It happens. Few companies have the privilege of being part of something greater than the cycle of ups and downs, quarter after quarter, year after year. Apple had a good run with the iPhone and its halo effect on other products, amassed a fortune about the same size as Europe, has a billion paying customers, but that was then and this is now. Where should Apple go now?
Same Old, Same Old
We can point to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and see a long and storied history of Apple overreach; where the company took a risk and launched insanely great products that captured the imagination of technology customers all over the world.
Look at the list. Apple II, Mac, Apple Store, iPod and iTunes, iPhone and iPad, the App Stores. What a great run. According to those who make it their business to know more about what you don’t know than you know, Apple has reached a crossroads. The flagship product, the iconic iPhone, has reached a milestone; a peak. The only way forward is down. There is no savior, despite calls to various deities.
Apple may have some tricks up the manufacturing sleeve, but its not about to show its hand to anyone, including customers (I get my mixed metaphors on Amazon; cheaper if you’re a Prime member). There’s talk of Watch 2.0. There’s talk of an even more expensive iPhone with a better than better camera. There’s talk of a whole new line of MacBook Pro models.
But that’s just talk.
What we want to know about Apple is where is it going now?
Behind the scenes talk, which is a euphemism for blatantly useless speculation designed to fabricate a contentious article and make it sound like fact vs. fiction, say Apple can’t cut a deal with anybody for a streaming television solution, and Apple can’t cut a deal with anybody to help it build an Apple Car, and all Apple is doing is re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic because saturation.
Everyone who wants an iPhone has an iPhone. Everyone who wants any Apple product already has said Apple product and there might be a pipeline at Apple but there’s nothing in it, so Tim Cook would be wise to take Michael Dell’s advice.
What would I do? I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.
Like that’ll happen.
Not The Same Apple
I wonder and worry if Apple’s executives have been too busy managing the status quo to get a new product forward enough in the pipeline to make things happen; to pull the trigger, to do what Steve would have done. Watch is nice. I love mine. It’s very Apple, and especially very Jonny Ive, but it’s not a Steve Jobs product and it’s not revolutionizing anything.
That was Apple. A technological revolution maker. Where should Apple go now?
Few technology companies get the free press that Apple gets, and none come under the same level of scrutiny, but I fear the new Apple is not the same old Apple of yesteryear; once capable of taking huge risks, youthful enough to bet the farm on a string of products which revolutionized their respective industries.
Apple today builds desirable products. Every Apple product I own now is better than any Apple product I’ve ever owned, yet the future remains the same. It’s fraught with challenges, risks, and opportunities; pretty much in that order. While we hear of Apple working on this or that new product (an Apple car would be interesting, but won’t move the bottom line too much) the market demands ever increasing growth, and even being the richest company on earth; a technology behemoth with a billion customers and a few hundred billion dollars in the bank isn’t enough to map out a new and obvious direction toward the future.
Apple is becoming same old, same old and that’s not the same old Apple.