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.
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5. Location-tracking flub
Apple did a fine job of making customers forget about the iPhone location-tracking issue that cropped up earlier this year. Basically, a person’s exact location was being recorded on the iPhone without the user’s knowledge, which caused rampant outcry in the privacy community. Apple addressed the so-called “bug” with an update, but it was a black eye for the company, nonetheless.
6. Where’s the major iPhone update?
Prior to the iPhone 4S’ announcement, just about everyone was saying that Apple would deliver a major version upgrade to the iPhone 5. The device, they said at the time, would be complete with a bigger screen, 4G, a new design, and near-field communication technology. Unfortunately, Apple didn’t play nice. Instead, the company launched an iterative update that left many consumers wishing for more.
7. Enough with the patent lawsuits
All over the world, Apple is engaged in bitter patent disputes with Samsung. The company argues that it’s simply trying to protect its intellectual property, but in the process, it’s making itself look bad. No consumer likes lawsuits that stymie innovation in the market. And although Apple has won a few cases against Samsung, it has also lost a few. In other words, they’re at a deadlock. Isn’t it time to give it up?
8. iCloud limitations
Apple’s iCloud service is a fine first step, but it could be better. For example, the service doesn’t allow users to stream video content or music from the cloud. In fact, it’s basically just a syncing service. iCloud could have been so much more. Here’s hoping it realizes its potential in the future.
9. A boring Tim Cook presentation
After Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO earlier this year, Apple held a special news conference to unveil the iPhone 4S. The event could have showcased how Tim Cook would handle the company and become a lively, iconic CEO. However, Cook spent little time on the stage and instead left much of the presentation to his top executives. It was a decidedly not in the Jobs style. Cook isn’t Jobs, but his boring presentation hurt the CEO’s standing with consumers and shareholders.
10. Continuing to ignore Apple TV
The living room is a potentially multi-billion dollar industry. Yet, Apple has been loath to enter that space. After launching the new Apple TV last year, the company has largely ignored both the device and the entertainment market, in general. It’s a mistake. The Apple TV could very well hold the key to Apple’s dominance in the living room. It’s about time the company realizes that.
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