And now for something completely the same: Apple unveiled its new iPhones yesterday and had a rather standard time of it. No surprises. Nobody passing out from sheer excitement. A new iPhone 5S, which doesn’t have much new with it, and a cheaper iPhone 5C, which really isn’t that cheap. The only real innovation that has come out of Cupertino lately has been the way that the company goes about describing their product to the masses. However, with all jabs asides, we’ve got to give credit where credit is due.
Apple has reinvented themselves and yet have stayed completely the same. This sounds ridiculously contradictory, but it makes a lot of sense. In other words, the iPhone 5C was for months called the “cheap iPhone” with rumors circulating around the Internet. The iPhone 5S, while relatively the same as the iPhone 5, kept the pace of the norm for Apple and helped them disprove some of the rumor critics.
If you know Apple, you know they’re the king of hyperbole. They could release a phone that they found in the garbage can and still try to market it as being a solid piece of gold. In fact, isn’t that what they did with the “new” iPhone 5S? I mean, it is now available in a gold color scheme….
All that glitters is not necessarily gold
Well, you can’t really complain that Apple doesn’t always listen. They obviously heard their critics talking about how they’ve really done nothing in the design department since the original iPhone, or perhaps the change from the iPhone 3GS to the iPhone 4. So what do they do? Bring the appearance of something new without really bringing anything new. Well done, Apple.
Perhaps the golden color is supposed to be a counter weight to the new “cheap” iPhones. Even though the 5C is indeed cheaper than their flagship device now (…by a margin of about $100). In other words, the plastic iPhone will no longer be described as boldly overpriced compared to the iPhone 5S, but rather only brazenly overpriced. But this is exactly what Apple wants: a real budget iPhone would have been a killer to their brand and undermined themselves. As intuitive as it seems, the high prices associated with the iPhone are a crucial ingredient to the success to Apple.
Psychologically ahead of the pack
High investments (both tangible and intangible) require you to overcome an amount of cognitive dissonance to be able to justify the expenditures. The psychological consequence to this is that you justify your investment and, in the case of Apple, gain a major foothold in terms of consumer loyalty.
But for all the criticism leveled at Apple for not really innovating, there is some pretty new technology inside of the iPhone 5S. A new processor (64-bit at that!) and a built-in fingerprint scanner are among new technologies that haven’t been fully adopted by other smartphone manufacturers.
In terms of what actually did change with the new products from Apple or how they compare to current phones? We’ve got a little bit of an idea. However, right or wrong, Apple chose the direction they're headed and now it is time for other manufacturers to decide how they’re going to proceed.