Instead, he argues that Apple excelled at incremental improvements. For example, the iPod was a game-changing product, but it was the click-wheel technology introduced in 2004 – integrating the buttons into the touch wheel – that truly changed the way these devices functioned. The same can be said with the iPhone: The inclusion of GPS and other sensors down the line is what led app developers to create game-changing pieces of software.
For every great leap forward Apple ever made, it accomplished at least as much through small steps that made its products easier, faster, thinner, lighter, more polished and/or more useful. Apple’s most important products may have been the game-changers, but its best products, always, have been those that benefited from smart, evolutionary improvements.
Apple’s String of Breakthroughs: Real or a Myth? – WSJ.com.