Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th Mar 2013 15:51 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Thorsten Heins, BlackBerry's CEO: "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. 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. The user interface on the iPhone, with all due respect for what this invention was all about is now five years old." Ironic, perhaps, that this comes from a BlackBerry CEO, but that doesn't make him wrong - although I'm sure the usual suspects will claim that it does.
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He's right but
by leos on Mon 18th Mar 2013 16:30 UTC
leos
Member since:
2005-09-21

Innovation for the sake of change doesn't correlate with success.

Look at the Windows Phone UI. It's definitely different. They tossed out the common conventions in iOS/Android and went a different route. So how did that work out for them? How about Blackerry's playbook? New OS, new interface, complete failure. The success of their new phones remain to be seen.

And what about the other platforms? You can make the same argument about Android. Android had a home screen with widgets and icons and an app drawer essentially from the start. Where's the innovation? A glance at the Galaxy 4 release shows they are grasping at new whiz-bangery like "air-gestures" and "smart pause" that are poorly thought out.

Why is it that we expect our phones to radically change their primary interface whereas we're happy with the WIMP paradigm living on our desktops for 20 years?

I know Thom will disregard this because he thinks I'm an apple disciple (should I mention again that I've never bought an apple device in my life?) but it's true. Blackberry needs to make a splash with a new interface because they're coming from nothing. The established players are better off with consistency than frantic UI overhauls at every release.

Edited 2013-03-18 16:31 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE: He's right but
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 18th Mar 2013 16:42 in reply to "He's right but"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

He didn't say Apple wasn't successful. He said iOS has become stale.

To put it differently, Apple's success does not mean they are innovative; similarly, Microsoft's failure (so far) with Windows Phone does not mean Microsoft is not innovative there.

But yes, this has become a common spin in certain circles, you're right there. Back when Apple was an also-ran, we were told that numbers didn't matter. Now that Apple is highly successful, they suddenly do. It's somewhat entertaining to watch these massive 180s in pro-Apple circle (not necessarily you, by the way).

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: He's right but
by leos on Mon 18th Mar 2013 18:55 in reply to "RE: He's right but"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

He didn't say Apple wasn't successful. He said iOS has become stale.


Operating systems aren't like bread. If something is effective, then it remains effective.
One recent "innovation" is the drive to map every off-screen gesture to an action like in Windows 8, Sailfish, and BB10. We are certainly sacrificing discoverability and introducing vectors for accidental activation (especially when playing games). My wife got annoyed enough when the notification center got introduced to her iPod touch and she kept accidentally activating it when playing fruit ninja.

To put it differently, Apple's success does not mean they are innovative; similarly, Microsoft's failure (so far) with Windows Phone does not mean Microsoft is not innovative there.


Right, so the idea that "innovative" UI is even desirable is not very strong. What you want is effective UI, and clearly iOS and Android have a pretty good handle on that. A stale UI is more likely a sign that they've gotten it right.

That said I'm very interested to see what changes we'll see in iOS now that Ive is in charge there.

Edited 2013-03-18 18:56 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: He's right but
by Tony Swash on Tue 19th Mar 2013 00:17 in reply to "RE: He's right but"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

He didn't say Apple wasn't successful. He said iOS has become stale.

To put it differently, Apple's success does not mean they are innovative; similarly, Microsoft's failure (so far) with Windows Phone does not mean Microsoft is not innovative there.

But yes, this has become a common spin in certain circles, you're right there. Back when Apple was an also-ran, we were told that numbers didn't matter. Now that Apple is highly successful, they suddenly do. It's somewhat entertaining to watch these massive 180s in pro-Apple circle (not necessarily you, by the way).



