The secret of iOS 7

The Innovator’s Dilemma, a 1997 book by Harvard professor Clayton Christensen, made the point that successful companies can lose their way when they pay too much attention to legacy products and not enough attention to new stuff. They are making so much money they either don’t see a competitor rising up or are too complacent to feel threatened. In either case the incumbent generally loses and the upstart (usually one of many) generally wins,” Bob Cringely writes for I, Cringely. “The best way for successful companies to avoid this problem is by inventing the future before their competitors do.”

“We see this pattern over and over in high tech,” Cringely writes. “Remember Lotus? Remember Word Perfect? Remember Borland? And it’s not just in software. Remember IBM sticking too long with the 80286 processor? Remember the Osbourne Executive?”

Cringely writes, “Microsoft certainly faces this dilemma today, having nothing with which to replace Windows and Office. Some say Apple, too, is living now on the wrong side of the innovation curve, but I don’t think so. I think Cupertino has a plan… Apple in a sense is about to make the Macintosh deliberately obsolete. This doesn’t mean Apple is going out of the Mac business. Why would they drop a hardware platform that still delivers industry-leading profit margins? But a growing emphasis from here on out will be the role of iOS on the desktop.”

Much more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Mtnmnn” for the heads up.]


  1. No, it won’t be iOS on the desktop. It will be mobile, mobile, mobile: Even Macs are mostly mobile devices — besides the laptops, AppleTVs and Mac Minis are very small and easily moved, iMacs being all in one and razor thin can be moved as well, and the new Mac Pros are very small and easily moved.

    Apple’s future is definitely iOS-centric, but Mac OS X will remain separate but smoothly integrated. Why? Because there are just some things that are better and easier to do on a Mac than on an iOS device.

    1. You state that Mac Minis, iMacs, AppleTVs, and Mac Pros are small, and therefore mobile. Are you kidding me. Unless you have a heck of a long extension cord there are most certainly not mobile devices.
      Its Friday afternoon, you probably had a liquid lunch at the pub.

      1. They’re not mobile, but they are relatively portable. Cords are irrelevant- they can be unplugged and brought along. The new Mac Pro can be removed and carried away far more easily than any legacy Mac. That is perhaps all Bizlaw was talking about. No one’s confusing a Mac tower with an iPhone in terms of the definition of mobile.

        1. Of course when you look around at people who use laptop computers, they invariably are plugged in to the 120VAC wall outlet because they don’t trust their batteries or something. (I never did get that.) So, the long and the short of it, everyone thinks they need to plug in somewhere.

      2. Mobile, yes. A lot of iMacs are used by bands and some of the people I knew used them very often. I, myself, and friends have pluged a few 27 iMac’s in Starbucks as a central meeting point. One arm grab on the iMac and place down on a table, plug in, Bluetooth connect the rest- setup in less than five minutes. They are not notebook computers, they are all-in-ones, and watch the look on peoples faces- priceless. Yes, mobile- no for lapping them.

      3. I had an internship once at a company where everyone used Windows desktops. The computer they had for me was particularly slow Dell. After a couple weeks, I decided enough was enough, and started bringing my 17″ iMac there and back each day. It all fit one portfolio style bag, was very easy to carry, and it took less than a minute to plug in the keyboard and power cable. It was portable enough – needing to plug in to an outlet isn’t much of problem most indoor places.

      4. Hey, I’m not always so mobile myself! I have an iPhone, iPad, and an iMac, and the one that is most indispensable is the iMac. If it died, I’d get another, not a Mini or Macbook (unless they were additions). There are things only my 27-inch truck can do for me.

  2. These are my thoughts:

    A7 is put into every Mac – it’s a “desktop class” 64 bit ARM chip that Apple has full control over.

    OS X matures (Mavericks is already running on A7)

    iOS & OS X live side by side – think Dashboard for iOS Apps, running inside OS X, but with full drag/drop support etc.

    OS X & iOS merge to become a fully unified OS.

