Apple’s new method: Revolution by evolution
Shareholders and critics alike have claimed that Apple has lost its innovative spirit since the death of Steve Jobs. However, based on this month’s product keynote — where many products, most notably the iPad Air, were revealed — these claims are anything but true. While Apple has failed to release a new product category since the iPad in 2010, it has done an excellent job at improving both the feel and user experience of its current products — the things that matter most to the user.
Apple’s keynote opened with a short clip, featuring a question that Apple adheres to closely as it develops products: “What do we want people to feel?” The clip continued with the statement “design requires focus” on core emotions, such as “delight, surprise, love, [and] connection.” Throughout the keynote, Apple speakers like CEO Tim Cook made it clear that the statement made during the clip embodied all that the company represents.
Those who prematurely predict the death of Apple are quick to point out that Apple has failed to revolutionize any category of consumer products lately. While the company has remained centralized on its main product line and has not strayed into uncharted device territories, critics cry that they want iWatches, iTelevisions, or anything that can somehow change their iLives.
Despite it’s lack of recent innovation, Apple has taken part in a different method of change — revolution through evolution. Apple does this by taking an existing product, such as the iPad, and evolving it until it approaches the limit of perfection. The engineers and designers at Apple have been successful because they strive for perfection. They are not happy until they place a device as thin as a razor, yet as powerful as a full-scale desktop, into the hands of everyday people. The result of this discipline is the iPad Air.
While the iPad Air will not revolutionize or create an entirely new industry like the original iPad, Apple continues to embrace the vision of perfection that Jobs and the team sought when they released the first iPad.
By any means, Apple did not incorporate new technology that is out of this world into the iPad Air, but it put technology together in a way that has a similar effect.
Apple stressed that the iPad Air is not given justice when people watch its informational videos, and that to get the complete experience, people must have it in their hands.
While the original iPad Mini did not have parts that broke industry standards, it had a different feel than any other handheld device. It felt as light as a feather, yet was more powerful than tablets many times its size — I expect the iPad Air experience to be similar.
Apple has succeeded where so many tech companies have failed: connecting with users.
Apple spent more time at its conference showing how the iPad has changed people’s lives through simplicity rather than describing every detail of its A7 processor. By all means, the A7 processor is a great feat of technology, but nonetheless, the user does not care. Users only care that the device flows from application to application, providing a simple, seamless, and powerful experience.
Because Apple is increasing its aptitude of connecting with customers, the claims that the company has lost its innovative spirit are simply ludicrous.
Apple has created a line of products with feeling — something that few other technology companies have the ability to do.