back to article Apple: Crisis? What innovation crisis? BTW, you like our toothbrush?

Analyst outfit CCS Insight issued a report about the innovation crisis in smartphones this week – and Apple has done little to address this with an iPhone update quickly labelled as incremental. At its main annual product event, Apple implicitly acknowledged the failure of the smartwatch to take off by repositioning the second …

"Free range" -> "Free reign"

"analogueue" -> !!

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Joke

The proof reders

must still be quivvering with excitment after the apple event yesterday to be counter on to do their job properly.

{see Icon}

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No, free rein actually, as in riding a horse

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Headmaster

No, free rain actually, because rain is free.

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Anonymous Coward

"because rain is free"

Not when Jony has lovingly wanked it from a block of virgin arctic ice, polished by virgin whales and carried lovingly accross the ocean it's not. We couldn't be more excited to share with you...fairy tears.

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Facepalm

iPhone7 - pay more, get less

Same as an iPhone6 but with a smaller screen and the headphone jack removed.

You can only buy headphones that work with it from, err, Apple, for $159.

That's thinking fucking different all right.

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Coat

Re: iPhone7 - pay more, get less

I DON'T CARE. IT'S AN iPHONE! A NEW IPHONE!

By the way, when is the iPhone 8 coming out. I want one. NOW!

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Re: iPhone7 - pay more, get less

"By the way, when is the iPhone 8 coming out. I want one. NOW!"

Details about the iPhone 8 are already leaking*.

*"Leaking", as in "taking the piss".☺

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Joke

Re:'"analogueue" -> !!'

They're just making up for all of the instances where analogue is spelt without the correct "ue"; balancing out the universe and all that.

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Re: iPhone7 - pay more, get less

Included with all iPhone 7 handsets is a small adapter which allows you to use any normal 3.5mm headphones so the removal the port is being blown out of all proportion.

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Anonymous Coward

Expensive watch actually because thats relevant.

-this comment was generated by the Google ranking algorithm based on the content of the article.

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Re: iPhone7 - pay more, get less

Not wanting the truth to get in the way of a great story - you did notice that an adapter is included in the box, right? And earphones, right?

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Re: iPhone7 - pay more, get less

Yes, but why not get an iPhone 6S then at a lot lower price AND not have to worry about the bloody headphone jack adaptor as well?

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Re: iPhone7 - pay more, get less

Don't be ridiculous. It's not possible to own an ithingx when ithing(x+1) exists.

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Is it really a bad thing for new devices to feature "incremental" improvements? We've pretty much reached the point with smartphones where they do what we need and they do it reasonably well. We don't need a massive paradigm shift. We need refinement.

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Anonymous Coward

Heretic

You sir are a heretic. nothing more than a total paradym shift every year will meet the user satisfaction levels.

Oh wait, Microsoft did that with W8 and Metro and again with W10 (wrt spying)

Perhaps incremental changes are better after all.

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No, not at all. It's the name of the game in consumer electronics or cars. But it is difficult to maintain sales volumes and, more importantly, margins like this. Apple can maintain margins or increase volumes but with pretty much me-too hardware it's going to struggle to do both.

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Excremental changes was that?

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Anonymous Coward

Is it really a bad thing for new devices to feature "incremental" improvements? We've pretty much reached the point with smartphones where they do what we need and they do it reasonably well.

Except that the iPhone 7 is regressive in that they eliminated the headphone jack, and it's just an obvious money grab. Wifey and I have already decided to skip iPhones until headphone jack reappears.

An incremental change would be to make it THICKER and give a bigger battery.

I've read all this funny crap online about how since they eliminated the the headphone jack they don't need a DAC anymore. Hello? how do you think a speaker works?

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Waiting for an iPhone with a Headphone jack

I think you are going to be waiting for a very long time.

Now that Apple have done this, all the other major players will be doing the same thing so (IMHO) in less than a year it will almost be impossible to buy any model of phone that has late 2016 specs or better that also includes a headphone jack.

OTOH, if say Samsung stood firm and didn't go down this route then they might get a lot of converts from fruity devices for the very reasons you are talking about.

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Re: Waiting for an iPhone with a Headphone jack

"Now that Apple have done this, all the other major players will be doing the same thing so (IMHO) "

Hugely doubt that tbh, for much the same reason all the other vendors have stuck with standard interchangeable USB connections while Apple have always conspicuously avoided ever releasing an iPhone that can use a cable bought form some other phone company. The market strategy of the 'droid manufacturers hinges on making it easy for users of other 'droid models to switch to them, while Apple's is all about making leaving Apple difficult. Ditching the 3.5mm jack is classic Apple but would be a bad move for, say, Sony or Samsung.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ditching the 3.5mm jack

Without an ordinary set of wired headphones, what does the FM radio use as an aerial? (or do iThings not care about FM?)