    The iPhone/iPad or whatever Apple is producing in 10 years (let’s call it an iDevice) becomes a full desktop PC in your pocket. All you have on your desk is a monitor and input device. Your iDevice connects whilst still in your pocket and you do your “heavy lifting” work on the monitor/input device then walk away from the desk. Your iDevice then syncs everything to iCloud and you receive a phone call, answering it with the other iDevice around your wrist.

    It’s possible, and Apple will make it happen.

        1. The diff between MS & Apple is Apple has a 20 year plan and is executing the underlying basics one by one by one knowing the ultimate goals they are reaching for. I see MS as reactive, not proactive.

          Apple targeted programming tools, & UNIX OS, then hardware then, their own CPU design & optimization (Apple learns from every users actions), iCloud/software delivery, specialized graphics, optics and sensor design & software.

          There is already more CPU power in the iPhone than a desktop a dozen years ago. That gives everyone a clue as to where we are going.

  3. Fool!!!
    The future lies in rolling iOS and OSx into a swiss roll product (for lack of a better analogy). Where the hybrid OS intelligently determines what the hardware is and then configures it to operate on its specific parameters. A sample of which we see today in how the A7 chip off loads graphics intensive work to the M7.

    This will mean that for years to come, Apple inc hardware will still be relevant as it will be able to utilize the modern OS by only calling on the hardware specific part of the OS.

    Sorry to spill the beans Apple inc.

    1. You are the fool. The M7 is a motion co-processor. Graphic intensive loads are not offloaded to it. Hard to take you seriously when you don;t even understand the basics…

      1. @applecrumble:- Rock The Casbah!!!
        Try understanding the basics whilst in a queue of oneself in front of an adobe hut with an Apple logo that you have quickly drawn and stuck on the front door, then drawn another logo 3 hours under a hot sun later to try to fool a UPS plane to drop of a box full of the latest Apple inc. merchandise in a town named after TC called TIMbuctoo! ah! ah!!
        Just try it and then make the snide retort you have just done!

        1. Thanks icla! you are spot on!! I should have just come clean instead of trying to hide out in TIMbuctoo in the vain hope that Apple inc. will open a store there and stuff it full of goodies for the intrepid who are prepared to travel to the ends of the earth to get them!.

      2. The original iPod lives in every iteration of the iPhone, A phone (separate software for making and receiving calls) exists in every iteration of the iPhone, Web enabled device (computer) exists in every iteration of the iPhone and now with the launch of free Pages, Numbers and desktop class software available for the latest iteration of the iPhone the convergence of the various operating systems can now be observed happening, yet the clever implementation that allows phone calls to override the current operation by placing it into a holding pattern to continue after the call is ended at the point the operation was interrupted is an indication of how Apple inc. have kept the various OS’s independent yet inter-operational.
        Remember Steve Job’s introduction of the iPhone back in 2007. An iPod, A Phone and an internet enabled device!
        Three in one, each one independent, but together, a greater sum than the three alone.

        1. ah But when Steve introduced this amazing 3n1 device he failed to say it really was a 4n1 device.

          – an internet browser
          – a phone
          – a music player
          – camera

          Apple merely created the standards which smartphones would all be compared to at a price point none have bettered. And Apple continues to march alone in making innovative advancements on its devices with 64 bit handheld system, better security and free iWorks.

    1. From an API perspective OS X and iOS are growing towards each other as much as they grow in opposite directions. iOS got to “fix” some old-style APIs from NeXT and so Apple appears to be migrating OS X towards those, while iOS gets some of the OS X routines now that iDevice hardware is getting more powerful.

  4. Oddly enough, Clay Christensen appears on BBC Newsnight (a UK current affairs program) tonight commenting that Blackberry was dead, Nokia was dead and that Apple was next because of their closed proprietary system. To him the future was so-called “open” systems like Android.

