Apple's Tick-Tock Strategy

Tick versions of iOS came with the S versions of the devices (iOS 3 with the iPhone 3GS and iOS 5 with the iPhone 4S). On the other hand, big hardware releases such as the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 launched alongside Tock releases of iOS (iPhone 4 with iOS 4 and iPhone 5 with iOS 6).

I've had this rolling around in my head for a while. Here's some other thoughts - 

  • I keep trying to figure out how this applies to Apple as a whole, but it doesn't seem like the product announcements on the Mac side line up just right.  That limits this to a relatively specific and limited set of predictions, with a whole lot of room for error.  
  • We have no idea if these trends, if they are in fact trends, will persist after the exit of Scott Forstall.

Still, if you actually look at Intel's chip roadmap, it actually bears a great deal of resemblance.  The updates aren't minor, they're internal. Intel shrinks a chip one year, and the next year rearranges its internals for efficiency, and then shrinks it again the next year, then rearranges.  In the even years, the improvements are internal, and in the odd years they're external.  Sound familiar?