Are our expectations of Apple reasonable or ridiculous? Let’s take a look. Apple started the 21st century with an incredible decade of growth, innovation and industry-changing devices that have impacted the way we all connect with each other and the internet. The iPod, iPhone and iPad are incredibly successful devices, not only in terms of their functionality, but also their profitability.
It was through these three devices that the company now plays musical chairs with Exxon Mobil as the most valuable company in the world by market capitalization. Having trail-blazed through an impressive array of devices and setting the standard for which all others in the industry have followed, the tech pundits are now trying to guess what the next big thing from Apple will be. Will it be the Apple Television? The iWatch?
Does there have to be a next big thing from Apple? The rumors flying around at the moment are relentless, and indicate an unreasonable focus on Apple producing another breakthrough product category. This is highlighted by the fact that Apple’s recent product announcements have been quite evolutionary, leading some to speculate that the effect of Steve Jobs’ absence is now starting to be seen with the apparent “lack of innovation” from the company these days. To say that this is unfair would be understatement.
People forget that there was a six year gap between the iPod in 2001 and the iPhone in 2007. There was a three year gap between the iPhone and the iPad in 2010. The iPad was most likely quicker to come to market because most of the breakthrough technology had already been developed for the iPhone. Now, three years later, is it fair to expect another breakthrough product category? I don’t think so. Just because they have done it, doesn’t mean Apple has set a precedent that they will keep doing it every few years.
Having said all this, it could be argued that today’s Apple still needs to prove itself beyond doubt now that their legendary founder is no longer with them. They are moving along with their current product lines extremely well, but when they do eventually launch a new product category, they will have the pressure to deliver without Jobs’ presence guiding them.
Our expectations of Apple are not always reasonable. As a matter of fact, expecting something groundbreaking to come every few years is a bit ridiculous. And for me personally – Who needs an iWatch? Really?