Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Is Apple losing its edge?

First the iPhone 3GS was a major disappointment, with very little in the way of exciting updates from the 3G. I was poised to buy the 3GS if the camera was any good, but it turned out not to be. For that reason I stuck with my 1G iPod Touch and bought a fantastic Sony camera that does HD video. I felt that maybe the next generation of iPod Touch would be basically the iPhone 3GS minus the phone part, i.e added compass, GPS, camera and microphone. Like many others I patiently awaited the launch event.

What did we get? A faster processor and some more storage. And that's it. So underwhelming that Apple's share price seems to have taken a hit, and I have yet to see a good word written about this "new" model.

Insult to injury? Apple once again brags about the vast number of games on the App store (over 20,000) but fails to mention that you can't even install 200 of them and have them visible on your device. Ths is despite the new 3.1 operating system. What we can do is move the icons around in iTunes instead. R-i-i-i-g-g-h-h-h-h-t....

Someone please innovate in this space, because Apple has forgotten how to.


  1. I think you underestimate the huge performance and robustness differences between the 3GS and the iPhone EDGE. As a developer I can tell you they are formidable. Sure it looks the same on the outside, but on the inside the 3GS is a beast.

    As a developer I notice a very distinctive differences between the various devices. I've lumped them into tiers and deal with them differently as such in my code:
    - Tier 1 (412MHz CPU/128MB RAM) - iPhone EDGE, iPhone 3G, iPod touch 1st gen.
    - Tier 2 (533Mhz CPU/128MB RAM) - iPod touch 2nd gen (the 30% speed boost really puts this device much closer to the 3GS than it is to its predecessors.)
    - Tier 3 (600MHz ARM7/OGLES2/256MB RAM) - iPhone 3GS (and now the iPod touch 3rd gen).

    I understand the new low-end iPod touch won't be Tier 3, but I'm curious if it's identical to the Tier 2 device.

    If it weren't for the fact that there are some 25 million Tier 1 devices, I'd consider coding only for Tier 2 and 3.

    p.s. Also I find the camera on the 3GS takes pretty nice looking photos -- much better than the specs would indicate.

  2. I think apple having such a stranglehold on everything idevice related is hindering a lot of development in many areas. Think about all the features they touted when they released 3.0 in regards to multiplayer etc. Nothing has really happened seriously in that direction, same with in app purchasing. I have no idea as to a solution, I just know that it ain't working...

  3. I hate to say this, but having read over a lot of Apple comments the past couple days, I'm finding that a lot of Apple owners sound like spoiled teenagers. They harp about not getting the exact new features they want with little to no appreciation for the engineering miracles that go into putting these features into tiny handheld devices. (God forbid an iPod gets 1mm thicker!) The nano owners complain about not getting more storage and the Touch owners about "only" getting more storage and speed! You forgot to mention a lower price, which lets more people buy these devices, and... leads to more Apps.

    Apple owners have cool apps coming at them in droves, then complain if they can't carry more than 200 on them at one time??!? From someone who doesn't own an iPhone or Touch, this all looks completely ungrateful and, well, whiny.