Earlier this week, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins called the iPhone outdated. Did he have a point?
Speaking to The Australian Financial Review, Heins said, “The user interface on the iPhone, with all due respect for what this invention was all about is now five years old.”
It is hard to argue with that particular piece of logic. Yes, from a pure aesthetic base, the UI of the iPhone very much looks the same as it did in 2007. But the underlying operating system for the iPhone, iOS, has seen some fairly dramatic overhauling since the release of the first iPhone in July 2007. Apple released the App Store in 2008, unleashed voice activated virtual assistant Siri with the iPhone 4S in 2011, instituted deep Facebook and Twitter integration and killed off native integration of Google Maps in 2012. Certainly, Mr. Heins, the iPhone is quite different now than it was in 2007.
“Apple did a fantastic job in bringing touch devices to market... They did a fantastic job with the user interface, they are a design icon. There is a reason why they were so successful, and we actually have to admit this and respect that,” Heins told The Australian Financial Review. “History repeats itself again I guess... the rate of innovation is so high in our industry that if you don’t innovate at that speed you can be replaced pretty quickly.”
Of course, Heins has his own agenda. While dissing the iPhone, he is also schilling for his own brand-new BlackBerry 10 smartphones.
“The point is that you can never stand still. It is true for us as well. Launching BB10 just put us on the starting grid of the wider mobile computing grand prix, and now we need to win it,” Heins said.
The irony, of course, is that one reason that BlackBerry is in its own current poor position is because of lack of innovation and failure to bring new and exciting products to market. On the other hand, Heins may be a bit of an expert in the matter. As the CEO of BlackBerry (and the COO of Research In Motion before his ascension), he very well knows what it looks like when a company fails to keep up with the market and falls behind the curve.
Many people feel that the iPhone has fallen behind the quality and functionality of Google’s Android operating system. Android has long had hardware capabilities that Apple has not deigned to provide, such as NFC, and has become both a creative and useful operating system. From resizable widgets to camera software to Google Now, many top technorati (such as former Apple shills Guy Kawasaki, Robert Scoble and Andy Ihnatko) have switched to Android because they find it to be more capable than the iPhone.
ReadWrite’s consummate Apple fan, John Paul Titlow, believes that Apple next version of iOS needs to be a game changer or the bleeding will continue.
With each upgrade to Android, iPhone owners laughed as the platform seemingly struggled to keep up with Apple's bulletproof user experience. And for a while, it did struggle. But slowly, that changed. Next thing we knew, Android commanded 75% of the smartphone market. Today, instead of mocking Android, many prominent iPhone lovers are switching to Google.
Of course, there are still lots of things to love about the iPhone. The industrial design is next to none (the iPhone 5 is truly a beauty). Its camera can go head-to-head with anybody on the market and its App Store still serves the highest quality of apps to the masses.
We put the question to you, readers. Is the iPhone outdated? Take the poll below and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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