Damon Beres writing for The Atlantic:
In a market generally defined by boring hunks of plastic, Apple gained an edge through impeccable design that was actually less functional than most of the competition.
The iPhone got its foot hood in the market because it was Apple. They designed and presented it in a way that was theirs, and no one else could come close to the pull they had. It wasn’t the best, didn’t have all the features that everyone else did, but it was exciting and new.
The iPhone 14, meanwhile, with a suite of incremental and frankly boring improvements, is the iPhone that will change nothing.
It’s a bit steep to say nothing, but it doesn’t change much. The rate of change is so small now that new releases are boiled down to a few words. Even the marketing is clutching at straws and the presentations are filled with things that the old model could do, or can now do with the software update launched with the new phone.
Where the iPhone once symbolised verve, it now evokes crushing inevitability. The company will produce, the people will consume, and the waste will pile up (and up and up).
Apple doesn’t even need to try to sell phones. Users buy the version newer than the one they have and continue to do so. Complacency is nothing to fear when your market is this dominant and if you sell a few less, you spent less in developing it, so what does it matter.