The head of the fruity cargo cult Apple Tim Cook was expected to announce a super, cool, and amazing thing called a product yesterday. It had been rumoured that Apple was going to do something radical and release a product, something it has not done for a long time, and lots of bandwidth has been wasted speculating what that product would be.
Cook promised to create new product categories and last week, Internet services chief Eddy Cue said the pipeline was the best he had seen in more than two decades. So when Cook delivered his keynote address at the World Wide developers conference in San Francisco a product was something that was expected. It was expected to be a product which would mean that Apple would again take the centre stage in the product world.
No new toys to show off
All he had to show was some mobile applications that pool and analyse health and home data and something about a new version of the iOS operating system which was so dull that its headline change is that it will be using Microsoft’s Bing instead of Google.
The Tame Apple press did its best to hide its disappointment, it dusted off a few tame analysts to tried desperately to re-assure people that health applications were somehow game changers, but even they had a few problems spinning this one. Reuters admitted that it had hopes the iPhone maker would offer a glimpse into its secretive pipeline of products or at least say that one was coming out.
Apple shares slid 0.7 percent to close at $628.65.
So what is happening? Apple seems completely paralysed. It is as if the company is so terrified that it cannot come up with anything new that it is choosing to come up with nothing. The cycle is that the press will suggest that something is coming, such as a wearable computer, there will be some “leaked” designs and one of Apple’s rivals will produce it.
The competition is already out-innovating Apple
Meanwhile all the innovation, both in design and otherwise, is falling to Apple’s rivals. Jobs’ Mob has gone from rubbishing its rival’s efforts to copying them, several months or years late. Take for example the size of the tablet. Apple insisted that the world did not want smaller tablets, and then was stunned when they did. Apple ruled that no one wanted phablets only to discover that they did. The iOS 8 update paints a sad picture, as it does not bring anything truly new, apart from a few features that have been on Android for years.
This is not the role of an industry leader or innovator.
It is not the fault of Tim Cook either. This paralysis was happening before Steve Jobs snuffed it. His super cool innovative designs were often just the previous model “fixed” and despite the hype there was nothing to see here move on please.
It is fast reaching the point that if Apple does not release a product soon, or show off some of its future plans, people will not believe that it has any and it is sitting on its hands waiting for Steve Jobs to re-incarnate.