Is the smartphone market officially boring ?

With the recent IPhone 5S and 5C announcements you would think that there is still room to innovate or at least titillate the consumers. Overwhelmingly everyone I spoke to about the new handsets were lukewarm to say the least. The best one had to say was “At least the handset isn’t so ridiculously expensive for kids”. Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

I suppose part of the issue is the constant feeling of change for change sake. I spoke to a developer who said that the changes made to the UI by all the manufacturers and software companies make understanding new releases and handsets ever more difficult instead of easier. Users do not like change unless it significantly adds to their interaction with the handset.

Design changes where the main feature is that the “magic” button has been moved from left or that additional voice functions can be activated by talking like Michael Kane – “Blow the bloody doors off” – are not game changers for users. They are irritations not innovations.

Perhaps this lack of zing is behind the lack of enthusiasm from consumers. Similarly the upcoming “highlight” of Windows 8.1 – shows the current state of the industry and a lack of direction or even expectation.