I can remember as a kid my mum coming home from work bemoaning the latest upgrade to her computers at work. She did administrative type work for some government department in Perth, and was forced to use the latest version of Windows whatever running the latest version of Word or whatever it was people used back in the early 90's.
She was just a normal person trying to get her work done. She appreciated the magic of computers as much as the next person, but changing the software for the sake of it was rather distressing, and seemed unnecessary. Why, after you had finally learnt your way around the program and knew all the shortcuts would anyone want to change it?
It's now 2013 and I know more than one person who is still using Windows XP. They don't want to upgrade to anything new, not because they can't afford it, but because they place a greater value on knowing where the buttons they need are over having a shiny new interface.
I personally switched to a mac almost a year ago, having grown up on Windows machines. Even though I love my mac, I haven't been bothered to learn all the neat shortcuts and what have you because I just can't be bothered. I just want to get in, get my work done, and get out.
This may explain why sales of Windows 8 are so low. The people who may need to upgrade their Windows computers could "tolerate" Athe change involved with windows 7, because it felt like most things were in the same place. But sitting down to try Windows 8 hurts your brain, and most people are not going to be excited about learning it.
So onto the iPhone.
The tech nerds are all claiming the operating system is looking stale. They look to Facebook's new home screen app for Android, or all the widgets you can get for Android. It's spicier, it's different, it's new.
iOS (iPhone, iPad and iPod touch operating system) is apparently starting to feel dated and old apparently. It's too simple. It needs a rethink apparently.
Yeah maybe. But look at the stats for all those Android phones. Android devices collectively sell WAY more handsets than Apple, yet the amount of apps downloaded and used on Apple devices is much higher. Web traffic on Apple devices is much higher. Online purchases on Apple devices is much higher.
Why? Because when you turn on an iPhone or iPad it's easy to figure out what to do. You have a screen with little button thingies on it that you can press and they do stuff, or you can swipe and see some more icon thingies. If you get lost you press the one and only button that exists on the front of the hardware, and you're magically taken back to the familiar looking home screen.
If Apple can think of a simpler way for people to use their phone and work out what to do, then by all means change it. And if they just want to add a coat of polish (or remove a few coats as the case may be) to change the textures or style, then that won't hurt.
But all of these fancy re-imaginings (that you find on youtube) of what you can do on rectangular piece of glass miss the point of Apple. Apple has always sought to bring computing to the masses, not the geeks. That's why they developed the personal computer with a graphical interface and a mouse. That's why they made a portable music player with as few buttons as possible. And that's why they gave us the iPhone and iPad, with what is fast becoming the most loved and used computing operating system yet. It's simple, clean, and people have learned how to drive it. Schools all around the world are now teething their students on it.
Apple don't need to reinvent it. They might need a cheap version though... and an XL iPhone too, just for me.