Giving In to Pressure: The Downfall of Apple and the iPhone

Last week, Apple released the newest installments of their iPhone; the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Sticking with tradition, Apple stuck with materials that gave the phone a premium look and feel, using anodized aluminum with stainless steel and titanium inserts used to reinforce pressure points on the phone. Against tradition, they chose to create the two largest phones Apple has ever produced, with screen sizes of 4.7″ on the 6 and 5.5″ on the 6 Plus, a change that stretches far outside of Apple’s conventional decisions of smaller, more hand-size screens.

There was a time when Apple bucked the idea of a larger phone. Not so long ago, the iPhone 4 was released with the expectation that iPhone users would choose the white glass-and-metal form of the iPhone over the larger screen size of the popular Android devices. The idea was that the iPhone fit well into the hand, making all of the screen accessible with only your thumb. Apple’s belief paid off, and even more people switched to the iPhone, as it had a huge app store and solid software to back it up. Fans of the iDevices justified their choice with the phrase it just works.

When Steve Jobs passed, we noticed everything begin to change. iMaps was released before it was truly ready. The choice to ship on time became more important than to delay for perfection. The complaints ensued. Then iOS 7 was released, with a feel reminiscent of a Windows 7 phone and its “Metro” interface. The flat design and paneled task switcher were a near replication of what Microsoft was doing. Apple was beginning to play follow the leader, no longer leading the charge. Then the iPhone 5 released with its larger screen…vertically. Attempting to give the customers what they wanted instead of following the motto of Jobs (people don’t know what they want until you tell them), they created an excessively ridiculed device. See the meme below.

And now Apple falls through its fastest consecutive series of follies to date. They released the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to a series of complaints about the phone bending in people’s pockets (see the main article image). They released iOS 8 with a slew of problems, including disabling the fingerprint scanner and duplicating networks. This doesn’t look good for a company who was once known as a trendsetter. Rather than leading, Apple has begun to follow, and it’s tech is suffering for it.

All is not hopeless for the brand begun by the two Steves. Stay tuned for Tuesday’s Learn from the Leaders article where we will discuss company turnaround tactics from three CEOs who have recently done just that for failing companies and our opinion of how these tactics could help save Apple. Share your thoughts about this week’s article in the comments below, and have an awesome weekend!

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About the author:

Michael McNew
Web developer, marketing innovator, technology enthusiast, and founder of Visceral Concepts, Michael McNew has developed a passion for delivering value to small business, turning his creativity towards image and reputation building for small business owners.