With Apple iOS for iPhones and iPads being 6 years old soon, it will finally get a major uplift, thanks Senior VP of Design and Apple steadfast Sir Johnny Ive. The problem is Apple is at that stage in its mobile operating system that Microsoft also found itself in recently with its desktop software Windows 8 . That is evolution, Apple has refused to evolve it’s iOS for so long 2 things have happened, fans of the iOS have upgraded their hardware along the way or are new to it and love it, and may not like change, or have tired of it and jumped ship to world leader Android via usually Samsung hardware. Now with a long awaited update on the way never will there be more scrutiny than there will be when iOS 7 is announced hopefully in great detail at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on 10 June 2013.
With the passing of the late great Steve Jobs in 2011, much has stayed largely the same with very few exceptions. Steve Jobs imprinted his view of design all over iOS, and many viewed it disrespectful to tear it apart.
However growth and competition to Apple in the mobile space has never been greater in mobiles or in tablets, seeing Apple market share losing out to some and staying stagnant in other markets depending on which analysis’s you interpret this week.
In the case of Microsoft they saw a good sales in Windows 7, impacted immensely when they did a great (others may disagree) update in the evolution of Windows by changing it (aesthetically and technically) with Windows 8. Largely due the major change (evolution) they saw happening with Android, and Apple chipping away at the marketplace Microsoft (I think) took the bold move to add a layer to their OS, offering tiles as well as the normal and more familiar desktop . Also it was a move to more align their less than market leading windows 8 phone operating system. Unfortunately with change comes fear and expense in retraining, and change management from enterprise and just plain change from consumers. So much so Microsoft is now forced to launch an apology via the way of an update to Windows 8, plus more evolution in the form of Windows 8.1 (1 might stand for 1 is the loneliest number you may ever see).
However, had Microsoft done nothing they would have been forced to change anyhow all but perhaps less dramatically so fast.
Apple unfortunately, is less diversified having more of their financial eggs in the iOS basket so to speak. For them to not do something, would likely see their business model suffer further. Hard to consider when you are a company worth around $14billion and #6 in Fortune 500.
The challenge Apple will have is will iOS 7 excite a new generation causing them to move from Android to Apple, a new opportunity for Apple, keep the existing consumers considering a change, with maturing contracts, or be viewed as more of the same, and do nothing to help Apples currently unexcited stock prices, which in the end is all Apple will care about (as they should being a public traded company).
Apple’s ‘mojo’ has largely been the fact they have created ‘magic’ more than any other tech company, but like all things can they offer anything new and invigorating.
Many like I are hoping but necessarily hopeful of more ‘Steve-Jobsion’ reminiscent mojo-magic on 10 June.
Loren is an Texas-Cali-English mutt now living in Australia has been in the tech industry for 19 years, his accomplishments include everything from introducing business broadband in 1994 in the UK for British Telecom, SaaS, and Data Centre Services in Australia for NEC Japan and others, debugging iPads for Apple etc. He has been around so long his followers on twitter @mr_internet feel sorry for him and hang around. He likes telling bad jokes and going to cooking schools (20 countries so far), and speaking 3rd person about himself. He blames not getting enough oxygen as a child for some of this. Ask him about his tenor when BT decided to go after Microsoft as BT owned the patent on URLs (it wasn’t pretty).