Apple iPhone – what does the future hold?

The iPhone launched in 2007. Its release was sensationalized to the max, and brought in a new dawn for the mobile phone. Whether you’re a die hard Android lover, or Apple hater, you cannot deny the impact that the iPhone had on the smartphone market.

It brought in the first, really thumb-able touch screen, with a simple to use interface. Up until that point every touchscreen device was sold pre-packaged with a stylus. Whether it was a corporate looking grey piece of plastic with the Windows Mobile devices, or the lipstick mimicking stylus of the LG Prada, they all had one. The following incarnation of iPhone, the 3G, saw the opening of the App Store. Why had no one done this before? It made purchasing and developing software so simple, and made it a great user experience. It’s fair to say Apple hasn’t been the game-changer it once was.

Let’s look back 10 or maybe 15 years. I remember being in school when cell phones became popular. Everyone either carried a Nokia 5110 or a some Motorola brick. Mostly though, it was the Nokia – you could change the front cover, and play ‘Snake’. Exchangeable fascias and an addictive game became the reason to own a certain handset. Nokia made phones cool.

Fast forward to 2005, and recall the Nokia N70. I was working in a phone store at the time, and remember this being the first device I ever heard the term “smartphone” used. Smartphones had been released before, but not aimed at the general consumer. It was a new thing. Our store didn’t sell BlackBerry handsets, or HTCs, it didn’t even sell the Sony Ericsson P-series phones – they were far too expensive. People wanted handsets that could play music, take pictures and record video – that was all. The N70 changed it all for us – I remember buying one when it first came out – it was an incredible phone. It was running what was, at the time, a pretty cool software – Symbian. Remember, this is 2005. Browsing the “real” internet was a little slow, but so worth waiting for. It made touchscreen the norm. Who’d have thought that handsets with buttons would become the minority?

Move on to 2007 – the iPhone launch. This is what smartphones should always have been. Instead of creating a phone that only business people wanted to use, Apple put all the high-end features; browsing the internet, touchscreen and email in to a device that could be used by absolutely anyone. Granted, Apple priced everyone out by not subsidizing the first generation – but it was still a massive leap forward from what existed. The App Store and a cheaper price a year later really made the difference, and Apple became a market leader in handset design, and software performance.

Now, however, only 4 years after the original iPhone was launched, we’re in a position where iOS is still the same. The device is being out-specced, out performed and outsold by Android, Google’s aternative OS. Windows Phone 7 and HP/Palm’s WebOS both make iOS look like an old fuddy-duddy. So, what will the future hold for Apple? Look at the state of Nokia now, it has stuck with Symbian, a once market-leading OS – now solely responsible for Nokia’s lack of reputation in the smartphone market. We’re yet to see if the partnership with Microsoft will bear fruit.

Right now, if it hasn’t been done already, Apple needs to take a long, hard look at iOS and rebuild it from the ground up. iOS has been wonderful so far, but it’s time to up the game once again. With iOS 5 Apple has the opportunity to create something “magical”, “innovative” and “revolutionary”. Something which has never been seen before on a handset. My concern: if Apple doesn’t revamp the aging OS now, it may be too late, and the iPhone will turn in to another one of those handsets that had so much potential, but the stubbornness and pride of its creators hindered its growth.

Look at Nokia’s handsets now. The hardware on some of them is unequalled. The Finnish company design some stunning looking phones. The C7 (Astound) and the E7 are two of the best looking devices I’ve ever seen. However, the OS is so poor and outdated, that I’d sooner go back to the 5110 than dirty my hands with a new Symbian device. I would hate to see Apple’s iPhone go this way. So here’s to more innovation – and not resting on your laurels.

What do you guys think? What does Apple need to introduce to safeguard its future? Comment below, or tweet @TiP_Cam




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  • Douglas Ford

    The iPhone is done. I like what Apple brought to the table 4 years ago and added every year since in terms of the ideas, and look and feel of their devices. I don’t like how they are all basically a slightly upgraded version of last years device. It doesn’t feel like Apple is innovating anything anymore. Their software is on par with Android 2.2, but starting to lose momentum versus Android 2.3+. Their hardware is on par with devices launched around last summer, but no where near as cool as quite a few of the high end devices currently out and soon to be out. The Evo 3D kills the iPhone 4, and probably will be better then the iPhone 5 (if it ever comes this year), and that is just one of many high end devices coming out this year (not the mention the Atrix 4G which is way better then the iPhone 4 and probably ahead of the iPhone 5 as well). The dual-core A5 CPU is behind the curve versus the Tegra 2 in performance and graphics, and soon there will be the quad-core Tegra 3 coming to Android devices (probably this year) and high end Qualcomm devices too. I look forward to the future, and clearly at this time it looks like Android is the future. Sorry if this sounds like gibberish, I am working and thereby only half writing this. Lol

