Rene Ritchie, editor-in-chief of iMore.com, penned a thoughtful piece on Apple’s current “5S” predicament. His argument is that Apple has become too predictable: consumers know just when a new iPhone is coming, and so sales suffer leading up to that product, and competitors have learned to “counter-program” Apple in such a way as to release products far enough away from an iPhone release so as to ensure the success of said products (for example, is it really an accident that Samsung will be releasing the Galaxy S 4 six months after the iPhone 5, and roughly six months away from the iPhone 5S?).
The upside of this is that Apple is a constant: consumers know that their iDevice won’t be outdated immediately, and it also offers advantages for Apple’s component manufacturers. Historically, Apple’s product line has been updated throughout the year, leaving no gaping hole. However, with the iPhone now being released in the fall (and the iPad as well), it’s difficult to say just what should change.
So, should Apple shake up its schedule this year? Is Apple too predictable, and has this allowed for competitors like Google, Samsung, and HTC to exploit the holes in Apple’s update schedule in order to grow their respective businesses in the smartphone market?