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Complacency is the mother of all failings


Here at Smoking Gun PR we only believe in one cult- great public relations. But we also know a good product when there’s one on our desks.
So whilst our eyes stay open to new ideas- as one look at the agency blog goes to show- we’ve long been advocates of Apple technology. From iMacs to iPhones, despite the numerous issues we encounter in everyday usage, we’re much happier working with these devices than the nearest rival’s.
There’s a problem, though. And it has nothing to do with news agencies lifting the lid on what happens at production centres in China, distressing as all that is. Because the most recent additions to Apple’s line up have been, at best, underwhelming updates rather than inspired leaps forward.
If you own an iPhone 5 you may have picked up on the fact that it’s both the most talked about and most complained about handset on the market. And whilst the new 5S is pegged by the firm as the most forward thinking device of its kind in the world, as The Verge summarised in its review; “side-by-side in daily tasks, the 5S isn’t so much faster than the 5 or 5C that you’ll notice right away.”
Likewise, the screen isn’t noticeably bigger or sharper. Of course the specs are an improvement, but realistically speaking there’s not a huge difference between last year’s model and this summer’s revision.
Desktops and laptops are a different story of course, yet still the hyper-intuitive OSX operating system Macs are famed for (and sold on) is at risk of becoming counter intuitive and overly automated. Too much spoon-feeding can get in the way, not least when trying to find an elusive track on iTunes or searching through a complex Address Book.
And then we have the debacle that was Maps; the handy app that had people wandering around aimlessly in circles. You can’t help feeling there’s more stale regurgitation, oversights, and pointless tampering going on than ever before. Which is bad for a tech giant built on the premise of reliability and usability.
After raising its game to become the world’s most valuable brand, and the biggest computer firm on the planet, genuine innovation- where design meets functionality- has been on the wane at Apple since it took pole position. Hence Samsung leapfrogging in the phone stakes. By resting on its laurels, at least a little, the Great White Hope of technology is no longer the most exciting firm in its field.
Perhaps iBeacon can help buck the trend. Looking to supersede Near Field Communication as a method of transmitting data between devices wirelessly (using Bluetooth to send messages to phones when in range of a transmitter), it’s the biggest news to come out of Apple’s HQ in years. Interestingly, it has also been announced at a time when the firm is becoming increasingly vulnerable. Now challenged, the Mac kingdom exemplifies why even market leaders must act like challenger brands, and how complacency has no place in the business world. Food for thought next time you’re in that planning meeting.

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