They say that overtaking your competitor is cause for applause, but when that competitor catches up with you it’s time to get your act together. Apple is a company that in some aspects has been ahead of the competition and in others it has been the one that has been ahead of the competition . So far, so good in a competitive market. When the first case occurred, it has been praised and if the second case occurred, it has been criticized.
After several years in which other operating systems enjoyed several features missing from iOS, the eighth update of this operating system finally incorporates them for iPhone and iPad. Jan Dawson picked up a number of features that Apple was missing. His competitors in the premium segment have taken advantage of this to differentiate their products . Bad for Apple, good for the competition. Let’s take a look at the graph:
Here we find old acquaintances that the original iPhone lacked. Features such as no 3G , push notifications in mail, MMS, multitasking or video recording. Some, like the 3G connection, were solved the following year with the iPhone 3G. Others took more than 3 years to arrive, such as multitasking on iOS 4.
We could get into a discussion about whether Apple deliberately improves its products with eyedrops, whether it actually waits for the right time to “line up the stars” or whether it does so because the competition is taking the colors out of them and has no choice but to catch up. But would be a never-ending and unproductive debate . The reality is that once you catch up the difference disappears and it stops caring.
The technology game
Each and every one of the aspects reflected in the graph were open doors for competitors to differentiate their products from those of Apple. Android, Google and their hardware partners should be credited with having found those doors and successfully exploited them. The speed with which they filled these gaps left by Apple and thus differentiated their devices and operating system is impeccable.
However, if we keep in mind Apple’s way of innovating we will see how it has been closing each one of these differentiating aspects. One by one. Systematically and relentlessly. Iteration after iteration , Apple has always focused on solving the shortcomings while presenting functionalities that surpassed those of its competitors. As we have seen at the beginning, sometimes it caught up and sometimes it moved forward.
If we stop looking at the past and focus on the present, iOS has long lacked two features: widgets and alternative keyboards to the official ones. Something that of course your competitors have been enjoying for years . Personally, I find Swiftkey keyboards quite interesting, where you slide your finger instead of touching each key.
Both of these shortcomings (and more) are addressed in iOS 8. This new version will allow the installation of third party keyboards as well as widgets on our devices. The technology is like that, a game that is played not once but several times. Constantly and against players in a continuous process of improvement.
The Impact of iOS 8 on Competition
Récord de pedidos anticipados: Más de 4 millones de iPhone 6 y 6 Plus en las primeras 24 horas.
Imágenes The fact that iOS 8 fills the gap for third party widgets and keyboards, as well as the openness that Extensibility brings to developers, puts its competitors in a tough spot. That is why I think that the debate should be on how they will react now that that differentiation has been taken away from them.
The truth is that the bitten apple company has filled the gap left by its own offer. A space that its competitors had quickly and successfully filled. In addition, it has presented such interesting functionalities as Continuity and Handoff, which go one step further and differentiate it from the rest. We could even add Apple Pay to the list because it is a fast and convenient service for the user.
If a company wants to sell at premium prices, it must start by making a premium product. And that can only be done with differentiation. Now that Apple has caught up with its competitors and advanced in other respects, what are they going to do?
In Apple iPhone by Álvaro Ibáñez and Four Generations of iPhone by Yutaka Tsutano.
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