iPhone out of touch? Not exactly

“Those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, yet that’s exactly what BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins is doing,” Chris Ciaccia writes for The Street.

“In an interview with Australian Financial Review, Heins said that Apple’s iPhone isn’t the top of the line phone anymore, and that competitors such as BlackBerry are passing it by,” Ciaccia writes. “If the user interface is old, then why have Apple’s competitors, including Samsung, worked so hard to make their user interface look a lot like iOS?”

Ciaccia writes, “That patent lawsuit over the summer between Apple and Samsung (which Apple won by the way), was in part about user interface. Innovation is not about stealing competitors’ ideas; it’s about making your own product, and letting the customer decide who wins. ”

Read more in the full article here.

29 Comments

    1. The article’s punch line is in the final two sentences: “Innovation is not about stealing competitors’ ideas; it’s about making your own product, and letting the customer decide who wins.”

      However, that’s exactly what BlackBerry is doing, isn’t it? So why criticize the CEO?

      Oh wait … The point of the article is to criticize Samsung.  The writer only brings up BlackBerry as a pretext to rip into those whose OS’s are iOS ripoffs.  But BlackBerry doesn’t. 

      So why is this stupid article posted here at MDN?

      1. Right, btaylor. Because none of us care about how efficiently we spend our money or bother to consider our purchases…

        Are you a nitwit? I don’t buy anything expensive without a lot of research and thought. And I believe that applies to the majority of the Mac fans on this forum. We don’t buy it just because of the Apple logo.

        I’d name you a master baiter, but you are clearly a rookie baiter.

    1. What a bunch of hogwash. What does this even mean as a criticism? Do you think that an operating system is like a car? You trade an old one in for a new one every three years? How can iOS be considered long in the tooth? What exactly does it not do that you would have it do? Should it support parallel processors better? Provide access to greater amounts of RAM? Is the SDK out of date? Bunch of drivel.

    2. I disagree. You may be bored with it, but that doesn’t maan its stale. While it’s going on six years old without a major change to the look and feel, that doesn’t signal “stale”, but rather very well-designed and thoughtfully improved over time.

      Just like Porsche or BMW makes major changes to the 911 or 3-series only when the time is right, so too will Apple make major changes to iOS.

  1. Guys, I know you are all going to hate this. But several people around me have newer Android devices. Once and a while I can’t help but be impressed by some UI thing I see on one of their phones. It might just be some Android eye candy, but some features do look pretty darn slick. I am not saying that Android is in anyway superior, but there are some interesting things going on outside the iOS world. And it’s about time. Apple has been the only game in town for years, and a good game it is. But we all love awesome stuff, and iOS may be getting a bit long in the tooth. And hopefully Sir Ive and the crew are cooking up something super wicked in the Apple kitchen sans the Forstall that will rock our socks right off!

      1. Yes, I’d like to hear more about these “UI things” you’re impressed with. My experience with Android is that every time I use it, it’s kludgey, confusing, and there are indicators and buttons and displays and widgets and crap everywhere, the complete opposite of simplicity. It reminds me of Windows, which isn’t a good thing.

        1. Ok, comment withdrawn!
          I just grabbed a colleagues Android (some largish Nexus thing) and gave it a 5 minute whirl.
          It’s all a steaming pile of crap.
          Somethings look interesting only because they are different than my iPhone which I am 6 years used to, and at times a little bored of. But actually using the thing reveals quickly that it just isn’t very good. I do like Chrome, but I think that’s available for the iPhone too (who cares) and the “incoming call” screen is nifty, but only because it is different from what I am used to.
          So, comment withdrawn! How often do you see that on MDN, ha ha.
          Cheers all and happy nerding!

