Tech’s latest innovations struggle to live up to hype

“The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas attracts thousands of exhibitors and attendees searching for the next big thing, with this year set to feature a cornucopia of technological innovation from connected fridges to drones, smartwatches and virtual reality headsets,” Tim Bradshaw writes for The Financial Times. “Yet as the annual gadget jamboree gets under way again this week, many in the tech industry are now facing the reality that there may never be another innovation like the smartphone. Apple’s original iPhone was unveiled by Steve Jobs the same week as the event exactly a decade ago — and the worry is that the industry’s most overhyped gadgets are failing to establish a similar connection with consumers.”

“It is a puzzle that even Apple itself has not yet been able to solve,” Bradshaw writes. “The iPad saw rapid growth soon after its introduction in 2010 but sales have declined year-on-year since the peak in 2013. New hardware such as Apple Watch and its TV set-top box were not enough to offset the iPhone’s decline last year as the smartphone market has slowed.”

“At CES this week, many manufacturers will add virtual assistants from the likes of Microsoft, Amazon and Google to their products, while others will claim they have added ‘artificial intelligence’ to everything from cars to toothbrushes,” Bradshaw writes. “Many manufacturers will be hoping to replicate the growing popularity of Amazon’s Echo, a voice-controlled speaker that can play music, turn on lights or hail a taxi. ‘We expect an avalanche of smart speakers at CES,’ says Ben Wood, analyst at CCS Insight, a tech researcher.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If it’s not an iPhone, it’s not an iPhone.

Steve Jobs’ baby is the sort of mega-hit that happens only very rarely.


  1. It winds me up that the tech press and Wall Street keep looking for the “next iPhone” level innovation. Obviously Wall Street does it because they want to be in on the ground floor of the next hit. But they should not express such disappointment when one doesn’t appear. It it’s long history, arguably, Apple has only had three such products: GUI, iTunes/iPod and iPhone. Everything else has been (and is normally) iterations on what has gone before.

    1. For me, it’s simple: reinvent the god damn operating system already.

      The desktop is dead: LONG LIVE THE DESKTOP.

      The secret to the future of computing is this: screen real estate and multi-touch. We still have not yet seen multi-touch fully integrated into the desktop experience along with the larger screens that will being this and other input methods together.

      The MS Surface Studio is the beginning of this future. We will look back at “small screened” desktops with ancient desktop metaphors and see them as antiquated relics.

      We need new operating with new metaphors that embrace and foster multi-touch. We need new classes of devices peripherals for this.

      We’ll look back at screenless walls and wooden desks and wonder what we ever did without large multi-touch screens everywhere.

      So much will end up being covered in multi-touch screens. This is the future. Not all of these trashy gadgets.

      1. I appreciate it if you really need such a thing but I’ll pass. Of course it’s like many things – if they get it right maybe it’ll work and not just be change for the sake of change and trying to convince ourselves “We’re in the future Marty!!”

  2. Again we still have zero numbers to back up amazons claim of success with the echo. I cannot understand why the market and everyone simply accepts their word about that when they have no track record of transparency or documented sales figures with any of their products. I think they’re “faking it til they make it” and they learned their lesson with the distribution of the product as well. You can only buy it from amazon or Best Buy and several other retailers, and they only ship a few to each store. This is unlike their experiment with the fire phone which was huge flop, the carries have to report activations and break out which devices they are, so amazon couldn’t hide behind their own claims. That is the only product they have ever had any public numbers about and it was a disaster. We shall see how the Fire tv really sells now that you can get one for free with direct tv now (you can also get a free Apple TV and my guess is that many more people will choose that option even though it’s lacking 4K support). I do not believe anything they say regarding their products because they do not mention any figures at any time for anything. Conversely apple is the most detailed and transparent tech company with regards to sales figures to their own detriment. (Especially since they count actual sales instead of shipments (which Microsoft used to screw with)).

  3. ” Apple’s original iPhone was unveiled by Steve Jobs the same week as the event exactly a decade ago ”

    we need Steve. Gone too young,

    (Apple1, GUI with mouse in MacOS, Pixar, OSX , iPod, ITunes, iPhone, , iPad , Appstore, … he transformed so many fields ).

  4. “…from connected fridges to drones…” How about drones connected to the front of a fridges? Maybe the fridge rotates the food into the drone and the drone delivers the food and beverage to the user sitting on the couch. Then it flies back to its place on the fridge.

    Also, maybe the fridge drone could pickup some additional snacks from the carousel cubard dispensers.

    Next, a pill should reverse my age, reduce my fat tummy, increase my muscle mass, and add about 20 IQ points to my noodle.

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