I don’t think anyone I have spoken to has been blown away by the new iPhones. In fact, the general reaction has been no reaction, an acceptance that both the 5s and 5c are minor improvements with a new button and a different colour case, and they will be buying one as soon as it comes out.
On the surface it makes no sense. Any other product would be quickly dismissed in favour of a better alternative.
Not a good enough camera? No problem, go buy the Nokia Lumia 1020 with 41-megapixels, which has 33 more megapixels than the 5c.
Screen is too small? Try the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, it has 5.7 inches of digital perfection.
iOS too limiting? Android, Windows, you choose.
None of this matters those, these attractive alternatives are not iPhones and the skeptics will still buy an iPhone for the simple reason that it is an iPhone and whatever it lacks is still less than the effort required to choose something different.
They will buy it because of the Appstore, where they have already purchased their favourite apps and don’t want to spend the time or money rebuilding their collection.
They will buy it because of iTunes, because of iPhoto, because of all the Apple products they are so used to using along with their iPhone.
Apple knows this and has made iWork free on all future device purchases. More strings attached.
The iPhone has become for a lot of people indispensable. A part of the person so familiar that to be without it would be absolutely wrong.
The notion of using a Samsung Galaxy S4, an absolutely brilliant phone by all accounts, wouldn’t make any sense.
It this this stranglehold on emotion that allows Apple to keep the skeptics as customers, the people including myself who constantly criticise the latest product but will still buy it, arguably against our better judgement.
This is the iPhone contradiction. A keen awareness that there are better alternatives out there underpinned by a familiarity that wont allow us to change (yet).
For the time being, this is ok. The iPhones are strong enough products to trump outside temptations and keep us on the Apple path.
Eventually though this is going to be a problem. There is already a steady stream of well-regarded writers detailing how and why they have deserted the iPhone.
Eventually this steady stream will turn into a trend, a common occurrence that will be neither shocking or surprising.
No one thought Nokia would lose its stronghold back in the day. It would have seemed unimaginable, yet it happened, because no man, woman or company is immune to competition and change.
If Apple continues to go down the path of refinement as opposed to innovation, improvement as opposed to change and safety as opposed to chance, then this will happen.
Let’s hope they have “one more thing” before its too late.