Opinion – is Apple still innovating?

Shepherd or sheep? Two resident Stuffers battle it out to argue for Apple's position as a headstrong pack leader or fickle tech creator

Think different. Wonky grammar aside, any gadgeteer over the over the age of 20 will remember Apple's iconic slogan from the mid 90s. It symbolised the company's drive to set the bar and lead the pack. But do recent launches such as the iPhone 5 and upcoming iPad Mini suggest the computer giant has stopped innvoating against the grain, and caved in to the demands of a baying public. Esat Dedezade and Luke Edwards lock horns...

Dead on arrival

Esat: The late Steve Jobs famously stated that 7in tablets would be "dead on arrival." And yet, here we are on October 23rd, with literally hours to go before Tim Cook reveals the 7in iPad Mini to the world. What happened? From where I'm standing Apple's taken one look at the formidably specced £160 7in Google Nexus 7, pulled the handbrake on old Jobsian diktats and made a u-turn.


Luke: Ah, but let's not forget that Apple did invent the modern tablet, in the process stamping on the existing Flash internet and driving the express delivery of a shiny new HTML5 version. Jobs made his DOA jibe two years ago, while that new era – and a host of brilliant tablet apps – was just getting started. And there's little evidence Apple is doing whatever the public asks of it – where's our NFC?

Size does matter

Esat: Yes, but you'd be hard pressed to find many people now who agree with Steve Jobs's quote that a 3.5in phone screen hits the "sweet spot." The iPhone 5's 4in screen shows Apple had no choice but to eat its founder's words in a world saturated with supersized smartphone screens.

Look to the future

Luke: Sure Apple has adapted to evolve – remember how many different iterations of the Clickwheel iPod there were? But despite its mastery of physical control solutions, Apple was still the first to make touchscreens truly appealing (with the iPhone) and to convince us we could live without a CD drive in our laptops (MacBook Air). Okay, so Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire HD have beaten it to the 7in supertablet punch, but that doesn't mean Apple has stopped inventing. It's just saving up its surprises for the Apple Television. I think.

Don't forget to bookmark our Apple iPad Mini event liveblog.

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