Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is gone, but his ghost lives on. Surely he walks the halls at night of Apple’s sprawling campus on One Infinite Loop in Cuptertino, CA, checking on the troops, making his presence felt by a chill breeze across the neck of wayward employees or a Mac keyboard crashing to the floor for an executive who isn’t pulling his weight.
Assuming that Jobs is gazing down upon the empire he built, he knows exactly what’s going wrong at Apple, what the company should do next, and why Apple’s executives should completely ignore the elite technorati and their punditry.
Here’s a good example of what Apple should not do next. Anything on the list of Gary Marshall’s TechRadar article, ’12 things Apple needs to do next’ which is a nice compendium of what pundits think of Apple today.
Spoiler Alert: Here’s the dirty dozen with my astute commentary to both clear the air and set the record straight. Again.
Make A Cheap iPhone: This one is more common than body odor in Atlanta on a summer’s day. What pundits don’t say is why. Apple simply must. Remember, pundits were the ones who said Apple needed to license Mac OS back in the day. How’d that work out? Apple nearly died.
A cheap iPhone will most certainly cannibalize both revenue and margin from the iPhone, and may not increase unit sales at all. Why not just lower the price of last year’s model? Wait. That’s what Apple is doing.
Make A Bigger iPhone: Again, I ask, ‘Why?’ Because other manufacturers make bigger smartphones, so Apple must be obliged to do the same thing is the prevailing wisdom. How many of those phones are being sold? Nobody says.
Still, a five-inch iPhone would be interesting, if anything, just to see how Apple handles the pixel resolution of the screen.
Think Different About Ads: Because, you know, Apple’s advertising isn’t working, right? Wrong. The company is hard pressed to sell every product it makes. More advertising would not necessarily sell more products.
Wait. Samsung out advertises Apple by about a 10 to 1 margin. And the Galaxy-whatever maker disses Apple at every turn. How’s that working out? Samsung is the only other smartphone maker to make, you know, a profit. Advertising is working for Samsung, and Apple, obviously, but nobody else.
Go Into Search: Gimme a break. What not build automobiles? Or, go into politics? Of build houses? There’s only one company that makes big money in search. Google. Apple’s presence wouldn’t change that, but would likely change the company’s bottom line.
Buy Orchestra. Sigh. Orchestra makes an email app. Supposedly it’s very good, and we need it because, you know, everyone needs a better email interface. Why bother? Just design a better email experience. Oh, wait. Everyone’s been doing that for 20 years. How’s it working out?
Lose The Steve Jobs’ ‘Depression Mentality.’ This has something to do with saving money for a rainy day. Apple sits on over $100-billion and some investors want a piece of that, even calling for Apple to ‘return cash to shareholders’ as if the cash belonged to the shareholders. It does not.
Make Sure iWatch Is Good: Yeah, ‘cuz, you know, Apple never releases a product that’s not, you know, good. Whatever Apple does regarding wearable technology, it’s likely that plenty of the world’s population will buy into it. And the second version will be even better.
I’m not holding my breath on a watch. A techno-bracelet sounds cool, though.
Get Into The TV Business: Uh, Apple is there already. Do you want Apple to make a TV? Or, give us TV show and movie content on demand? I’d prefer the latter. There’s no money in building a television set.
Fire Tim Cook: Stupid idea. Where’s the math behind that one? Stock price? Anyone who advocates that Tim Cook should be fired doesn’t understand business and technology and should be banned from pontificating again for life.
Start Innovating Again: That implies that Apple is not innovating. Let’s see. Mac in 1984. OS X in 2000. iPod in 2001. iPhone in 2007. iPad in 2010. Yep, it’s about time. But start again? They’re not sitting on their hands in Cupertino, dufus.
Accept That It Has Peaked: Sigh. Obviously, after the most profitable year ever, Apple cannot repeat the days of past glory (last year), so the company should give up? Please. Stop. No, seriously. Please stop.
Keep Setting The Standard: If Apple has peaked already, how can it set a new standard? Anyway, Apple co-founder and ButterBall turkey aficionado, Steve Wozniak seems to think Apple is doomed. Again. And former religion evangelist and the perfect example of what Botox can do to create a perpetual smile, Guy Kawasaki, has left the Apple fold for Android. Why? Because Apple hasn’t done anything unique or different or innovative in, like, well, months.
What Apple needs to do next is what Apple always does, and has done regularly since Steve Jobs’ return in 1997. Innovate when ready. Iterate the rest of the time. When Apple stops doing either of those, we’ll know the end has come. I just don’t see any math that says that’s happened yet.
Oh, and Apple should not listen to anyone else other than their own dear hearts. And, maybe Steve Jobs’ ghost as it walks the hallways of One Infinite Loop.