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Re: Ditching the 3.5mm jack

No FM radio on iPhone. And even if there was, there's no reason why it couldn't use the Lightning earpods as an antenna just as easily as the analogue cable.

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Anonymous Coward

> ditching the DAC - how do you think a speaker works?

The DAC (and enough an amplifier to drive headphones) would be contained in the lightning to 3.5" jack converter. That's the only way to hook the thing up to an analogue device.

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Re: Waiting for an iPhone with a Headphone jack

>Now that Apple have done this, all the other major players will be doing the same thing so (IMHO) in less than a year it will almost be impossible to buy any model of phone that has late 2016 specs or better that also includes a headphone jack.

Nah - Samsung and LG will instead release phones with two headphone jacks - citing the (very real) popularity of shared listening, cost, audio quality and the easy availability of BT cans for cable haters.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ditching the 3.5mm jack

No need for FM when you can stream radio online.

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Re: Ditching the 3.5mm jack

"No need for FM when you can stream radio online."

I've just spent 4 days in mobile free rural Devon where the "real" FM radio was the only thing that worked. I am going to avoid cheap cracks about iPhone owners never going anywhere that isn't at least 4 bars.

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Re: Ditching the 3.5mm jack

> "No need for FM when you can stream radio online."

Right up until you want to listen to the football commentary while you are live at the game.

Listening to proper FM radio = Live

"Streamed" Radio = 4-5 second delay.

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Well. You'd think so. But, then again, BMW, Mercedes and Audi seem to manage it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ditching the 3.5mm jack

I've just spent 4 days in mobile free rural Devon where the "real" FM radio was the only thing that worked.

I guess I should have added a sarcasm tag. *sigh*

Right up until you want to listen to the football commentary while you are live at the game.

You lost me at football commentary.

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Re: Ditching the 3.5mm jack

and you generally cant listen to it over the net anyway because all the towers are saturated by 20k people all posting to Facebook of themselves 'at the match'.

I take a $2 AM radio to every match and have people clustered around me asking for the commentary......sometimes the old tech works best.....and I work in tech.

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Absence of knowledge

"The absence of waterproofing and dustproofing in the original was baffling"

The original was IPx7 so was waterproof, ok water resistant but then the new one is also water resistant rather than waterproof.

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Not so Smartwatch

I'm waiting for the Pebble2 to arrive. Physically much the same as Pebble 1 but a much smaller bezel and the Sporty\Healthy sensors, for about a quarter of the crApple Watch price..

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Re: Not so Smartwatch

A mate of mine is very happy with the Pebble 2 (he had a Pebble 1 before).

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Re: Not so Smartwatch

And I've been very happy with both my Pebbles - I was on the original Kickstarter round. Pebble seem to understand the real benefits that a smartwatch can deliver.

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Analogue versus digital? FTW!

By abolishing analogue there’s now a clearer digital path to your ear, and the phones get smaller.

When it comes to things like ear buds it really doesn't matter because the most important thing that matter is how the mechanics move the air to make the sound. Focussing on digital vs analogue is a "watch the ball" trick so that the sleight of hand can be performed.

There are so many other problems associated with removing the 3.5 mm plug: if you want to stay wired, the connection is now "at the wrong end" of the phone: should always be at the top of the phone. Personally, I much prefer using Bluetooth to avoid all the cable chaos. My best were some Sennheiser things on a neck cord: easy to use, good battery life and good sound but the controls stopped working at some point. Went with a Jabra dog tag for a while but controls weren't as good, neither was battery life and it was very susceptible to interference.

Despite the poor experience with Jabra I recently bough a Halo Smart for cycling and it does the job brilliantly: excellent battery life (15 hours talk/music) and microphone out of the wind. Controls could be bigger. As for hifi: well I'm on the fucking road and I need to hear any traffic / horns / sirens, so I can just about live without the feeling of being in the Royal Albert Hall!

But there's something missing from this article, as there was indeed in the presentation: what about new Mac hardware? Lots of us have cash we're desperate to give to Apple but not for last year's models.

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Re: Analogue versus digital? FTW!

Well mainly because the annoying buggers didn't actually release any news of new macbooks. I would happily buy a new macbook if they could be bothered to release one the lazy gits.

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Re: Analogue versus digital? FTW!

Will audio quality get better? By abolishing analogue there’s now a clearer digital path to your ear, and the phones get smaller.

But hold on, hold on... How is there an abolishment of analogue - if there is an adapter with Lightning on one end and a normal headphone socked on the other? Or does that flimsy piece of wire somehow magically includes a self-contained DAC and an amplifier? I wouldn't think so...

