If what the Wall Street Journal is reporting is true, Apple is scrambling to remain a leader in the smartphone industry. The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple has cut component order by as much as 50%. This would be a huge indicator that iOS devices are not selling at the levels Apple expected.
There is no doubt Apple has been hurting in the last six months. Between a horrid Maps experience, a shake-up of executives, a falling stock price and loyal iPhone users looking over the fence at the greener grass on Google’s lawn. Android has defiantly taken a huge bite out of Apple and Apple has been slow to respond to the increased competition. Loyal users will only get you so far when your innovations slow down. You will hold them for a few product cycles but they will eventually move on if you can’t give them a device that outshines all others. Apple has to address the the number one thing said by Android users “Android already does that”.
During CES in Las Vegas last week I asked many diehard iOS users how they felt about the Apple ecosystem in general. The responses shocked me because the users all said the same basic thing that I have struggled with.
It boiled down to:
1. iOS is aging and needs a refresh with state of the art technology we have come to expect from Apple.
2. Apple needs to loosen up the strangle hold on developers and what is allowed in the app store. There should be no need for a jailbreak app store. Imagine a community where developers have much more control of their app. It wont happen but at least imagine it.
3. Investment, the iOS users I spoke to have huge investments like I do in Apple products and want that seamless functionality they have come to expect between Apple products. They also don’t want to have to reinvest in another OS.
4. Hope for iOS 7 and iPhone 6, These will be the devices and OS that either keep people with Apple and attract new users or push the loyal users away.
I am not an analyst looking at figures, graphs, stock prices and polls. I am the guy who talks to users everyday and count some of the most influential people in the smartphone industry as friends. Apple is far from being the next Nokia or RIM but there is no time like the present to take a stand and get things back in order before you start seeing articles that Ubuntu is now the second best selling device behind Android. It could happen.