After the March 21 announcement of new Apple products, specifically an iPhone and iPad, I would argue to say that Apple is not the leader of innovation anymore. We used to associate Apple products with a strong sense of innovation and design prowess. The only asset they now carry, however, is their design team, led by Jony Ive. Is it enough? I don’t think so. Here are 8 signs that innovation is lost at Apple:
- Steve Jobs. Let’s face it, Steve was the heart and soul of Apple. No one else can replace the technology pioneer with the same degree of passion and focus on making great products.
- Second to market. Who came out with the first smartwatch? How about the second one? Apple was nowhere to be found as several wearable products were released in the past four years. The first Apple Watch is subpar and evolutionary at best. When will Apple stun us like they did with the first real smartphone, first real tablet and first real ultra-portable laptop?
- Product similarities. The iPhone SE is identical to the iPhone 5 in look and feel. Anyone can improve on power, that’s Moore’s Law. Guess what? The iPhone 5 came out nearly 4 years ago. The iPhone SE? Only a day old in the media books. Don’t get me started with the iPad Pro 9.7″ (exact replica of the iPad Air, with a keyboard thrown in to the mix).
- Comments. I look at the comment sections of tech blogs and realize that Apple isn’t the main topic of discussion. When iPods came out, there was massive, overwhelming buzz with every release.
- Sales. The declining numbers speak for themselves. Just because you release more SKUs doesn’t hide the fact that product categories are losing value. People don’t need to replace their iPad every 6 months to a year.
- Disruption. How do you fix declining sales? Do what Steve Jobs did. Kill product categories with revolutionary products. Understand when technology hits a peak, then disrupt. I haven’t seen a disruption at Apple in years.
- Discounts. Apple Watches were doing so bad that early discounts were handed out during the holiday shopping season. Apple never discounts a product unless that product is on clearance to make room for the new.
- Samsung is cool. If the kids today are saying Android is better, then Apple must appeal to the older generation. Problem is, the kids are the next generation, the future decision-makers and dictators of where technology is headed.
Let this be noted that I am an Apple enthusiast – I would never consider Windows products after making the Apple switch. I am worried though that Apple has lost its lustre. How long can this continue?