My guess is that the analogue audio stage is still there, inside the phone, they just save on the 3.5 socket (which does take a lot of space inside, indeed) and output the analogue signal through the Lightning.

I don't know the pinout on Lightning but I'm pretty sure that's what they've done...

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Re: Analogue versus digital? FTW!

>Or does that flimsy piece of wire somehow magically includes a self-contained DAC and an amplifier? I wouldn't think so.

No need, analogue out is supported by Lightning - and the iPhone requires both anyway for its (finally stereo) speakers!

They've always hated the jack - requires a 'large' ugly flattened edge for the socket and so even the stumpy Apple jacks leave that awkward looking angled gap when plugged into most iDevices.

'Air Buds' are too much temptation for wags - I predict that launching them from unsuspecting ears with an artistic finger flick will be the new 'happy slap' by Xmas.

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Salvation?

The minute Nokia come back out with a revised 3310, capable of taking photos and email, the iPhone will be no more.

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With an attitude like that..

You know its this sort criticism that stopped el reg getting invited to the Apple shindig in the 1st place.

Keep it up...

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Re: With an attitude like that..

Given the length of Apple's press blacklist (which is only slightly shorter than Donald Trump's), I think you'll find ANY criticism pretty much causes them to stop inviting you. Apples have very thin skin compared to other fruit.

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Coat

"if they didn't, the other one would, and take all the spoils"

And, if the Watch table is empty, then how many spoils are there to take ?

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Anonymous Coward

what drives the constant desire to upgrade by consumers?

An illustrative example?

My other half came home with a replacement for her iphone 5, an iphone SE.

"It didn't cost me anything" she says. Which was rather overlooking that as she had come to end of contract she would stop paying off the current phone and the amount of spare money she had at end of month would go up. (in fairness she will sell on the old phone and recoup some cash)

She may have more storage, given Apple's vice-like control on the heresy of removable storage the previous was a little tight by now. Though now I think on it, she could have just cleared off some photos, and messages. Or those apps she didn't use that were contributing to the red circled notification on the iTunes store icon.

Anyway, a modest upgrade that delivered exactly what she wanted. But could have been solved by the 'innovation' of a SD slot.

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Re: the SD slot

I fear that in 2-3 years and like the Headphone jack, for most people this will be a thing of the past.

Samsung seem to have given is a reprieve with the S7 but IMHO, the writing is on the wall for the removable SD card and then the SIM tray will be done away with as well.

Thet leaves markets like the Middle East with a problem. Many phones sold there have dual sims. How will those users manage in the future.

Why?

Costs. pure and simple. Mechanical trays cost money and are a PITA when it comes to reliability.

It is a shame but I just get the feeling that both are on borrowed time. This will cause a lot of teeth gnashing for some commentards here but really... aren't you supposed to put everything into the cloud???

I am joking ok but that what the marketing people want us to think and do.

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Re: the SD slot

>>>Costs. pure and simple. Mechanical trays cost money and are a PITA when it comes to reliability.

This, this here, one of the most moronic arguments ever.

Samsung saving .50p on a mechanical connector saves nothing to you or to Samsung.

Shall I remind you that you are who pays for the phone?

This is the same logic that drive moronic decisions at companies, my favorite is the moron at Commodore who removed one serial line from the motherboard of the C64 to save a few pennies, destroying the speed of the serial bus in the process.

And so on.

The customer pays for the product, and no one buys a product >100 pounds because it is .50p cheaper!

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Re: what drives the constant desire to upgrade by consumers?

iPhone 5 to SE is more than a 'modest' upgrade. Aside from the significant speed increase (which may or may not get noticed depending on use case), the SE adds TouchID, Apple Pay, a better screen, an order-of-magnitude better camera, and better battery life.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: what drives the constant desire to upgrade by consumers?

A modest upgrade because for her none of those extras were reasons she had for upgrading.

I also note, that she uses debit card contactless

Has a DSLR (Canon) with lenses that Apple could never touch.

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Re: the SD slot

@John Sanders

You make the fatal mistake of assuming these products are made for the benefit of the customer or the planet! :)

A quick google search tells me Apple sold 231.22 million phones in 2015. At 50p the sd card tray would have cost them £115 million in materials alone. Further add development, test, repairs, and so on.

So unless the tray brings in enough *profits* to offset £115 million, what's good for the customer or the planet is irrelevant.

And it is fair to say given the iphone SE "free" replacement tale, it is actually even more profitable not to put in the tray, because it generates an almost guaranteed future sale. I swear I think that is why they price their storage upgrades so high. You're paying for the lost future sale too.

Do enough to make them return to your newer product, and make sure they don't realise you're actually screwing them.

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SIM free

If the SIM card vanishes it will be at the request of US carriers who would like to go back to the days of CDMA and make it difficult / inconvenient to users to use their phone with a different provider.

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