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Posted by Tony Costa on September 13, 2012
Apple's new iPhone 5 is a case study in incremental improvement. Nearly every aspect of the product -- the CPU, display, cameras, radio modem, size, weight, etc. -- are all improved over the iPhone 4S and at the same $199 price point. No doubt, the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 will sell millions of units, preserve Apple's momentum, and hold off the competition, but significant threats are mounting that Apple cannot afford to ignore:
While platforms are at the heart of ecosystems, devices are their lifeblood. Devices are the consumer's entry point to an ecosystem and the vehicles through which platforms are brought to life. Without compelling devices, platforms cease to be relevant. For the second year in a row, Apple has put forth significantly improved but underwhelming iPhones. Apple's failure to continually bring new device innovations to the market allows competitors to catch up and threaten its iOS platform.
Like all empires, platforms rise and fall. Just five years ago, Apple launched its first iPhone, and people were questioning whether or not Apple even had a chance in the mobile market. And nobody would have predicted Nokia's dramatic decline after 15 years at the top of the mobile market. Today, Apple's iOS platform and ecosystem seem invincible. But all empires eventually crumble, and unless Apple ups its device innovation game, we may be seeing Apple's iOS empire approaching its zenith.