Apple’s approach to innovation under Tim Cook

Before we begin and I end up annoying some of you, this is just my very personal opinion and observations and I do not mean I am correct, but this is what I know and have seen. My observations may very well be wrong and some of my emotions may flow out the wrong way, that’s the thing about opinions. Still here? Let’s continue shall we?

If you follow Technobuffalo you may have come across an article titled The Galaxy Note 7 is miles ahead of the iPhone where they go on to explain just why. And rightly so, if you compare the rumours about the upcoming iPhone and what’s already present on the note 7 you will be amazed just how far ahead Samsung has come when it comes to innovating the smartphone.

It’s no secret Samsung is behind the driving wheel of smartphone innovation with Google. Samsung has a big influence on the changes Google makes in android and the multi-window feature is one example.

Forbes seems to have replied on how Apple is not lagging very far behind as long as people don’t care that Apple is indeed lagging very far behind Samsung. That’s what I read.

And here are my two bits on Apple’s approach and why as fans of technology we should stop defending Apple’s lack in innovation in the name of the brand as I have said before. If you’re fans of Apple rather than technology then sure, defend away all you wish.

So if you’re here, you know that Quad HD displays on flagship devices are a norm these days and sometimes even smartphones half the price like OnePlus are criticized by fans for not including a Quad HD resolution. This is not something that’s new, its something that has been proven to be crisper and sharper than 1080p displays and the Note 7 has the best smartphone display around. Apple on the other hand has a 1080p display for the iPhone 6s Plus and that’s what will be used in the iPhone 7, rumours suggest Apple will move to an Amoled display.

That’s all the improvement that’s maybe happening. I was watching Tim Cook giving an interview a month back on a local Indian Channel, and boy, did he make it clear that Apple were not about “making the most”, but “about making the best”

It was like listening to a broken record with that explanation creeping its way into all of his answers. I’m mentioning this because I fail to see how 1080p displays are the best displays. Maybe any Apple fan among you may help me realize what I am missing here.

I’ve been told by hardcore Apple fans that you cannot notice the difference because Retina display and the usual distance between eyes and the screen is what Apple says it is and stuff you probably know or don’t need to know. It was Apple’s marketing language that they had swallowed like food.

Sure 1080p displays are easier on processor and batteries which those fans never said but the market is full of devices  with Quad HD displays and similar battery life and performance to the iPhone. That’s not really an excuse. Or maybe it is just an excuse.

The reality is, Apple is about making the most, not the most products but the most money and while they can continue doing it, there is no reason to make the best products. Keep in mind nobody is judging Apple here for that, because aren’t all companies about profits? If Apple has such command over its users, that it can hold onto them without making the best product for several years why should they invest in making the best rather than making people believe otherwise. They haven’t updated the Mac in years and hardly anyone has switched. Imagine a Dell or Lenovo doing that. They would if they could.

Imagine Samsung, the largest smartphone manufacturer pushing out a Note 7 with a 1080p display when the market has moved to Quad HD. Actually don’t imagine, just look at Sony. They’ve not really been the best in listening to what the market demands rather they try to create their own market. I remember 4.7 inches being a standard size for smartphone displays but Sony would choose to go 4.6 inches. One of the standard laptop screen sizes is 15.6 inches but I had a VAIO a while back and it was 15.5 inches and oh was it hard to find any decals or skins for it. The reason they do that we’ll never know. Their behavior is sort of like Apple in terms of not giving two sh**s about the current market, the Xperia line has never had a Quad HD display, instead they just jumped to 4K out of nowhere, they’ve never been one to price the Xperia phones correctly, and the new Xperia X series is priced exactly how Apple prices iPhones. Less hardware, more money. But not everybody has the huge loyalist following that Apple has.

There’s also the fact that the general consumers  don’t care about VR compatibility, they don’t care if iPhone lacks a Quad HD display because that consumer doesn’t know these things exist on other smartphones. How much the general American public knows about these advanced technologies on smartphones is evident by this video by Android Authority :

If you watch long enough, you’ll see how the common iPhone users react to the water resistance on the Samsung phone. Forget iPhone users there’s an Xperiauser who is shocked. Water resistance has been a defining feature of Sony’s Xperia smartphones for several years and it has been on a few Samsung smartphones for quite a few years as well. These people have no idea that the Samsung Galaxy S7 is water resistant and that is when Samsung’s marketing budget even leaves Apple wanting. And this is not exclusive to a country or continent. When I showered my Xperia in front of friends, I still remember their faces, and these were young smartphone loving people.

The Note 7 may have a curved Quad HD display but most of the people who are into Apple’s ecosystem don’t know and hence don’t care. That’s the target audience, not the technology enthusiasts but the consumer. And this is a fact that both Samsung and Apple have understood. While other android OEMs are still competing on specs and features that only those enthusiastic about every upcoming device will even know about.

In the hardware department, Samsung is indeed miles ahead of any iPhone ever made or will be until the next year. This year’s iPhone 7 does not hold a candle to the Note 7 but it may very well still outsell the Note 7 considering Samsung has already sold a lot of S7 and S7 Edge models.

Fluent — a company that engages in “customer acquisition” — shared the results of a survey about the “next iPhone.”


If you take a look, its clear what the customers most care about. It’s not a better display than last year’s, they’re fine with the current one, it’s not an iris scanner, the fingerprint works just fine. They want more storage and waterproofing. Clearly, Apple has managed to avoid waterproofing until now and and there was no market pressure to include it now just because Samsung did. Apple went with a waterproof design now because they don’t have much in the next iPhone to sell and now it may become the selling point of their new iPhone which is more or less similar to the last year’s. Like bigger screens drove the iPhone 6 and 6 plus sales.

Apple can add quad core processor’s, make the iPhone faster than any smartphone ever made but why? They’ll save it for later.

Apple has never been one to change with the smartphone market, Apple changes when it needs a reason to sell more. Regardless of the common notion of Apple being an innovator, that phase has simply passed long years ago. Apple under Tim Cook is not about making the best products, its about making the most money regardless.

How long Apple can keep this attitude before customers begin to see through will be interesting to see. The decline in iPhone sales has some worrying for Apple but Apple seems assured. As I’ve mentioned before in some previous posts, not an Apple hater, my love for Macbooks is as deep as my love for Android.

What are your opinions on this opinion piece? I wouldn’t believe everyone agrees. Do let me know in the comments below.



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