September 12, 2015

Apple Desperately Needs Some New Fruit

I love my Apple iPhone, but this core product debuted in January 2007.

We're going on almost 9 years!!!

Don't get me wrong, the iPhone is enormously successful:

- It accounts for 92% of the smartphone industry's profits (even though it only sells 20% of the smartphones). 

- The iPhone bring in almost 2/3 of Apple's total revenue now going on almost $200 billion. 

But, the new growth that Apple seeks in not based on any real exciting innovation.

Take for example Apple's announcements this week:

- A new larger 12.9 inch iPad with a stylus (the Apple Pencil).

- A revamped Apple TV set-top box. 

- Apple's iPhone 3-D Touch that controls the smartphone based on how hard you press. 

Uh, ho-hum--this is all V-E-R-Y boring!

Google has a similar problem with their core business of advertising on Search and YouTube accounting for 89% of their revenue.

But at least Google continues working towards their next moonshot, and has reorganized their innovation labs into a separate entity called Alphabet--working on everything from:

- Self-driving cars

- Delivery drones

- Internet balloons

- Smart thermostats (Nest)

- Broadband services (Google Fiber)

- Longevity research (Calico)

- Smart contact lenses

- Robotics

Unfortunately for Apple, the death of Steve Jobs in 2011 has meant the loss of their driving force for innovation. 

Despite a workforce of about 100,000 and a gorgeous new flying saucer-looking headquarters, can you think of any major new products since Jobs?

Apple is a fruit in it's prime--ripe and shiny and hugely smart and successful, but without any new fruits going forward, they are at risk of becoming a stale mealy apple, versus a bountiful and delicious fruit salad. 

Apple is very secretive, so maybe the fruit is coming. 

I hope for our sake and theirs that Apple is seriously planting for the future and not just harvesting on the past. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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