I’m going to violate my cardinal rule of not using a pull-quote for this article by Brian S. Hall, for to simply point you at his recent piece for Tech.pinions and expect you to grasp the pertinent thread out of the three near-disparate topics within would be a fool’s errand. Although ostensibly about Microsoft, more accurately yet another critique of the 5C, and with a tired subtext of the usual “Apple is doomed”, I see no other recourse but to hand you the appropriate portion on a silver platter. From Panic Inside Apple and Cheers for Satya, then:
“We are, after all, still well into the evolutionary phase of smartphone and tablet computing. This year’s iPhone, this year’s iPad, will be better than last year’s. Next year’s will be better still. And so on and so on. But a revolutionary new product? One that can live outside of the iPhone or iTunes sphere? Do not expect any such breakthrough product or service anytime in the near future from Apple. Apple is on a very direct course, set by Tim Cook, with its mission being to ensure the iPhone continues to print money. A low cost iPhone would have threatened the vision Cook holds for Apple’s future. It’s a vision I believe is almost guaranteed to succeed yet also highly predictable.”
Short of coming right out and declaring my lack of confidence in the seemingly inevitable Apple smart watch, I have thus far remained very critical of its value proposition. Apple could undoubtedly build an iWatch, market such a device, and sell it in droves — of that, I have no doubt. But should it? We can sit here and make the case that Apple must, in order to remain competitive, create such a device; we can pontificate all day long, saying that not doing so and instead “merely” continuing the current trend of ongoing innovation within existing product lines would signal an inability to innovate on Tim Cook’s part. Set those facile arguments aside though, for they have little to no bearing on both this conversation and Apple’s future plans. A more apropos query, rather, would question whether Apple can afford to shift its resources to this project, at the expense of its other offerings, for such ephemeral reasons. Apple made a name for itself through the years as the company that did not release a product until it was ready — perfect in every sense. Perhaps it’s time Apple returned to the values that served it so well in the past.