Think about the headlines and talking heads that appear almost daily with a growing laundry list of what Apple must do to survive. It’s been that way for Apple for as long as I can remember, and it may be worse now than ever, thanks to the company’s hundreds of millions of customers and growing product line.
‘Can You Hear Me Now?’
With hundreds of tech pundits, market pundits, and Apple critics with an endless soap box to stand on, is it any wonder that Apple has a deaf ear?
It’s also a good thing Apple doesn’t listen closely to the critics because much of what is offered as a road map to save Apple is contradictory to good sense.
Just a few years ago tech analysts said Apple needed to manufacture a so-called netbook to survive; the Mac’s high prices were doomed.
Where is the netbook today? It’s been replaced by cheap plastic tablets at $299 Chromebook and Windows notebooks that don’t make money for their manufacturers.
Meanwhile, the Mac’s average selling price remains steady at around $1,300, Apple owns half the PC industry’s profits, and Apple is selling more of the flagship computer than ever.
Microsoft’s Bill Gates once tried to get Apple to drop Mac OS entirely, and use a version of Windows NT instead. Today, it’s Microsoft on the ropes, and OS X is the darling of the masses.
Yesterday I read yet another of the ‘Apple must do this‘ articles by an Apple watcher. This list has legs. I’m just not sure where they’re going.
- Present to the marketplace new products in untapped segments (such as TV, payment mechanisms, and health-tracking devices)
- Deliver a next-generation iPhone that isn’t just evolutionary but instead contains meaningful technological advances such as the fingerprint scanner included in the iPhone 5s.
- Paint a clear vision as to their view on the emergence of new technology and how it will be incorporated into products
As to the first, well, duh. Isn’t that like saying, ‘Apple needs to do something‘?
Does anyone think Apple is not working on products other than Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, or the iTunes Conglomerate?
I disagree completely with the third item on the list, though, and this is where Apple’s deaf ear comes in handy. Why should Apple ‘paint a clear vision as to their view on the emergence of new technology and how it will be incorporated into products?‘
Why? What’s the advantage in telling the world what you plan to do? Wait. Google does that, and look at GOOG in the stock market, right? No, Google doesn’t telegraph a clear vision for anything sans advertising revenue and profits. All of Google’s futuristic products are exactly that. Futuristic. Google’s record of bringing new products to market is abysmal. Google’s vision is advertising, not technology products that customers buy and use.
Apple doesn’t say much about the future but the hints are painting a picture unlike anything Steve Jobs said during his second reign at the company. Apple is hiring executives and engineers for fashion (wearable devices), health, and fitness.
What does that say about Apple’s future plans?