Lat­est, but great­est?

HWM (Singapore) - - Ed's Note -

It’s prob­a­bly lit­tle sur­prise as to what’s our cover fea­ture this month, but here’s what re­ally been on my mind. Ev­ery new re­lease is al­ways touted as be­ing “the best ver­sion ever” of said prod­uct, which to me, should be an un­spo­ken fact.

I ex­pect the Ap­ple iPhone 7 to be bet­ter than the 6s. I ex­pect NVIDIA Ge Force GTX 1080 to be bet­ter than the GTX 980, for ex­am­ple.

To give credit to most brands, they try their best to con­vey just how much bet­ter their lat­est prod­ucts are in com­par­i­son to the old, and some­times, their com­peti­tors. How­ever, such per­for­mance graphs do not trans­late well to real world us­age.

For ex­am­ple, the iPhone 7’s new A10 Fu­sion pro­ces­sor is sup­pos­edly 40 per­cent faster than the iPhone 6s. How­ever, when you do get your hands on the phone, you’re most likely to be greeted with a fa­mil­iar in­ter­face and us­age ex­pe­ri­ence. Can Whats App, Face­book or In­sta­gram run 40 per­cent faster than be­fore? or will you be able to book an Uber faster? Prob­a­bly not.

Sure, there are fea­tures worth de­bat­ing such as the dual cam­era or the re­moval of the ana­log head­phone jack. But, Ap­ple isn’t the first com­pany to have such fea­tures. So, how are they “new” or “in­no­va­tive”? I’m not knock­ing on Ap­ple; the iPhone 7 merely the hot topic of the month. The same com­ments can be said for al­most ev­ery new prod­uct re­lease out there.

The point I’m try­ing to make is that con­sumers are get­ting used to a tech­nol­ogy driven world, and an­nual step-up pro­gresses are no longer seen as in­no­va­tion. But in a com­pet­i­tive seg­ment where one prod­uct’s new fea­ture is an­other’s old, is there re­ally room for in­no­va­tion ev­ery year or are we ask­ing for too much?

Zachary Chan Ed­i­tor

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