Did Apple not get the memo from its customers?

So $50 billion wiped off the company value and multi quarter underachievement. As an Apple fan boy of many years, I have started to change my views on Apple. The Galaxy and Android combination is becoming evermore attractive. Multiply me by many as well as the younger generation not seeing them as cool and none of this should come as a surprise to Apple.

If Apple did bother to listen to the customer base they would have heard some exceptionally loud and clear sentiment about where people felt Apple was going and what they needed to change. So if they had of come down from the ivory tower and talked to me, they would have heard a few things.

First they would have heard that we were all pissed off with the 4S vs 5 debacle, all the hype and build up that was allowed to swirl before dumping a 4S on the customers. They would have heard loud and clear that the customer base wanted more innovation and not an S. They are also less and less excited every time a new product appears.

If they had spoken to us and done some market research they would have seen that people wanted bigger screens, they wanted bigger screens for sometime but Apple did not listen. The headlines screamed innovate faster, consult with us more, but Apple ploughed on regardless. The new iPads came and went and then we saw the start of the Apple fall. They responded to the ask, but because it was late and a reaction to competition, their halo dropped.

The iPhone 5 was underwhelming above all else. Where Apple have gone wrong is in thinking that a big megapixel number or screen resolution will excite the user, not true, they should be additive. Apple has won on design and reimagining design and in this area they have singularly failed. The iPhone 5 was boring and frankly looked the same as the last two and that was a mistake. They had a chance. The iPad mini is a great product, I bought one, but the shine was taken off it because it was in response to the Nexus and other tablets. I would hold iPad mini as an example of where design was first and foremost and came with less tech spec, but noone really cared.

If they had listened they would have heard the rumblings of discontent about constant need for buying new and different chargers and new and different sims, the rest of the world was standardising and it is what people wanted and yet Apple thought that we would swallow the relentless change over and over. We do of course but the cracks are showing in our patience.

Apple should have read the signs and acted faster. Noone is perfect of course, even Samsung have had to admit that perhaps the S3 screen is too big for most people and have now downsized for those who want it, they listened pretty quickly after seeing the signs.

Overall with Apple my overriding sentiment is boredom. They bore me now, they make good products and I like them, but they have not got me excited for some time and I dont think I am alone, so in my view Apple need to start listening and innvating more if they are to regain their crown.

What is the definition of a tablet?

It’s not the Samsung. When the iPad was being launched and everyone was discussing whether or not there was a place in the world for such a device (I think we have the answer to that!) the most common phrase in reviews was..’if I have an iPhone and a Mac, why do I need one?’ At the time people were not sure of the answer, in the Apple way, the iPad created the need rather than answering one.

Since then the competition has fired its responses and some of them I think have missed the point. Lets take the Samsung example:

The fact is the Samsung is just too small, it’s as close to a phone as an iPad and that is the issue for me, that is where I am left asking – where does this fit? I have seen them in the flesh, they are oversized phones, the screens neither big enough to enjoy gaming, reading, web pages or apps but too big to be convenient like a phone.

The iPad has succeeded because it is big enough to have an experience, it did not set out to be a phone with a slightly larger screen, its build quality and slickness all add to this experience, something else that the competition seem incapable of replicating. I suspect the Blackberry offering will be nice, they are quickly realising that quality of finish both technically and physically is important and I have no doubt it will be a market winning execution, next to the iPad. Here is an example of some people’s interpretation of it