A question that will always arouse intense interest and generate a lot of discussion. It’s now been more than three years since Apple introduced a new category, with the iPad in January 2010. Perhaps inequitably many have questioned Apple’s ability to innovate; some have even had the audacity to surmise they’ve become devoid of creative ideas.
Let’s take a look back a look back at Apple’s history and the new category of products they’ve introduced:
- In 2001 Apple introduced the iPod, and it subsequently became the most popular MP3 device ever sold. iPod wasn’t only a financial success, but also a cultural one too. It became ingrained into society, and revolutionised the way people listened to music. 12 years on iPod remains a very profitable device. Apple sold 12.7 Million iPod in the last quarter.
- In 2007 Apple introduced the highly anticipated iPhone. This undoubtedly has been Apple’s most successful device. The introduction had a profound effect on how Smartphones operate, with most manufactures introducing touchscreen phones of their own. 6 years on Apple’s most prominent competitor in this market is Android, and have surpassed Apple in global sales. Apple still though sell the most phones out of any manufacturer worldwide. Last quarter they sold a staggering 47.8 million iPhones.
- In 2010 Apple introduced the long rumoured iPad. Initially it was met with derision. Many mocked, and ridiculed the device with many predicting the device would flop. On the contrary, Apple sold a Million iPads 28 days after the launch of the device, and the device quickly became the number one fastest-selling non-phone electronic device. Of course the success of a new category is also measured on its longevity. 3 years after the announcement the iPad continues to thrive, and Apple recently announced they sold 22.9 Million iPads last quarter. No other competitor has even come close to competing with the iPad. So unquestionably the device has been a monumental success.
But what’s next?
Legitimate sources WSJ and the NY Times simultaneously reported Apple are developing an iWatch and have begun experimenting with designs of a watch like device , and have allegedly devoted 100 employees to the project. While these reports may have startled a few; the watch presents a great opportunity for Apple to bring innovation to another field. Rumours have suggested they will use curved glass, and we know Ive’s obsession with aluminium so don’t be surprised if it’s present on the device. According to Bloomberg’s sources; Apple are “beyond the experimentation phase in its development” pointing to the possibility of an impending launch.
Then there’s the television: In 2011 Steve Jobs revealed to Walter Isaacson he “cracked it” when referring to the television. This led to endless speculation of Apple introducing a television set. The current Apple TV, which is a small set top box is a great complement to your iOS device. With features like Airplay and Mirroring it makes it a great enhancement to your existing iPhone or iPad. The box also is capable of purchasing movies & TV Shows, and also streams Netflix, Youtube and Vimeo videos. But the noticeable blemish is the absence of an App Store – Currently there is no way for developers to make 3rd party applications for the platform. The inclusion of 3rd party Apps on the platform is inevitable but when Apple decides to incorporate a store into the OS is anyone’s guess. But one things for certain: With the considerable funds Apple possess; they can play an substantial role in changing the way we think of television. The TV market is ripe for innovation, and Apple are assured to deliver an innovative solution.
To summarise: It’s a bit premature and frankly myopic to be worried about the future of Apple. Their stock has recently plummeted due to various reasons most notably the Maps fiasco but to question their creativity after one mistake is asinine. If however in two years, they haven’t provided any spectacular products or any ingenious software, it may be warranted.
Steve Jobs primed Apple to survive without him; in the coming year we’ll find out just how capable they are without him at the helm. I have an inkling they’ll transfix us once again.