Wednesday, March 6, 2013

iWhatever: That’s the Danger to Apple’s Dominance

Apple HDTV.  iWatch.  Cheap plasticky iDevices.  What they all have in common is that they could be Apple’s potential downfall in diluting the brand too much.  Just as Apple did not make a small slow netbook when people were clamoring for it, Apple is now being pressed to release products to satisfy the irrational and manufactured doomsday scenario that for some reason, Apple’s $130 billion+ in cash won’t allow it to weather.

Supposed if Steve Jobs caved to analyst pressure and release some cheap $400 Mac netbook that sluggishly ran the full OS X .  Apple would be crucified by the tech punids.  And then, how would Apple try to justify releasing $500 iPads or $329 iPad mini that doesn’t do all that the Mac netbook could run.

Instead of the netbook, Apple answered with the iPod touch for a few years before killing off the market entirely with the iPad.

Apple innovated instead of releasing a $400 garbage and waited for the right time to release a truly innovative solution.

Innovative product.  At a time of Apple’s choosing.

Apple’s strength has besides it’s innovative history is something that many other companies do not have.  Consider how much more products Apple’s competitors have on the market and the number of categories that they’re involved in.  If the key is getting into as many markets as a company possibly can and then try to cover the whole spectrum of the market with one or two flagship product and then cover the bottom with a flood of cheap products, Nokia, Motorola, and Samsung should be making much, much more money than Apple or anyone should.

And yet, Apple’s mobile profit has been twice that of its nearest competitor, Samsung, and bigger than many of its competitors put together.

Innovative product.  At a time of Apple’s choosing.  It’s called discipline.  Remember what Steve Jobs said in 1997, "I'm actually as proud of the things we haven't done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things."

 And this was not the first time Steve Jobs has said this.  He gave a similar quote to Fortune in 2008 in saying “we tend to focus much more. People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I'm actually as proud of many of the things we haven't done as the things we have done”.

I have no doubt that Apple is still the most innovative company in the world and will continue to be so in the near future.  Now, let’s see if Tim Cook and Apple’s management has the courage and discipline to say “no”.

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