You know what I miss about Apple’s relentless move into the 21st century? Steve Jobs. I mean no offense to the folks running Apple today; products are decent, services are good, and Apple is crazy profitable.
What I miss is exactly what Steve Jobs brought to Apple before his death, and that’s exactly what’s missing at Apple today. And, no it has nothing to do with former design honcho and Jobs’ BFF Jony Ive. What’s missing?
Jobs was a master showman for the digital age; opinionated, arrogant, caustic, mesmerizing at times, and with a vision of how technology products should work that still seems lost elsewhere in the industry. Look at the industries Jobs uprooted. PCs, portable music players, record stores, smartphones, app sales, tablets and, well, you see it, right?
Jobs’ successor is the very capable CEO Tim Cook. He knows how to squeeze profits from products, pay off undeserving shareholders with stock buybacks and dividends, and keep the company moving forward with a management style that one could say is more humanity than Jobs’ style.
What’s missing is what Jobs may have carried to the grave. That vision thing. Oh, and “One more thing…” which Jobs used regularly at the end of many product presentations. One more thing often introduced a new and unexpected product.
What we have from CEO Tim Cook is his ability to do what Jobs did with the Mac. Jobs milked it for all it was worth and worked toward the next great thing. In Jobs’ case, the next great thing was a string of hits. In Cook’s case, it remains a string of iPhone accessories and that does not appear ready to change.
Whatever Apple introduces next week likely remains iPhone accessories. Apple Watch Series 5? Watch is an accessory to the iPhone.
What about One More Thing?
Is it possible that Tim Cook could pull a digital rabbit out of his this time? None of these expected upgrades– either sooner or later– fit the One More Thing legacy because they are existing products merely in need of an upgrade.
- AirPods Pro – hopefully with noise reduction, hearing aid-like capabilities, and better battery life
- HomePod mini – and how about a pair for stereo?
- MacBook Pro – you know, the one with the big 16-inch display to die for
I would not be surprised to see those on Tim Cook’s list next week, but I would not be surprised if they don’t show up in Tim’s show. If there is to be a One More Thing moment, it will be this one.
Some think it’s Apple Tags. Tiles. Tags. Whatever it’s called it’s the perfect product for Tim Cook’s era as the King of iPhone Accessories. Tiles are little battery-powered wireless devices you can add to keychains, luggage, dogs, people or anything else that moves; on its own or otherwise. The Tiles app on iPhone lets you track them; even if they’re lost.
Grab a new Tile, open the app, set it up, attach it to whatever, and you’re done.
How is that not like Apple? And, since Apple is officially a hardware company, it could use even more hardware to sell to its more than 1-billion customers.
How is that not a perfect One More Thing moment?