I think what's changed is that there is no Steve Jobs to hand hold, reassure and excite the sceptical. When Jobs was around there was a constant narrative of change and innovation at Apple which was very powerful and very persuasive. That narrative was rooted in a real process of change and innovation at Apple but the real process was, and is, very opaque and difficult for many tech observers to understand or accept because much of it runs counter to the (empty) shibboleths of tech cultural discourse (exemplified by the vacuous 'opens always beats' sort of piffle). So Jobs role as master of ceremonies and magician in chief helped calm the nerves of tech observers, they still couldn't understand how Apple had made the apparently startling and sudden transition from a side show to the biggest show in town, but the belief in the special genius of Jobs and his magic helped ease their confusion. It turns out that Jobs mattered to sceptical tech observers far more than to the fans, supporters or believers in Apple.

The reasons I say all this is that the notion that Apple is slowing it's pace of innovation, other than just being the latest tech junk journalism fad, is rooted in a misremembering of how Apple actually innovated in the past. The pattern at Apple for the last decade or more has been occasional stunning and utterly disruptive new product launches that spark a massive new line of products and new areas of large business growth followed by the slow iterative polishing of the products, the restrained diversification of models within product lines and the steady building of a deep ecosystem and service stack to wrap around the break through product lines.

The article contains a nicely done info-graphic on the Apple product innovation timeline.

http://www.applegazette.com/apple-inc/is-apple-taking-too-long-to-i...


It turns out that when you strip out some of the less significant stuff and concentrate on the big product pillars then the average time between major product innovation is three years and ten months. By that math, Apple is due to announce a fifth major pillar of its business around this October. That doesn't mean that they will but it does mean that the gap since the iPad was introduced is not particularly long by Apple standards.

The actual timeline of major product pillars is as follows:

iMac

3 years 4 months later

iPod

5 years 3 months later

iPhone

3 years

iPad

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: He's right but
by Nelson on Mon 18th Mar 2013 21:02 in reply to "He's right but"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Innovation for the sake of change doesn't correlate with success.


I don't think innovation is immediately rewarded with success, even if it is a tangible improvement, and I point to your following point as direct evidence. There are others.

Innovation needs to be paired with execution to be effective. A poorly delivered good idea is indistinguishable from a bad idea.


Look at the Windows Phone UI. It's definitely different. They tossed out the common conventions in iOS/Android and went a different route. So how did that work out for them? How about Blackerry's playbook? New OS, new interface, complete failure. The success of their new phones remain to be seen.


Is Windows Phone that different? Fundamentally? And is it much different from the new design direction Android is going in?

The industry trend is towards a fierce reduction in complexity and minimalism. If this trend was one that brought with it negativity, we'd see a much worse reaction to Android's recent face lift.

I'm not convinced that Windows Phones are held back by the UI, they generally review extremely well. Windows Phones, BB10, and all others that come after it are limited by a market inefficiency that affects every OS vendor who doesn't carve out an unclaimed niche.


Why is it that we expect our phones to radically change their primary interface whereas we're happy with the WIMP paradigm living on our desktops for 20 years?


I think the entire WIMP angle is just semantic garbage that muddies discussion. As soon as you mention it, you'll get about 30 pedants from OSNews who think they know what WIMP really is and it'll span off into some irrelevant pissing contest. Who cares.

Blackberry needs to make a splash with a new interface because they're coming from nothing. The established players are better off with consistency than frantic UI overhauls at every release.


I don't think BlackBerry will fare better than Windows Phone or other bottom feeding OSes. There is an inherent inefficiency in the system. Carriers are very much the gatekeepers of retail success.

BlackBerry needs to either adhere to the shape that carriers want them to contort themselves in, or find a way to break the mold.

Android got to where it is because its everything an OEM and a Carrier could dream of. A no holds barred dumping ground for their shitware. Look at Windows on the Desktop for an analogous situation.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: He's right but
by leos on Tue 19th Mar 2013 05:48 in reply to "RE: He's right but"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

All good points.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: He's right but
by pos3 on Tue 19th Mar 2013 09:44 in reply to "RE: He's right but"
pos3 Member since:
2010-06-25

Nobody cares about carriers while buying mobile in India. Android is still gaining and wp8 is going nowhere.

Reply Parent Score: 2