The commoditisation of any market is inevitable. Invent, or reinvent, a product and soon enough someone will come along and make it cheaper and give it more features than it really needs just to differentiate it from the dominant product in the desperate race for market share.
It depends whether market share is a race you think it worth getting into.
I think in recent years with iOS that Apple has focussed on what it thinks (based on customer feedback clearly) is important.
Each new product launch is typically a performance update, a small form factor shift and then an improvement in key functions rather than a widespread adoption of new features. I genuinely believe that the company believes in the UX. Each new iteration of hardware or software seems an improvement to the same features. The ones that matter.
Apple is sometimes accused of being a marketing company rather than a technology company. It comes across as a cheap shot but I don’t think there’s anything derogatory about that statement. Marketing means (in the best and truest sense of the phrase) a holistic approach to understanding an audience’s needs and finding what best delivers what the audience wants and needs.
The blunderbuss approach of rivals with devices and software proliferating with endless differentiating features compared to iOS devices seems altogether more desperate and poorly thought out.
I’ve always thought that Apple competitors have used their partial differentiation from Apple products as a way of communicating benefits. ‘We do this and Apple does not’.
Apple is focussed on the 95 per cent of stuff that people care about, like performance and cameras and photos and making those better and better.
If you want to use you stylus to press against your phablet to get a preview of a folder you could just touch to open that’s fine. I pass a billboard everyday that Samsung seems to have bought for posterity. For a few weeks it was a new feature followed by another. It strikes me as innovation by hurling a load of stuff at a wall and seeing what sticks.
It works sometimes. As Marlow opined from his bath in Withnail and I: “Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.”
That doesn’t make it the best strategy though.