(Original post by Jammy Duel)
The innovation element you speak of is the same as most Apple "innovations" in recent times, they are first to announce, not necessarily the first to actually do it.
- The 64-bit is being worked on by others, it's almost certainly based on an ARM architecture (not for the first time either); less than 48 hours later Samsung came out and said that Apple weren't alone and Intel has also made a statement. This is having looked at an article from last September, so Qualcom and Nvidia almost certainly have something too. Also note, the ARM architecture referred to had been out for over a year when Apple made the announcement, so is it really that innovative? It's also worth noting that AT THIS TIME, unless Apple intend to more than double the amount of RAM they use, 64-bit is just a marketing ploy.
- Sapphire Glass, I have a sapphire glass watch face, it's cool stuff, is it that much better than Gorilla Glass 3? I'm skeptical that it's substantially enough better to justify the extra expense and the environmental impact for a product you will only keep for a few years, it's not like a watch that, if it has sapphire glass, you will likely keep and use for decades. It's a nice thing for them to add, and is a good thing for press, not that innovative, and not so good on the environmental front.
- As far as other recent innovations go, it's tending to be being innovative by beating major competition to market, you have to question whether they alone can take the credit, and making things thinner.
Much like I am taking a biased view against Apple because I really dislike them as a company, you're being rather biased against the competition. Yes, I would say Apples competition is being "innovative" I would not say because they are forced to make an announcement just to say "we aren't behind on this tech" means they aren't the innovator, not necessarily at least.
As for the car analogy, it's not a particularly good one. Technology moves forwards pretty quickly: flash storage capacity has increased over 1000 fold in the last decade; a lot of components still observe Moore's law, architectures are getting smaller and smaller every few years such that it's not at all long until quantum effects might have to be considered.
People aren't asking for new products every 4 months, we have come to expect new products annually, along with some groundbreaking progress every two. Look at how a lot of things are going- one year something new happens, the next it is revised, the following year something new. The iPhone naming system gives it away, it's visible in GPU and CPU road maps: Something new and groundbreaking every other year and a revision in the middle.
Ok, fine. By your argument, Apple, Samsung and Intel are 'innovating' at a similar base wrt their CPUs. The point I'm making is that both big competitors (Samsung and Apple) are innovating at a pace which:
a) equals each other
b) don't match the current limitations of hardware (ie. they both don't use the best of every single component in any iteration of their device)
*I* don't expect much 'groundbreaking' progress any more from either Samsung or Apple; certainly not in a manner which is obvious to a typical consumer. The reviews of the S5 said it all; it did absolutely nothing to improve on the S4 aside from adding a faulty fingerprint sensor and making it benchmark faster - a trait which actually lends very, very little benefit to the user when using apps.
Technology increases at an exponential rate, yes, but like you said, we're having to look towards methods such as quantum engineering for CPU production which, currently, is quite difficult to achieve. We're very close to that brick wall with very little indication of success with the current budget being used to develop such technology. What will happen then? Will people finally stop hungering for the exponential gains we've been expecting?
You're right about the first announcers being classed as the innovators. I don't class Apple as the innovators for 64-bit ARM mobile chips solely because they were the initial announcers. I will class them as the innovators because only they will optimise their software and encourage developers to use it.
Samsung has no clout wrt how Android apps are developed. Just look at how Google forced them to stop modifying their UI so much - they don't have entire control over what they put out on their own phone! So if I build an S5/S6 with a 64-bit chip in it and absolutely 0 apps make use of it, then what's the point in having it? It will come with time as devs realise the benefit, but I can tell you now that my dad, who develops Android apps for business and daily consumer use, won't take advantage of the new architectures for at least a few more years. It means a lot of work for relatively little gains for a vast majority of the apps on the market, and for a minute userbase for Android as a whole.
Because Apple has such a large userbase on its flagship phones at any given point in time, the devs are more inclined to develop for those phones specifically, knowing that they aren't catering for a market which vastly outperforms the previous iteration of the device.
I'm not entirely sure what you expect from the iPhone 6 or the Samsung S6. Putting in stronger GPUs/bigger screens means bigger batteries which are currently limiting factors for both companies. They're racing to make their phones light and thin, so there's little room to pack in other features shown in concept videos (projectors in the phones, I'm talking about you!). Yes, the next iPhone will come in at 4.7", but I definitely don't want it any bigger. I had always hoped that the iP5 wasn't 4" but 4.5. I can meet apple in the middle with 4.7", but I wouldn't buy the 5.5" that is currently rumoured to also exist. It's too big for practical use - as is 5"! Even 4.7" is a stretch.
The only thing I want my iPhone 5 to do right now which it doesn't is optical image stabilisation and to be just that tad faster with simple apps (Safari, Mail, Messages etc). After toying with a friend's 5S, the speed differences for this stuff is quite big - I can't see how the 6, 6S and 7 could really improve to the point where I care.