Founded in 1976, Apple Inc. has produced innovative products from the creation of the original iPhone to new generations of iPhones that followed, each considerably more impressive than the previous. Now, it seems as though Apple cannot keep up with its past track record, and instead, is merely refreshing its year-old phones and selling them as brand-new products.
Apple released its first iPhone in 2007, a device small enough to fit in your pocket that performed web browsing and acted as an MP3 player as well. This iPhone initiated Apple’s success and year after year, there has been a release of a brand new iPhone that shocked consumers with its new capabilities—or so we expected.
After the release of the second iPhone with Face ID—the iPhone XS—the exponential improvements that we once witnessed come with each phone suddenly disappeared. Apple claims each year that the newest generation of iPhones comes with a better processor, better screen, better this and that, but the improvements are so miniscule that it becomes difficult to notice. If we take a look at the iPhones released in the past five years, we can see that appearance-wise, the phones are nearly identical. Perhaps there was a small decrease in the bezel size, maybe an improvement in the camera, but the iPhone has not experienced a significant upgrade in years.
The most noticeable example of Apple running out of ideas can be seen in the newest iPhones: the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro. The iPhone 14 Pro is the phone where Apple implemented its latest noticeable change: the dynamic island. The dynamic island is essentially a bubble on the top part of your phone that reacts to certain apps. This new feature could hardly be called new as the previous iPhones already had a notch that existed in that area, except the notch did not transform briefly into a square when you wanted to use Face ID to unlock your phone. After months of personally experiencing the dynamic island, I’m here to tell you that it is the exact same as the notch—it has not improved my user experience one bit.
The iPhone 14 Pro and 15 Pro are very similar, but the iPhone 15 Pro has one significant difference: an upgrade to the charging port, from a lightning connector to USB-C. This was an improvement to the user experience that Apple consumers were hoping for. Many consumers might think, “Wow, what a great company! They’re listening to our requests and fulfilling our wishes!” but they would be incorrect. It turns out the change to USB-C was forced upon Apple by the European Union (EU). After years of releasing the same iPhone with a new name and claiming it was a device worthy of the hefty price tag, the only upgrade that was implemented was thanks to the EU and not the company itself.
Apple was once an industry leader, creating products that people would drool over and wait overnight in lineups of tents spanning blocks waiting to purchase, but as time goes on, it is obvious that the creative minds at Apple’s headquarters are taking an indefinite break. It used to be worth the money to upgrade to a new iPhone each year, but if recent years indicate a pattern for what’s to come, it would be an easy decision to keep your current device for longer.