By Vamien McKalin | Mar 13, 2013 09:52 AM EDT
Apple is facing a downward spiral as the company comes under increased competition from Android and Windows Phone. So bad is the situation that longtime Apple watchers are calling for Apple to innovate significantly or face being deemed routine.
Rene Ritchie from iMore claims Apple is too comfortable releasing a major iPhone refresh one year, then a minor refresh the next year. He states that if Apple releases an iPhone 5S this year, it would risk being seen as boring, which would hurt the company's prospects for keeping the iPhone atop of the smartphone world.
"When the impression is that Apple will 'only' release an S-class phone in any given year, consumers might be more interested in seeing what else is out there," he writes. "While the iPhone 5 was almost entirely new from a manufacturing standpoint, because it had the same general, flat, rounded rectangle design as its predecessor, it was criticized by some consumers, and more than its fair share of tech pundits, for being boring. New unibody construction, a camera that was a feat of optical engineering, a taller, 4-inch display, and LTE - boring. If marketing the iPhone 5 as re-revolutionary was tough, marketing an almost identical-looking iPhone 5S to the same crowd would inevitably be tougher."
To continue being relevant in the mobile space, Apple must have a diverse mobile product range on the market. Its current position is too predictable, so competitors know what Apple will bring to market beforehand, thus making it easier to sway consumers away from the Apple brand.
"The'iPhone 5S' problem is the idea that Apple has become predictable coupled with the perception that the next big thing might just come from somewhere else," Ritchie writes. "Breaking patterns and challenging expectations is just one way to solve that problem."
With the coming of the Samsung Galaxy S4, the HTC One, and a range of Lumia-branded Windows Phone devices from Nokia this year, Apple has little choice but to hit hard or fall into irrelevancy.
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