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
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)