Wall Street wants Apple to add another leg to the four legged revenue stool. And, according to media critics, it’s been ages since Apple did anything remotely similar to innovation. Here’s how Apple can dominate two industries that are ripe for disruption.
What You Wear And Watch
Apple’s problem isn’t unique among rapid growth businesses. Each year the company needs to find another way to increase revenue by 20-percent, or so.
That’s less of a problem when the company does $20-billion a year in sales, but it’s a huge problem when the annual revenue exceeds $100-billion.
In business, perception is reality, and Apple is perceived as a company that disrupts through innovation. Critics cry, ‘What have you done for me lately?‘ After all, it’s been three whole years since the iPad was launched.
What is Apple working on today that can be the fifth or sixth leg of the company’s juggernaut revenue stool? I have two ideas, both of which appear plausible extensions of the company’s integrated line of products and services.
It’s what you wear and what you watch. First, the latter. Apple TV. Why? The television industry is ripe for disruption. It’s a quaint old industry that adheres to the business model of the 20th century, where the most disruptive force is the Dish Hopper and micro antennas.
It isn’t an Apple television that would be disruptive. Apple needs to pull off the Holy Grail. Content on demand. All content. Television. Movies. On demand. All the time. Anywhere.
Yes, that’s easier said than done. Apple TV is a start. It’s inexpensive, easy to operate, and it brings online content to the home TV screen. But Apple TV doesn’t sit between the cable TV connection and the television. It’s an adjunct product, and it’s that positioning what must change. That can happen only two ways.
The cable TV industry must adopt Apple TV as the set top box. Or, Apple must provide access to such a rich variety of content, all on demand, of course, that the Apple TV becomes the must have product of television watchers.
Secondly, there’s been plenty of talk about wearable devices, starting with the so-called iWatch. Think Dick Tracy. Think iPod touch on the wrist. There may not be an electronic device that numbers more than cell phones, but watches might compete, and an Apple watch could integrate phone calls, reminders, calendar information, and become the design accessory that clothing fickle humans adopt in huge numbers, adding another leg to Apple’s revenue stool.
Already some tech pundits and market watchers think there are tens of billions of additional revenue in both television and wearable products, and Apple has the money, technology, and style to be a player in both.
A content-on-demand Apple TV could easily integrate into Apple’s product line leveraging applications and content to become a multi-billion dollar business and the fifth leg of Apple’s revenue chair (Mac, iPhone, iPad, iTunes).
The same holds true for wearable items, such as the now legendary iWatch, the first of wearable devices which also integrate into Apple’s technological ecosystem of apps, services, and content.
Apple has shown remarkable discipline when it comes to new product launches, where each new innovation or iteration seems to fit comfortably within the ecosystem. It’s been three years since the iPad launched yet another Apple driven revolution, so it’s about time for another.