10 Apple Missteps That Surprised the Mobile Market In 2011

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-12-01 Print this article Print

News Analysis: Apple has had a big year, but the company did make some missteps this year that had an impact on its financial performance and brand.

It's not often that Apple makes mistakes. Over the last decade, the company has been offering some of the best products to consumers without ever worrying about competing devices taking it down. Apple has been so successful that its legions of fans believe the company can do no wrong. Even when critics cite evidence that it might have committed a blunder, Apple's fans brush those claims off.

But it doesn't make them any less true. And so far this year, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has made a number of mistakes major and minor that in one way or another have impacted its operation. Are they major mistakes that will greatly affect its financial standing? No. But they are notable enough to point out whenever one says that Apple is spot-on with every decision it makes.

Here is a sample of the mistakes Apple has made so far this year.

1. The iPad 2's missing 4G

The iPad 2's lack of 4G connectivity is a major oversight on Apple's part. Tablets are designed to be mobile and users want to be able to connect to them while on the road. If Apple brought 4G connectivity to the slate, it could have appealed to consumers who want faster mobile browsing. Even better, it could have eliminated one key advantage the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 has.

2. iPhone 4S battery issue

Apple's iPhone 4S has come under fire for persistent battery issues that some observers say weren't addressed well enough in iOS 5.0.1. Granted, a battery fix isn't a major issue and the iPhone 4S is still selling well, but shouldn't Apple have discovered and addressed the problem before the handset launched? I used the iOS 5 beta and experienced some battery issues in earlier versions of the software. They got better over time, but obviously Apple didn't do enough to fix them entirely.

3. Siri is great-but not ready

Just about everyone can agree that the future of interface interaction will come by way of voice technology. So Apple's decision to launch Siri is a good one. However the software isn't as intelligent as it should be. Just try asking Siri something sophisticated to see how it breaks down. Many iPhone 4S owners have given up on it because of that. Maybe Apple thought Siri was ready for primetime. But it isn't.

4. Where's the big iPhone display?

According to the latest report, Apple is planning a larger screen for the iPhone 5. That's great, but where was it this year? Looking around the mobile space, there are several companies, including HTC, Samsung, and Motorola, offering 4-inch screens. Apple's iPhone, on the other hand, has a 3.5-inch screen. Apple should have matched the competition's larger displays this year.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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