re: Apple Needs More Than One iPhone To Compete
It could be argued that all of these new devices coming from other manufacturers are simply attempts to slap a new face on the same product. I grow weary of the ads touting new features that are only incrementally newer than the old ones from 2 months ago. I'm not abandoning a 2-year contract to get an upgrade without a darn good reason. If Apple came out with a new phone every 2 years it would suit me just fine.
I just gave my old 3GS to my brother in-law when I upgraded to the 5. After wiping it clean and re-loading the OS, it was like a new phone. He was happy, a 2-year-old phone got a new lease on life, and I was able to pass it on with a clean conscience, that it didn't end up in a landfill.
I'm not saying Apple is the greatest, or that they do everything perfectly - I know of no company that does. In this particular case, however, Apple doesn't need to compete with anyone else to earn my business. I have been pleased, for the most part, with their product, and I have no interest in jumping from one product to another just because it's "new". Sure, there are things they could do to refine it, such as a removable battery and maybe a memory slot, but even if they came out with 12 different models in a year, I would still only just buy one. Call me old-fashioned, but in this world where everything must be "NEW!", I find the almost-new to be just as good in most cases.
When you consider how much it costs to develop a new product, coupled with the high cost of marketing that product to garner consumer attention, I would guess that Apple is saving millions for every new product they are not bringing to market. The bean counter in me says they would be wise to redirect that money to other, more important things, like R&D for products nobody has ever seen before, and I would personally prefer they did that than waste their time and mine on another copycat product that I'm not going to buy anyway.