For the last decade and a half Apple have been a dominant part of our society. Whether it be the monolithic Apple stores dotting our high streets or the stylish smartphones resting on the laps of bus commuters, it's hard to go a day without witnessing the house that Jobs built. Products like the iPhone and the MacBook have skyrocketed Apple to the top of the list of the world's most valuable companies. More valuable than other major players like Google and Facebook. But are things starting to change?
Some analysts are touting the iPhone 7 as being the least impressive upgrade of Apple products yet. Others yet are declaring the iPhone is set to perform worse than other brands this year. So what exactly is happening? Is Apple running out of ideas? Are they perhaps releasing too many versions of their products in too short a timeframe? Personally, we think neither. Whether you love them or not, Apple consistently prove to be innovators in tech and routinely set the bar in both hardware and software circles. To find out what's really going on, we have to pay a visit to Apple's noisy neighbours...
While it's Apple's emblazoned fruit we're used to seeing every day, it's actually Android that's taking over the world. So much so that Google have risked forming a monopoly in the smartphone industry. This is unsurprising given that most smartphones that aren't made by Apple run the Android operating system. The reason Android is so popular is not simply because it was created by Google, though the platform does inherit the company's core ethics, including ease of use and accessibility for software developers.
Ironically, while a technological innovator, Apple have found themselves accused by some of being behind the times. Innovation is nice, but should not be the entire point of creating something new. Android has arguably remained popular by delivering semi-regular updates to the operating system that address issues outlined by the user base. That could be the key difference between iOS and Android right now; while Apple are developing the products in line with what their customers would want to see, Google address the consumer's needs and ultimately have edged out with a more accessible and customisable operating system.
This is not to say Apple are in the wrong. Regardless of whether they've hit peak or not, the company will still be selling the products like hot cakes for years to come. There's a very clear appeal for Apple's design methodology. Their devices employ a minimalist yet stylish design, and iOS is a quick, snappy operating system that just works and is satisfying to use. As more and more companies throw their hat into the smartphone ring each year, thus giving the consumer more options, we may have grown less awestruck by Apple's output. However, nothing quite matches the quality put into their products, even in the launch state.