Analyst: Apple needs iOS revamp

Cupertino announces updates to most of its hardware lines and previews iOS 6, but analyst says work needs to be done on enhancing iOS interface and reducing dependence on third-party services.

Apple on Tuesday updated several of its hardware devices, including its MacBook Pro range, as well as the preview of its latest mobile operating system iOS 6. However, one analyst reckons the company needs to evolve its iOS user interface and replace its remaining third-party services with its own in order to stay ahead of the competition. 

Cupertino announced in its press release the latest MacBook Air and MacBook Pro line of laptops, which feature the latest Intel Ivy Bridge chipsets and its Retina display. CEO Tim Cook said the latest 15-inch MacBook Pro is "the most advanced Mac we have ever built".

It also previewed the latest iteration of its mobile operating system, introducing over 200 new features and making the beta version available to its iOS Developer Program members on Tuesday. Notable features include an all new Maps app with turn-by-turn navigation and Apple-designed cartography, additional Siri support for more languages, and Facebook integration for Contacts and Calendar, it noted. The new Maps signal the end of a partnership with Google to use the latter's mapping technology.

Ovum's chief telecom analyst Jan Dawson pointed out that for Apple to continue to stay in the industry's driver seat, however, it would need to "evolve" the iOS user interface on both iPhone and iPad. At five years' old, the system's appearance is "beginning to show its age" and proper support for widgets--whether in the Notification Center or main screen--is critical, he stated.

Cupertino should also update its application programming interface (APIs) to allow better cross-app interaction similar to what is possible on Google's Android system, the analyst added.

Dawson also said the company must find a way to replace the remaining third-party services, which are core to many users' experience on the iPhone, with its own. One example it is doing so is with the Maps app, but the analyst said it has similar problems in Web search, social networking, and in e-mail, contacts, and calendar.

"Without really compelling offerings in each of these areas, Apple's users will become increasingly ingrained in third-party services which may be better supported on other platforms," he warned.


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