mnemonicj wrote:I am not sure if copying is the right way to say it. How many different ways can you make a full touch screen device. Apple did not have the first capacitive touch screen phone, LG was, but they did make it popular and desired. Once smart phone customers demanded capacitive touch screens, manufacturers like HTC, Samsung, Motorola started putting them on their phones. The capacitive touch screens were more accurate and allowed users to type quickly on the screen. The phone manufacturers were able to remove the keypads they had on the phones previously because the screens were accurate enough that they no longer needed a physical keyboard. Hence, this is why the smart phones of today look like they do.
Last year, Apple introduced something to the market that most people had never seen on a phone before, a front facing camera. Now, again because of consumer demand, everyone wants one. Little do most people know, Nokia introduced the N95 back in 2007 and it had a front facing camera, back when Apple couldn't even do 3G.
Apple does not innovate. Apple likes to stick with proven technology and put it into a shinny package introduced by a charismatic dictator. Apple was not the first to do a capacitive touch screen phone, that goes to the LG Prada. Apple was not the first to do a front facing camera, WiFi, 3G, GPS, accelerometer, etc. The iPhone 5 is supposed to have a NFC (Near Field Communications) device, but it was already introduced in the Nexus S back in December. Don't worry though, I am sure Steve Jobs will make a big deal out of it being on the iPhone.
I'm not sure you are entirely right. Of course you are right that capacitive screens existed before the iPhone, and likely tons of other advanced technologies Apple has made popular existed BEFORE Apple decided to use them.
But merely saying a single technology has existed before doesn't mean its use isn't innovative. In other words, most Apple products are more than the sum of their parts. Apple has become popular again by building reliable devices, intuitive interfaces, and by striking the right blend between new technology and old technology.
Take the iPod for instance. Apple didn't invent the mp3 player (the concept has been around since the 80s, though only practical in the later 90s, early 00s). Apple didn't invent the desktop music player (iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc). But they combined ideas from others in a way that hadn't been done before in iPod+iTunes and innovated a little bit on their own. They built a revolutionary music store which has legitimized online music downloads and changed the way we buy music. They added the click wheel and made a simple user interface (supposedly on the traditional iPods, you can get anywhere in just four clicks).
The same is true for the iPhone. They didn't invent the phone, the smart phone, apps, capacitive screens, etc, but they did bring it together in a package the fits the Apple persona: it's easy and fun to use. And they innovated too... everybody could do apps, but they weren't popular or useful because you had to Google and Google to find apps for Windows Mobile or Palm. Centralize into a store, filter apps to remove spam and viruses, and offer one click installation (and purchasing for paid apps), and you've got an innovation.