Well, it’s 2014, and the only thing truly new to come out of the pipeline is pretty much what we’ve expected to come out of the pipeline. Rather than a new product category, Apple gave us OS X Mavericks, iOS 7, Mac Pro, and expected upgrades to Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
What’s Apple doing now? The company is busy turning back the clock. Why?
What Steve Jobs Said
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs came back to Apple in 1997 and revamped the company’s product line. Instead of focusing on the past, Jobs focused on the future.
What did his view of the future bring? iMac, iTunes and iPod, iTunes Store, iPhone, App Store, iPad, and… drum roll, please… the future of mobile computing.
Jobs was also famous for saying this:
I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.
Fair enough. So, what’s next for Apple? Judging by Tim Cook’s definition of product pipeline, thinking different seems to mean nostalgic television commercials.
Steve Jobs didn’t have a TV commercial or a big party when the Mac turned 20 in 2004, or when it turned 25 in 2009, so Yukari Iwatani Kane asked ‘why is Apple being so nostalgic?‘
It’s becoming a habit. Two weeks, two commemorative and nostalgic videos from Apple.
Alright, I don’t mind a little reflection on how far Apple has come in 30 years, but I can’t help but think this is definitely something Jobs would not have done. Hey, where’s the beef? Why is Apple turning back the clock instead of creating the future?
Kane points out that Apple has stumbled a number of times since Jobs died in 2011. Despite the billions in revenue and profits each year, there’s a dirty laundry list of problems since Tim Cook took over.
Apple Maps. iMac delays. Store honcho John Browett and the horrible Genius TV ads. iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks bugs and more bugs. High level executive departures. To be fair, there were similar issues when Jobs was running Apple’s show.
During Jobs’ reign from 1997 to 2011, over a dozen years when he ran the Apple show, the company launched industry disruptions, not on a schedule, but certainly left and right, again and again. iMac, iPod, iTunes, iTunes Store, iPhone, App Store, iPad, and major industry disruptions in retail, smartphones, tablets, cell phone industry, software distribution, and media distribution.
Since then, what?
I like Apple’s recent TV commercials. They’re typical Apple; emotional, well crafted, and they leave a good feeling in the eyes and ears and mind of anyone who owns or thinks of owning an Apple product because they help people do more.
That’s all well and good but already I’m missing Steve Jobs’ Apple because he’s the one who lead the tech world in disruptive innovation.