    Just because you’re a Harvard professor doesn’t make you immune to rampant idiocy. Now remind me which college Monkey Boy graduated from…


    1. I think those of us old enough lived through the 80s and 90s listening to l title else than that crap about MS had it so right and Apple was doomed. So the irony in this is doubled by the fact that MS and even Samsung are desperately urging to copy The Apple philosophy. So to say that Steve Balmer is brighter than this guy must be a new record. Sadly the BBC have become sadly the Taliban of anti Apple FUD over here led by the nose by BBC Tech and Rory Cellan Jones thief chief tech Corespondent. Just follow BBCtech or BBCClick on Twitter to get the real taste of their bias on the matter. The BBC Trust warned them some years ago to stop their Microsoft ass licking but little seems to have changed which is sad as back in the day they were Apple evangelists.

  5. iOS 7 already unified the underpinnings of both operating systems via the 64-bit libraries. The codebase is “nearly identical”, according to Apple. Therefore, there’s no significant need to merge the two operating systems if developers can develop for both easily. Each has strengths not provided or needed by the other. I believe they will keep the two separate, but tightly aligned. Integration is the name of the game, after all, not a “do everything” clusterf*ck like MS tried to create.

    1. I agree. IOS is great for a lot of things because it is simple. Apple have done away with obvious file structures, for instance, relying on search to find things. I have spent the morning working on accounts on my Mac, where the only way to find the documents or files I want is by navigating the file structure. Many thousands of documents with meaningless names derive their meaning from the structure itself: how can i tell whether scan0001374.jpg is the bank statement page I want, except by where it is in the structure?

      Apple pursued a separate approach for mobile – Microsoft merged them. We all know how that worked out…

    1. I agree but I so wish I could use some of my iOS apps on my Mac, widgets seem totally redundant now as no one seems to be committing to them any more so are clearly a dead end. Having to go through he browser all the time is a poor alternative.

    1. Panasonic ToughBook. One amazing piece of hardware.

      One can’t figure out why Apple doesn’t buy Panasonic and build Mac Toughbooks as well as acquire Panasonic’s formidable display technologies, but Timmy thinks he knows best. Apple continues to support the competition by buying its displays from LG and Samsung, both copycats who hurt Apple every chance they get.

  6. Cringely’s take on the future of computing is no better than yours or mine.

    Apple “gets” mobile in all its levels of ambiguity: They continue to refine a class-leading OS; are deeply involved in system architecture and design down to the chip level; and invest heavily in the future by building out their data centers.

    My take is that Apple is uniquely positioned to continue to be the lead dog for some time to come. We’ll see.

    1. Its not a power issue: OS/X could run on a 3GS probably… But Apple would have to compile the OS to run on Arm’s chipset. From what I have read, the ARM instruction set is very similar to that of Intel, and it would not surprise me to learn that Apple has been testing OS/X on their A series processors for some time.

      But the Mac does a different job. Rendering HD film clips imposes different loads on a system than watching a movie. The Intel processor in the newMac Pro will handle the film render better than the A7, probably…

  7. This is all well and good but the need for desktops in the graphics, audio, editing and visual effects trade won’t go away nor will it ever be done exclusively on mobile devices. But that need is a very small part of the market.

    1. A very small part of the market????????

      Yeah, the Mac is small,its only responsible for 99.9% of the content created for iOS.

      Maybe you don’t understand it if you are not a content creator.

      Think a little bit. They are different tools for different purposes and I defy you to tell me that you can use a screwdriver where you need a wrench……..not that people don’t try!

      1. Of course a screwdriver can be used to scare the next door neighbor into loaning you his wrench.

        If you have ever been chased by a screwdriver wielding neighbor, you’d understand these things.

  8. For close device data transfer now, we are operating at RF frequencies right now. These happen to require highly sophisticated RF circuitry and a good amount of power.

    My bet, which is admittedly a guess, is that between the Infrared and ultraviolet, we will get hardware that communicates via these higher frequencies for devices in close proximity to each other within a decade. Data transfer rates could be much higher as in optical fiber now.

    Setting your iPhone near your laptop, desktop or router could allow fiber optic speeds.

    The question will likely become, do you need a laptop/desktop or just a large screen & keyboard which connects to your iPhone?

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