Nick Dillon, analyst, Ovum
AUSTRALIA: While the iPhone undoubtedly shook up the smartphone market in 2007 with its easy to use interface and multi touch controls, Apple has since been relatively slow at bringing new innovations to the platform and as a result others have been able to catch up, and even overtake iOS in some areas.
Since the last update of iOS, the new Windows Phone platform has entered the market. While it has yet to enjoy the same commercial success of iOS, the dramatic redesign of Microsoft’s mobile platform has made Apple’s look distinctly old fashioned in some areas. The first main area is the ability to integrate and share data between applications, which is very much at odds to Apple’s siloed approach to applications.
Second is the integration of iOS with cloud services, which has traditionally been a weak spot for Apple. Outside a small number of core applications, iOS relies heavily on third party applications for functionality, which is illustrated clearly in advertisements for the iPhone. Other platforms, such as Android, Windows Phone and WebOS, have integrated cloud services such as contacts, email and instant messenger into the core OS, allowing them to offer a more complete experience.
One other area in which Apple may look to improve iOS is in the interaction between the iPhone and iPad versions of the software. Apple may take a leaf out of Android’s book and introduce a new interface for the iPad to take advantage of its larger screen size. The ability to share data between mobile devices, either via the cloud or though near field technology as shown off on HP’s WebOS earlier this year, would also help to improve the experience for users who own more that one iOS device.