We’ve Become Desensitized to Innovation

The notion that Apple can’t innovate anymore has been floating around since the death of Steve Jobs in 2011. Every once in awhile I’m confronted with the argument. Rather than dust it off, I usually can’t contain myself. It’s not necessarily like defending my tribe as much as it’s fighting the idea that Apple can’t thrive without Steve. I find it insulting, Apple is Steve’s greatest achievement and he built a company with his soul as the foundation. I’d like to make my case for why the notion that they can’t innovate is complete bullshit, all you have to do is dig a little deeper to see that Apple’s changing society now as much as it ever has.

I’m sure that some people would write me off as an Apple fanboy. Sure I love Apple but that’s mostly because of the profound admiration and respect I have for Steve. Apple surely has its flaws and I’m not gonna deny that Google does some things better than Apple does. The fact is that our society and especially the tech industry has become so desensitized to innovation that we often jump to the conclusion that nothing happening now is truly revolutionary.

The iPhone was the first device of a hyper connected timeline of products made by a variety of companies that have fundamentally shifted our society in ways that we could never have expected fifteen years ago. I’d like to first start off by dispelling the notion that the iPhone is somehow a stagnant device. The original iPhone was the perfect basis for the perfect smartphone. It doesn’t have to be completely game changing every single year. No product has to do that with every iteration. When a product is released with a vision such as the one for the original iPhone, it makes sense that Apple spends each year refining it. iPhone X doesn’t get the credit it deserves from many. Fortunately, there are still people who are insightful enough to understand what’s truly happening with the iPhone. The Verge has published a spectacular guide to the best phones with the iPhone X at the top. They and several other reputable tech publications have given Apple the credit they deserve for creating what is a truly astonishingly good product. Now that we are surrounded by technology, innovation is harder to spot. Unless you have a keen eye and a true love for gadgets and how they affect society, you won’t notice it.

When someone says that Apple hasn’t had a hit since the iPhone, I end up listing several devices: iPad, Apple Watch, and AirPods. First off, iPad used to be recognized as a revolutionary product but because people think that it’s stagnated people have forgotten how important of a device it is. Apple Watch is revolutionizing health and fitness. It’s saving lives and popping up on wrists more frequently than ever before. The iPhone’s success however, makes anything else Apple does look abysmal. And since Apple won’t release Apple Watch sales numbers, there’s no way to truly judge how close it comes to iPhone. Nevertheless, it’s becoming more and more popular. Remember it took a few years for both iPod and iPhone to take off. This isn’t an uncommon occurrence for an Apple product.

Both the amount of technology around us and the scale at which some products have sold are responsible for this desensitization to innovation. So instead of jumping to conclusions, take a second to think about how Apple is really impacting society today. AirPods and Apple Watches are spreading like wildfire. All you have to do is look up from your phone to see that Apple is still changing the world.