The iPad Air – A Little Bit Too Light?
Apple have recently launched their newest addition to the family, the iPad Air, the cheapest of which will be available in a configuration of 16GB and Wifi only but with a still quite staggering price point of £399. I myself am an unashamed fan of Apple products, I would be lost without my iPhone, iPad and MacBook. Normally I would feel a pang of jealousy when an updated model comes out, this time however I don’t think I’ll lose much sleep, and here is why.
What’s so different from the iPad 3? Not a great deal really, at least not enough to warrant trading in an older model. The all new iPad Air admittedly has a sleeker, thinner and lighter design, in fact it weighs only an impressive one pound. The new model also sports Apples new 64-bit A7 processor chip like its iPhone brethren, the 5S. But, fans have also been reportedly disappointed that the new iPad doesn’t feature the new gold scheme or the Touch ID fingerprint scanner utilised by the iPhone 5S or anything else of much note.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak addressed concerns from fans and critics at the recent Apps Conference in London. Wozniak argued that the recent “inertia”, much of which has emerged from the tech industry over Apple’s lack of product innovation over recent years, is not necessarily a bad thing. He then noted that it was difficult for companies to come up with ground-breaking product innovations on such a regular basis, year after year.
Many attribute the recent lack of revolutionary ideas to the absence of the late Steve Jobs, Apple’s other co-founder who sadly passed away in October 2011 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. I personally believe this would be a massive generalisation, of course the company has and will continue to miss his exuberance and eye for detail, but no one man is an island. In fact, his parting advice to current CEO Tim Cook was to never ask what he would do, “just do what’s right”.
The company is well documented in doing things a little differently, you would be hard pressed to find many companies that haven’t embraced the power of social media, even with its obvious dangers. Apple is the exception here, and there are a few schools of thought as to why. The more pessimistic may wax lyrical about how Apple is scared to be opened up to the fury of public criticism. Others think that Apple is simply creating a bigger standpoint by not being present on social media and that their fans are more than capable of promoting them and defending the company from criticism on what can be a tricky medium.
You could quite easily argue that Apple’s perceived recent slowdown is simply a natural occurrence, and that they are victims of their former glories. Is it too much to expect the company to come up with anything as industry defining as the iPod, iPad or iPhone right now? Have they simply exhausted the consumer tech pool for the time being? This might explain them spawning the iPhone 5C, billed as a ‘budget’ iPhone and using its colour as a main selling point.
The real question in my opinion is not whether or not Apple has lost its innovative edge, it’s about whether the way they go about releasing new products needs to be changed. Should the tech giants hold off on new product releases until they have something more ground-breaking to offer? Although it may require more patience, it might just keep fans happy and critics off their back, whilst convincing more people to trade up their Apple tech on launch days.
The newest ad spot accompanying the launch of the iPad Air seems to be looking to cash in on the success of multi-award winning show Breaking Bad as the voiceover is performed by lead star Bryan Cranston who played Walter White (a.k.a. Heisenberg). The ad really only focusses on the new aesthetic design of the iPad Air and seeks to demonstrate just how thin the new iPad is using a pencil for comparison.
What do you think? Have the tech goliaths lost their way? Or are they simply victims of their own success? Leave a comment below or feel free to send me a tweet with your thoughts.