Jean-Louis Gassee, who came very close to becoming the president of Apple in the late 1980s before being ousted by CEO John Scully and Apple’s board, claims that while Apple’s success in the industry cannot be disputed, the idea that it was an inovator was rubbish.
In a column “Apple haven’t invented anything” the former executive says that Apple is not an inventor but rather a master when it comes to taking existing ingredients and whipping up a masterpiece. In a move which will shock the Apple fundamentalists, he said that Apple did not actually invent the tablet. While the iPad, was clearly the first consumer tablet to see success on a large scale, but the concept of a consumer tablet had been around for 30 years before Apple unveiled its first iPad in 2010. The iPhone was clearly a reimagining of the smartphone rather than a new and novel product.
Gassee said that Apple’s talent lies in taking existing products and concepts, and transforming them.
“Apple didn’t ‘invent’ anything, the iPad is simply their variation, their interpretation of the well-known tablet recipe,” he said.
Jobs’s ability to take the same list of ingredients that was used to create a device and rework them to create unique new products was uncanny but they should not be labelled as “inventions.”