I actually think it points to a tech press that is largely bored. Yes, the iPhone is awesome. Again. If you’re a good reporter, but not a great writer, it’s hard thing to work with. You feel like you’re writing the same thing over and over again. Because you are.
I have been meaning to write something similar for the past few days. Many claim that Apple’s brilliance is in its marketing: it presents its products as some kind of incarnation of the ideal Utopia. This is not necessarily true, especially as of late, though it does raise an interesting point. The iPhone is “boring” to tech reporters because it is so consistent: consistently successful. Consistently predictable. It’s a steady march forward, on roughly a six month cycle: in June, a new version of iOS is revealed. In September-October, a new iPhone is released, featuring the new version of iOS.
This is in stark contrast to Android’s approach: Android, as a platform, jumps forward suddenly, in strange and unpredictable ways. Android’s OS is updated roughly twice, though the changes are normally fairly small (note that this last year, with Android 4.0′s redesign has been the exception, and not the rule, thanks to the design expertise Google finally hired on). After the OS is revamped to an x.0 version number, usually in November, there is a four-to-six month lag time in hardware. This next generation hardware excites the tech press because it carries so many branded features, which are pushed as true advancements. Samsung’s own ad proves my point: they’ve intentionally thrown in as much marketing fodder as possible in order to slant the numbers in their favor. However, how many of these “features” are used? How many users of their devices even know the exist? Samsung in particular is guilty of this, of adding features that it knows people will likely never use in order to make a bigger “splash,” in order to entertain the tech press with cheesy hat-tricks, as a bad magician would do.
Frankly, it’s a sign of corporate, engineering, and marketing maturity that Apple (and others, including Nokia, and even HTC) doesn’t play this game – and they seem to be doing alright even being out of favor with the tech press. Because outside of the tech press, the real world waits.