    1. Actually you don’t have to preface your statement with an apology. Your opinion is your opinion. You certainly don’t owe fanboys an apology for stating things that you believe to be true. Always be objective and honest. Never fear telling the truth. Otherwise you’re being bullied. Never be bullied. I too see Android phones quite often. They have some interesting things going on but I’ll stick with my iPhone. The main thing I want is a larger screen. The Android phones have that. And their screens look very nice too. I’ll keep my 4S until there’s a larger iPhone. Apparently that’s next year and I’m not happy about it. I don’t think the iPhone is outdated but I would like to see some ass kicking improvements on the 5S. Especially if they can be adapted to my iPhone. IOS is chugging along nicely and it keeps the ecosystem pretty safe. So I’m pretty happy. But doesn’t mean that competitors don’t have good things on their phones. Only fanboys make those kinds of statements.

  2. So many people are impatient.

    They want things to morph or evolve into something else in a set amount of time, or else it goes “stale.” However many evolving creatures go extinct, precisely for this reason. I mean, Microsoft for example; Win XP, was the pinnacle of it’s game. Vista was nonsense, 7 was a little better, and 8 is from left field. Pressure to innovate causes damage, to both the developer and the ecosystem.

    Staleness is our own invention. When developers listen to the few people who in their own ignorance, tout a imagined problem, they think it’s real and something is wrong. When in fact, people don’t know what they want. Well, they know they want something, much like a kid in a candy store, they just don’t know what it is.

    It’s a drug; a serotonin induced high, is what they want. I say tell them to jump off a bridge. Frankly the high, given by Apple is much more long term, than they high they get from anyone else.

    Just leave iOS alone, but only add features, where necessary. Stop all this stale nonsense.

  3. People really just don’t like hearing, “No, your phone can’t do that”.

    Having a weather widget on the home or unlock screen is a complete waste of data and battery life, in my opinion. A dedicated weather app takes less than a second to launch and will waste zero resources when not in use. But – if an iPhone owner really, really, really wants to see weather updates on the unlock screen, then I think Apple should should have a better answer than “No.”

    Personally, I think most of the things people are asking for in iOS are really stupid ideas: changing the interface just to make it feel “fresh”, adding interactive widgets to the home screen that constantly use data, running multiple apps at once in a split screen – these all sound annoying, counterproductive, wasteful, and likely to cause more problems then they solve. But I don’t think the ideal solution is “No.”

    I think the real problem with iOS which needs to be addressed in its next iterations is lack of customization. There should a lot more settings and more hooks for customizing the OS – even if the options are hard to find and require jumping through a few hoops is better than the options not existing at all. How to add more customization to iOS while still making it a solid, stable, easy to use platform should be Apple’s main challenge over the next few years.

  4. How many of you out there thinks driving controls on a car are stale? Would any of you like to replace the steering wheel, gas and brake pedals to a different location or maybe operate everything with just one hand? These locations have been standard for well over 75 years and I don’t recall anyone ever complaining that vehicle controls were stale. Why couldn’t it be like that for user interfaces as well? Maybe there are optimum ways of operating things that don’t need to be altered.

    1. yes but some cars have keyless door opening, and engine start, which is a convenience, some even have remote engine start which is helpful in cold weather, and this small adjustments are moving into iOS at glacial pace.

      1. Those are the “bells” and “whistles” (car horns?). We haven’t moved to drive systems that involve levers and treads a la your modern tank. iOS has added the unified message center, folders, additional gestures, and other refinements, but the core concept of usability remains. It seems with the drum beating to change just for change sake, we run the risk of not bothering to do anything right, since in a year we will have to change it and do it wrong just so that it “fresh”. Ever increasing, we seemed to be in the business of satisfying the shorter attention spans of people that have nothing better to do than play with technology.

  5. Apple is a new products company. To be sure, through the iTunes store, App store, etc, they make some serious money offering products and services to existing customers. But the point the author was trying to make is really lost on people new to the market. And that’s who Apple is addressing. So the new customer doesn’t know “stale” from “different.” Which makes “staleness” a moot point. Instead, for the new customer, the ability to understand the interface, to get predictable results, and to accomplish desired tasks is all that matters. And Apple is winning those decisions.

    To those calling for more customization in iOS I’d suggest you think long and hard about that. When no customization is allowed and iOS user can seek assistance from another iOS user and get help because everyone’s experience is the same. That immediate assistance has helped the word-of-mouth around Apple products ever since the Mac came out.

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