Anovations for Applelatres: Apple has lost its compass

A couple of weeks ago, I changed my Samsung Galaxy II for a Samsung Galaxy III. Hardware-wise, software-wise, performance-wise, connection-wise, they clearly don't belong to the same galaxy. Samsung even managed to made NFC look sexy! The only - minor - default I see was the way the thin back cover vibrates with the speaker, but it's perfectly OK with the flip cover.

If I were (still) an Apple customer, I'd be really disappointed by the iPhone 5: the only real innovation is Lightning, the new dock connector, yet another proprietary marketing trap.

I never considered taking an iPhone because I used to be a Mac user, and I knew Cupertino would do the same with handsets as what they did with desktops:
- start with the sexiest product and user interface,
- refuse to open the proprietary system to other manufacturers,
- progressively retreat to a niche of Appleatres ready to pay dearly even if the product is not the best one anymore,
- get a bounce or two much later, when computers/smartphones are commoditized, just by the grace of a new sexy design (the iMac, the iPhone 69)

This time, they did it all by themselves. Cupertino didn't even need as formidable a foe as Redmond. Mountain View is by no means a small fish, and it learned a lot of sharkisms from Redmond, but if Android claimed the leadership so easily, that's because iPhone refused to hold it by building the largest ecosystem. Actually, to me the last straw was when Apple copied Microsoft by playing short term against long term and dividends against investments, by putting innovation last ("Apple - the end of the affair", "Omnipatent v. Impatent").

So I'm not even disappointed by this iPhone 5. To me, Apple has lost its compass long before and far beyond its first attempt in mapping apps.

Speaking of apps, that's something Samsung seems to be eventually more comfortable with. Not to the point of becoming a reason to be loyal to the brand*, but less an embarrassment.

mot-bile 2012

* my last 4 handsets were Samsung, but I don't feel any special loyalty to the brand. I live in Korea, where their gizmos happen to be the best packages, and the customer service very efficient.

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