Apple's iPhone Lagging Farther Behind Latest Smartphone Models

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2013-03-28 Print this article Print

However, the company has just announced that it has more than 100,000 apps in the BlackBerry World store. Microsoft’s Windows Phone Market claims it has more than 150,000 apps. Both devices have continued to attract developers and both app stores continue to grow.

The iPhone challengers are doing more things that Apple can’t do and doesn’t appear to be likely to do soon. Android now supports multitasking, Windows Phone has supported multitasking since version 7 and BlackBerry has a rock-solid, real-time multitasking OS. Only Apple restricts you to a single task at a time where something as simple as opening a link in an email requires you to open the browser, and then go back and restart the email client.

Again, I could go on, but won’t. What should really concern the Apple faithful, not to mention Apple stockholders as they watch their share prices drop, is that Apple is showing no signs of changing this situation any time soon. While there are rumors of an iPhone 5S, those rumors suggest that it will just be a warmed over iPhone 5 with a few more features.

What about the iPhone 6? There’s no question that Apple will launch a bigger, better iPhone eventually, but when? Will the iPhone 6 see the light of day in 2013? Maybe, but if it does, it likely won’t be before the Christmas shopping season starts this fall. Meanwhile, Samsung will have shipped its Galaxy S 4, BlackBerry will have shipped new BB10 devices and Nokia will be shipping new Lumias, each of them chipping away at Apple’s market share.

The problem for Apple is that it’s stuck between needing to keep the Apple faithful happy, which means that it needs to stay close to its base (as they say here in Washington). But it also needs to do some serious innovation if it’s going to start gaining market share again. The problem with innovation is that it also means change, and it seems like the Apple faithful are happy not to see too much change.

In a sense, Apple is sort of the smartphone version of Mitt Romney. The company can’t stray too far from its base without losing support. But it has to stray far enough to win new support that it doesn’t have now. This didn’t work for Romney in his failed presidential election campaign. Will it work for Apple? It’s a tough juggling act where it’s easy to drop the ball. Apple needs to figure out quickly how to avoid dropping that ball if the company is to stay relevant.


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