Apple’s latest products — from the new Macs, to the iPhone 5S and 5C, to the iPad Air and retina iPad mini — are easily the best the company has ever produced, and competes favorably with what is available from other players on the market as well.
However, there is something palpably different now, as compared to the Apple of a few years ago. Most attribute it to Steve Jobs being absent from the company, though Dan Frommer of SplatF has a different theory:
But where Apple has disappointed recently is in novelty, or surprise. Perhaps this is unfair, but it’s real. Apple became the company that delivered “new”. People got used to hearing about new stuff all the time — iPod nanos, iPhones, MacBook Airs, iPads — and now it seems like it’s been a while. The more people got, the more they wanted. And then you have to work even faster.
And here we are, the end of 2013, and it’s been a while since Apple really surprised. You may reasonably wonder: Why is that Apple television taking so long? Where’s my iWatch? Is Tim Cook asleep at the wheel? Has Apple lost its magic? What’s going on here? This is how you start to get even Apple’s biggest supporters wondering about ho-hum product presentations feeling “off”.
Frommer then makes the point that perhaps the most recent releases are just a build-up — that perhaps iOS 7 and its various underlying technologies will make more sense next year, when Apple is releasing new and exciting capabilities.