Where’s The Innovation?

  • You can only do consumption on the iPad.
  • Consumers want Flash and real multitasking.
  • You need a stylus to be productive.
  • The iPad’s not powerful enough.

When it comes to technology companies’s responses to the iPad, these are the illusions those companies have shaped their products around.

Apple’s innovation with the iPad secured them a monopoly in the tablet market.

This is the reality all of the those same companies have not been able to accept.

The competition accepts the fantasies and they write large narratives around them, but they can’t accept the reality.

They’ve been out innovated. They’ve been out innovated and despite that they still think they’re smart enough to fill unmet customer needs through incremental improvements alone.

It’s never going to happen that way. If you even so much as hear the phrase “response to the iPad,”* you can count on that product being unsuccessful. It’s why I wasn’t surprised at the HP Touchpad’s short flight. It’s also why I see the same thing happening to RIM in the future, because as nice as QNX might be, the innovation in the organization still isn’t there.

Today I sense RIM is losing its unique identity. The company’s BlackBerry “Storm” had an interface shamefully similar to that of Apple’s iPod. The PlayBook is a lightly veiled copycat of the iPad.

No company proved itself great by copying the competition. Greatness comes from leaving the competition behind, by blazing your own path. When Qualcomm finally stopped competing (by selling handsets) and embraced its uniqueness (creating mobile IP) in 1999, its profits suddenly soared. RIM needs to reconnect with what makes it unique and align its strategy to this uniqueness. – Lessons In Corporate Strategy From BlackBerry’s Flawed PlayBook

There’s No Innovation And It’s a Problem

After witnessing failed starts in both smartphones and tablets, this is the conclusion I’ve come to. It’s sad to say, but not only can these companies not make a product as good as what Apple has already released, but none of them are innovating on their own either. They all play Apple’s game, and the do it poorly.

It’s frustrating to see the competition repeatedly try to mimic everything that has made Apple successful. In fact, they copy everything that Apple has done except innovate. This is the frontier of consumer technology, yet there’s such a serious lack of innovation, competitors behave like they’re in the market for making kitchen appliances.

How Long Can An Industry Go On Like This?

One company’s innovation can’t sustain an industry of imitators. Will we see more companies go the route of HP & Palm? Without innovation to create new value these companies are going to fade away.

What’s more, all of these efforts conform to a familiar pattern: at the start of nearly every technological shift, legacy brands manage to command a disproportionate amount of attention as they attempt to stake their holds in the new space, but almost always find themselves unable to sustain that attention through genuine innovation. Ultimately, it’s the pure play companies that realize the medium’s true potential. – Khoi Vinh, What Comes After Reading on iPad

The clock is ticking.

Even if you aren’t a fan of Apple, the iPad, or the iPhone, you shouldn’t be looking to competitors simply to release the fundamentally the same product just with different window dressing. You should be demanding a real alternative, something radically different and new.

We shouldn’t care about companies and products that look and work the same as Apple’s. Those products don’t matter, they aren’t going to disrupt anything and they won’t change the world. Our attention should be focused on promoting the companies that truly innovate.

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