Members of the technorati elite politburo have wagged their fingers at Apple for years, fully certain the iPhone maker is about to fall upon hard times, that the Mac maker was just too big to see the trends toward the future, and too slow to stop and turn on a dime.
The 180-degree Turn
In less than 150-minutes Apple pulled a u-turn and did some of what the company has been doing for decades. Surprise everybody. iMac Pro? We knew it was coming, but what a beast it is. And what does all that space gray power say about the Mac Pro due maybe next year?
Critics blasted Apple Watch as a big failure because it didn’t sell in iPhone numbers. Nothing does. But as smartwatches go, Apple’s diminutive Watch owns the industry; revenue and profitshare, and probably sits atop the entire watch industry already. Certainly Watch sells more than Amazon sells Echo and Alexa devices, but that’s a category where Apple has already failed (so say the nabobs).
Enter HomePod. This little device may very well crush the competition within a year after being launched because Apple’s ecosystem of products and services works so well together. Think what would happen if iTunes married the world’s most advanced speaker system hardware. HomePod is the child. It’s like Siri-in-a-Can but Apple calls it a music device first, as if Siri and HomeKit were afterthoughts.
Uh huh. Sure.
As hardware goes, HomePod or Siri-in-a-Can is somewhat unexpected, hence the 180-degree u-turn. It’s all about the sound. Giant woofer meet a family of tweeters and half a dozen microphones. Siri can hear you and speak in ways nobody really predicted. It’s an A8 CPU powered speaker system with Wi-Fi and Siri built-in. Use it to play rock ‘n roll, get the weather, have Siri read the news, or lock the doors.
As usual, Apple will own the high end with revenue and profitshare because HomePod is priced like Apple TV. To make money. That course if familiar.
The past few years have not been kind to the Mac. Oh, other than a continual stream of record breaking sales. Somebody likes those new MacBook models. But the Mac Pro languished and the iMac was beginning to look– or, maybe just feel— a little stale and unchanged for a few years, up to and including boring hardware specifications. Critics howled with delight at Apple’s seeming misfortune.
Apple just reversed course, pulled yet another 180-degree u-turn out of the technology hat, and introduced a droolworthy, lustworthy iMac Pro that makes the tin can Mac Pro look so 1999. Good grief. Is this is an iMac– 8-core Intel Xeon inside, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, AMD Radeon Vega GPU, and a beastly looking space gray case, keyboard, and mouse– then what will a modular no-holds-barrred Mac Pro look like?
Apple just showed the world how a very big company can stop on a dime and reverse course in an instant. Well, alright. A few months, but you get the idea, right? Suddenly, Apple is smack in the middle of the home speaker craze with a must-have product priced right enough to get a few million customers on board and to collect most of the industry segment’s profits.
Oh, by the way, Apple’s iOS 11 means products from years ago will get most of the latest software upgrades, and macOS Sierra users will be able to get the latest macOS for free, too.
Oh, by the way, Apple sits on more cash than ever (sufficient to buy parts of Europe), and APPL flirts again with records levels, and market cap leans toward $800-billion on a comfortable P/E ration brought about by more than 1-billion happy customers. And it just turned itself around here and there, reversed course, did a full on 180, and mentioned the buzzword machine learning at least a dozen times within a few hours.
What’s not to like?