Apple facing an innovator dilemma?

15 Sep 2016

Yes, the new iPhone7 is out! Will it change the face of the world or at least of the smartphone industry? Probably not. Apple's two-hour keynote used to be THE event of year for tech-enthusiasts. This year, it didn't make the Wall Street Journal's cover page and BBC didn't even mention it on its daily news show. But why is all the hype gone? First of all, nearly every single feature of the latest iPhone had leaked, sometimes months in advance. Second, those features (waterproofing, stereo speakers, dual cameras with optical zoom, wireless earbuds) appeared in competitor products sometimes years before. For those reasons, the iPhone7 was mostly seen as a 6S-S in the blogosphere. Oh and please don't start us on the Apple Watch...

So could the iPhone lose its no.1 smartphone title? Very likely yes. In fact, the real winner of last week events could be Samsung. The Korean will not only supply 45% of iPhone7's parts. It has also regained top spot of the US smartphone market with 35% of total sales this summer. Samsung is now clearly dictating the smartphone market in terms of innovation and Apple seems to painfully update its iPhones, with one or two seasons delays, to try keep up. The upcoming S8 might include curved screens which could be the next big thing. If so, the will once again beat Apple in delivering the latest available technologies to its customers.

From our experiences, InSwiGo has been developing apps for both exploitation systems (iOS/android) and it's incredible how different our journeys have been. Apple is now generating about 10% of its total revenue from its app store but continue to treat developers poorly even if those are now the one setting smartphones' trends (Pokemon GO anyone?). Customer service is disastrous, outrageous fees drive the development price up prominently and more importantly numerous technical restrictions prevent developers' freedom. Thanks to Apple, it costs our clients up to 35% extra to develop an app for iOS than if it was intended for Android.

Overall, we believe that Apple needs to listen to its stakeholders (and yes Mister Cook this includes us developers!) and bring back innovation to the core of its business before it's too late.