    • Joe

      Actually android is a mess. The apps ui, skins and everything vary so much that it will never work perfectly. All the phones you name basically suck. They don’t perform well at all. The only good android handset on the market right now are the nexus s, and g2x. Everything else are sup-par. The evo-3d is going to suck because battery, 3D is gimmicky, the cameras will suck because they are made by htc, it’s still going to lag like all the other android handsets and tablets. The iPhone is about the experience, it’s fast, repsonsive, easy to use, an enjoyable experience, everything works and works well. You can talk about specs all you want be you’ll see they don’t matter if the software can’t take advantage of them. Look at the Atrix, it has a faster processor then the a4, but it crashes all the time, it isn’t as smooth as the iPhone, the camera doesn’t take as good pictures, the pentile screen looks like crap, apps crash more then offten, there are hic ups. If you don’t believe me read the reviews or ask reviewers or owners. Like on technobuffalo that girl who switched to one and switched back quickly to her iPhone.

      • Here’s the thing. Android is a “good” platform. Not great, but good. But it’s competing with the oh’so powerfull iOS. The lagless, super intuitive, easy-to-use iOS. How do you compete with that? Well, Android needed some help. They needed LOTS of help. As a matter of fact, they needed all the help they could get, so what they did was put their OS in the hands of all phone makers by “open sourcing” it. This just means anyone can tweak it and phone makers can add their own skins, ui, and “flavor” if you will.

        Basically, they realized it would be too difficult to actually come up with a better OS, and phone than Apple. The only way to compete with a powerhouse company like this, is to make an OS with everything the current iOS lacks. What do people want in iOS? Well, with the thousands of jailbreak videos (as well as iPhone Ui and software concepts) on Youtube, deciding what to give the phone wasn’t hard. People wanted a better notification system – So Android gave their OS that.People wanted complete customization, and variation (between models) – So Android open sourced it, and gave phone makers the ability to both use the OS in their phone’s, as well as the ability to tweak the OS and give it a customized experience, that might suit the users needs better in different ways. Now, we have many different phones to choose from, as well as many different looks/styles of the Android platform.

        People wanted flash – got it.

        People wanted something new – And there was Android. Granted the OS slows down, lags, and doesn’t work as easily and fluidly as iOS, but people got alot of features that made the phone look cool, and fun to use. 

        We don’t need widget’s, nor do we “need” the ablility to add different skins/”scenes.” But it it’s cool. And that’s why some people turn to Android when it comes to first impressions. Apple gave us a better, easier to use phone that’s simple, yet quietly brilliant (not to steal HTC little motto). Apple, at the moment seems to be falling behind in the competition and “catching up” as some may say, but in actuality they’re not (necessarily). Lots of android phone’s are coming out with powerful dual cores. Some targeting Apple’s A5 chip and even out-clocking it at a crazy 1.2GHZ dual core compared to Apple’s 1GHZ dual core. Well, if the software is laggy, and crashes, that dual core processor means nothing. NOTHING! There are dual core phone’s out there that are much, much “laggier” than iPhone 4, with it’s single’core processor. Wghy is this? Because apple actually takes it’s time (about a year usually) and creates the ultimate phone for the time of it’s release. Making use of every little pixel. and every ounce of processing power, and battery life, to give you a phone that not only performs exceptionally well. For as long as you have it. But gives you more than you might even need. For instance, the 5-megapixel camera in iPhone 4 has lower specs than some of the android 8-megapixel camera’s but which takes better pictures? WEll that would be iPhone of course thanks to it’s larger pixels and HDR software that blows all mobile phone camera’s out of the waters. This comment is LONG ENOUGH. Lol, sorry! But, there you have it people. To sum it all up.  Android give’s you specs, choices, and customization. Apple gives you… A better phone. :)

  • keith

    That is a bad ass nokia phone.

  • Bigsexynate

    Cydia and all the features of a jailbroken iPhone, WITHOUT Jailbreaking your device.

  • Joe

    They don’t need to change anything but notifications really. I’m not worried what kind of updates they do, cause I like iOS. They shouldn’t change the central idea behind it.

  • Bankz

    Apple will not be done. It fits the need that people want. And people will always buy it to see what has been done to it and what jailbreaks can be done to the new things can do it. So there will always be a place for iPhone because people as much as they say they do not want it. Other companies look at Apple to see what they did

  • Liziw

    I agree with Joe, the best and most unique thing about the iPhone’s os is that it’s so good to use. Even if you don’t have anything specific to ‘do’ you still want to play around with it because it feels so good.
    As someone who is VERY new to the whole Apple experience -only got my first iPhone mid 2010 -and is 39 yrs old so can remember when there weren’t even tv remotes, it makes such natural sense in the way it functions and moves through steps.
    Even if Apple stopped tomorrow and didn’t make another ‘anything’ I still think their contribution to mobile phones and computers in general is unshakeable.