OPINION: Is Apple still ‘Reinventing The Phone’?

Steve Jobs shows off the iPhone 4 in 2010.

Courtesy of Wikicommons

Steve Jobs shows off the iPhone 4 in 2010.

My parents gave me my first iPhone when I was 12 years old. I clearly remember it: a white, small iPhone 4. From taking photos, playing silly games and adding school friends to my contact list, I was happy with my new iPhone—until I was not. 

Less than a year after the release of the iPhone 4, the iPhone 5s and 5c were advertised. My 12-year-old self was craving the newest release. I didn’t care about updates, except for the external ones, such as design and color improvement. That Christmas, I was given a green iPhone 5c; And what began as a gift turned out to be an obsession.

Later, I discovered I was not the only one trapped in the Apple ecosystem. Many people worldwide are, but why do we always choose Apple over other brands? More importantly: why do we keep picking the iPhone, even though it has been losing its charm over the last few years? 

With the slogan “Apple reinvents the phone,” Steve Jobs released the first iPhone in June 2007. The triple-layered multi-touch screen was revolutionary. It was considered exceptionally advanced technology at the time. Jobs indeed reinvented the phone. The iPhone received mostly positive reviews, and Apple quickly became the most famous brand in the technology realm. 

Throughout the years, the world welcomed a family of iPhones (from the first iPhone to iPhone 14 Pro Max and everything in between). However, reviews have shown that it has been a few years since Apple stopped their “reinvention of the phone” and became a huge cash-grab company.

Rumor has it that since Jobs died in 2011, “Apple has lost its magic;” but Apple’s lack of innovation was truly showcased when the iPhone 12 was launched. 

The iPhone has been in circulation for 15 years, and obviously, the commotion felt from the release of the first iPhone will not be the same as the ones coming after it. Yet, innovation still must be a factor when consumers decide to trade their phones. But that’s not what’s been happening with Apple lately. 

From the iPhone 12, with its variations, to the iPhone 14, also with its own variations, the difference between them has been mostly aesthetic. But even then, it is not creative anymore. Apple has been throwing us a bunch of different colors each year that seems to be a mask to make it easier to differentiate the models of iPhone and hide the fact that their so-called reinvention is not working well.

But why do we still feel entangled in their ecosystem? Comfort, perhaps. Why should we change brands after 15 years? Apple users, just like other brands’ users, are used to their smartphones’ systems. It is difficult to adjust to a new system, and when it comes to technology, changing from iOS (iPhone Operating System) to Android (Software available for Samsung, LG, etc.), for example, can be a massive shift that takes time and patience. 

Another reason people decide to maintain their alliance with Apple is because of their smartphones’ design. iPhones are clean, minimalist, and aesthetically pleasing for most people. In addition, Apple’s iOS is user-friendly. Unlike Androids, iPhones are really easy and intuitive to operate. They deliver the most relevant apps and leave aside the ones we might not use frequently. 

Apple may not be innovating much anymore regarding iPhones, but their newest releases in Airpods and Apple Watches are best sellers. And that’s another reason we end up keeping our iPhones. The gadgets they release only work if the user has a new, updated iPhone.

Even though the new iPhones have been losing their charm for a few years, people still choose to stay in the Apple ecosystem for those various reasons. The complaints are valid and real, but the advantages are worth much more. 

Apple is still the biggest and most famous brand when it comes to accessible technology. But who knows? Maybe another company will “reinvent the phone” again in the future.