Apple's iOS 10 Features Are Derivative, And That's Okay

 ioS 10

Most of the 'new' features Apple announced for iOS at WWDC this week have been seen elsewhere before. Do a search for iOS 10 and you'll find lots of stories about how this feature came from Android, that one came from Windows, others came from the jailbreak community and at least one came from Blackberry. (That last feels rather too much like grave robbing for my liking).

It's all true. Apple has cribbed features from its competitors and it won't be the first or the last time it does so. However only Apple is doing it all in one place.

As the smartphone market matures so the competing platforms will become more like each other. Ignoring the make-up each device when you get down to detail they start to look, feel and act like each other.

Think of the automobile market. Cars have crystallised around a set of standard design decisions, and new features go from new to standard in months.

Smartphones have reached that point much more quickly than cars and by the same token the same level of duplication has been achieved, with Apple, Google and Microsoft copying each others features mercilessly.

One thing that you can be sure of though is that when Apple follows someone else's lead It does so by improving and refining the ideas that have gone before. Recently it has only run into problems when it has tried to lead.

Apple has proven to be a very good I follower' in the past and that's a tactic it can stick to in future. Both Google and Microsoft can be more adventurous with their platforms. Google has such a large slice of the market that it can risk alienating a few customers. Especially as most of those customers aren't its own, but OEM or carrier customers first and foremost. Microsoft can afford to be more adventurous with Windows 10 Mobile users because the only customers they have left are Windows die-hards and prepared to put up with many failings.

Apple sits between the two and can never have the same risk/ reward profile of the competition. Being care full with what it adds to its crown jewel product is prudent. Especially when Google and Microsoft can take them on its behalf.

Expect more careful and steady behaviour from Apple in the future. Because that is the winning strategy for the middle runner n this three horse race.