Thursday 12 September 2019 5:33 am

DEBATE: Has Apple lost its touch with the iPhone?

Asad Hamir is the founder of Klyk.
Rebecca Crook
Rebecca Crook is chief growth officer at digital product agency Somo.

With the launch of the new iPhone 11, has Apple lost its touch?

YES, says Asad Hamir, founder of Klyk

The launch of a new Apple product used to generate a cult-like following. Now, the improvements are so small and the competition is so fierce that you don’t see the queues at Apple stores for these launches any more. 

Consumers are less interested in the latest iPhone, because it’s not going to offer enough new stuff to justify the cost. A year between phone launches simply isn’t long enough to allow Apple to innovate. The new iPhone 11 doesn’t have 5G enablement, which other big brands have already rolled out with newly released phones. 

The biggest difference is the improved camera, but unless you’re a content creator who depends on the highest quality tech day-in day-out, the hefty price tag is just too dear for what you’ll get out of it.  

A refurbished iPhone 8 will work just as well for most – it will support the same software and help curb e-waste, which will prove to be a big problem if we don’t act fast. Apple needs to get back to its challenger mentality; it has always been at its best when it’s totally focused on the user.

NO, says Rebecca Crook, chief growth officer at Somo

First, some of the features for the new iPhone are pretty cool, such as the new pet portrait mode that will recognise animal features and enhance them – a great gimmick for a nation of animal lovers. On a more serious note, the improved camera elements like dual functionality show that Apple has understood that consumers rely on their phones as their camera, and has focused its efforts accordingly.

But zoom out from the iPhone 11 for a second and look at Apple’s other products. The Apple watch is still the undisputed leader in digital wearables, and the new features here show the focus on catering to a more diverse consumer base. The Apple Watch will now enable women to keep track of menstrual cycles and provide fertile window data. That’s a different direction for the tech giant, and it’s an important one.

Strategically as a business, Apple is moving more into the service space anyway, with Apple Arcade gaming, the TV+ streaming service, and the move to ditch iTunes. All of this highlights the change in direction the business is taking to meet changing consumer demands while growing revenue. It’s not all about the new phone.

Main image credit: JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images