of Apple’s so-called features are designed so that nobody will notice them in the first place. A tap on the home screen camera icon causes the screen to bounce slightly — indicating that the user must swipe up to snap a photo. Dates and times don’t clog up the message screen, unless you happen to swipe to the side, where all that info is cleverly stored. There’s nothing revolutionary here — but these are the “features” Apple focuses on instead, features made for users — not for tech headlines.

3. Display: Apple hasn’t budged from 326 pixels per inch (PPI) because it hasn’t needed to. Steve Jobs was ultimately right (even if the math was a little funky): at a viewing distance of 10 inches, the human eye can no longer discern individual pixels. The HTC One’s 468 PPI might sound impressive, but it comes at a cost. For an indiscernible increase in sharpness, the phone ends up wasting precious resources to power all those pixels.

4. Screen Size: If Apple does indeed make a bigger iPhone, expect small splashes of creativity throughout, with a close eye on design, simplicity, and user experience. But don’t insult Apple by praising the new dimensions — the new screen size will be the least innovative thing about it.

Read more in the full article here.

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