It is easy to argue that the iMac saved Apple, and the iPod was the next great thing until the iPhone came along. Co-founder Steve Jobs brought a long list of product hits to Apple during his second tenure running the company. Where is Apple’s next great thing?
Nobody can argue the facts. Apple CEO Tim Cook has put his own mark on Apple. The mark of riches almost beyond imagination just a few years ago. Cook owns the mark of prosperity and profits. Investors have grown wealthy while Apple churns out profits with seeming abandon.
So, what’s the problem? Where is Apple’s next great thing?
Steve Jobs returned to run Apple in mid-1997, less than a year after Apple bought Jobs’ other computer company, NeXT. The next year, Jobs introduced the iMac; the little PC that could, and did, give Apple another breath of life, and moved the company towards greater profitability.
Jobs died 13 years later.
In the interim, 1998 when the iMac launched to 2010 when Jobs launched the iPad (he died a year later) Apple’s success stories piled up one after the other. iMac, Apple Stores, iBook and PowerBook, iTunes (Rip. Mix. Burn.). iPod and iTunes for the Mac. iTunes Music Store. iPod for Windows. Intel Inside the Mac. iPhone. iPad.
Not even Sony put so many dents in the universe as Jobs did from 1998 to 2010.
That 12 year span from 1998 to 2010 turned Apple into a gold mine ready to be mined. After Jobs’ death in 2011, CEO Tim Cook began mining Apple. Today, Apple is worth a trillion dollars. That’s $1,000,000,000,000. That’s 12 zeroes (short scale).
Even Steve Jobs would be impressed with the riches Tim Cook hath wrought, right?
Or, would he?
Seriously, would Jobs be impressed with Cook and Apple’s ability to generate revenue and profits and stock value? Yes, of course. What about Apple’s next great thing? What hath Apple wrought under Cook?
All of Apple’s products have enjoyed iterative improvements every few years. They are better products now than when the iPad was introduced in 2010. What is missing is the next great thing; the dent in the technology universe. Jobs did it a number of times. What of Tim Cook?
Since Jobs died what we have seen from Apple includes Beats headphones, Watch, Apple Pay, Apple Music, AirPods, HomePod; all, arguably, of course, mere accessories for iPhone.
Where is Apple’s next great thing?