Gruber Takes on Mims, and the Technology Cynics

Superb piece on Daring Fireball taking apart the Christopher Mims Quartz piece that I criticised yesterday. Much more than Apple in his riposte, but this needs repeating:

He’s got it all backwards. The nature of progress is to move incrementally. The great leaps are exceedingly few and far between. One needs to pay attention, to learn to appreciate fine details, in order to appreciate progress as it churns. Compare today’s iPhone 5S to the original 2007 iPhone and the differences are glaringly obvious. But some petulant tech critics dismissed every single subsequent iPhone as disappointingly incremental, lacking “innovation”. The iPhone 3G merely added faster cellular networking, which the iPhone “should have had” all along. The iPhone 3GS was “just” a faster 3G. The iPhone 4 introduced retina-caliber displays, which almost everyone, no matter how cynical or inclined to piss on anything nice, agreed was innovative — but soon forgotten by those who bought tickets on the Antennagate Express, a train which took a months-long trip to Nowhereville. (The iPhone 4 was in production for three years, and the GSM antenna design remained unchanged throughout.) The iPhone 4S? Just a faster iPhone 4. Lather, rinse, repeat each successive year. Yet here we are today with an iPhone 5S that’s 40 times faster than the original.