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Does Apple's 'Boring' iPhone 5 Foreshadow a Blackberry-Like Decline?

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Even though I think Steve Job's death put Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) best days behind it, negative reaction to iPhone 5 surprised me.

In fact, I found some of it quite extreme.

Here's a sampling of two of the more interesting thoughts via Twitter:

Wow is right.

Strong words from George Colony, CEO of Forrester Research, who shares my view that Apple will slide from greatness to goodness over the long term.

Even stronger words from whoever @bobegan spoke with. Apple -- heading down the path of utterly pathetic Research in Motion (RIMM)?

Let's slow down and exercise our critical thinking skills.

There's no question about it -- relative to Steve Jobs, I have very little confidence in Tim Cook's ability to keep Apple where it's at now, let alone take it higher outside of the next 12 to 24 months. At the same time, I'm not crazy.

The day after the iPhone 5 launch, I discussed the new product with a friend, who is the ultimate Apple geek. We came to the conclusion that a boring and unoriginal iPhone might not necessarily be a bad thing.

Whereas many smartphone makers place almost sole focus on features, Apple concentrates obsessively on the user experience.

A difficult-to-define distinction exists between true innovation and change for the sake of change. Apple created and instantly perfected the smartphone. At some point, the bells and whistles naturally and appropriately slow down.

Consider this analogy. I ride road bikes. Most cyclists will tell you that even a novice cyclist will notice massive differences between a $600 road bike all the way up to around the $2,000 to $3,000 level. Once you pass that $2,500 threshold, however, the law of diminishing returns kicks in.

Unless you log several hundred miles a week, you probably will not recognize -- or have much use for -- the enhancements you receive as you increase the price point. Simply put, at some point, upgrades become less significant, but cost more money.

In a different way, that's what Apple is up against, though not necessarily from a cost standpoint. Apple has reached a point where they have pretty darn near produced a flawless smartphone.
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