Disappointed? Yes. No new hardware. No new iPad. No new Mac. No new AirPods. No affordable HomePods. It was WWDC 2018, after all, and that means software, and despite the glimmer of eye candy, it became apparent that Apple is not really looking for new customers.
What! Heresy! No. It seems as if Apple has no idea what the next great thing will be (you can imagine Steve Jobs looking for a way to effect a second resurrection, right?). Instead, Apple has turned inward and wants the current customer base to keep buying the same old same old.
Think about the disparity between the Jobs’ era, circa 1997 to 2011. iMac, iPod, iTunes, iTunes Music Store, Intel on Mac, iPhone, iPad, App Stores– all were revolutions of a sort, definitely disrupting products which shook multiple industries in sequence.
Think about what Apple CEO Tim Cook hath wrought, circa 2011 to 2018. Accessories to Steve Jobs’ products. Yes, every major line has experienced iterative improvements; that’s the nature of technological advancement. New products? They’re accessories. Beats are accessories for iPhone and Mac. Watch is an accessory for iPhone. AirPods are accessories for iPhone first, but also iPad and Mac. HomePod? An accessory. Apple TV? An accessory.
What about Apple’s rapidly growing Services group? It’s highly profitable under Tim Cook. In fact, revenue is more than iPad and Mac. Combined. Just remember that Apple is a hardware company, and Services would not be a darling if not for iPhone, Mac, and iPad.
All this tells me that Apple’s executives have no idea what the next new product line will be, or where the next great thing is in the pipeline. If they did would they give money to shareholders in undeserved dividends? Or, spend a few hundred billion to buy back stock?
Yes, Apple wants Apple customers to spend more money, but since there are no new market disrupting products available, it’s OK if we spend money on Services and accessories instead. What struck me about Apple’s WWDC 2018 keynote presentation of software is Apple’s vision.
Apple seems to have a vision of happy customers using Apple software on Apple hardware. Software that integrates well between devices, a harmonious blend of an ecosystem that has gone insular in nature; a company no longer willing to advance the status quo. Apple is the status quo; a comfortable Del Webb techno-community, a Sun City locale for those who can afford a better retirement from the advancements of modern technology.
In that sense, Apple seems more content with selling more to the current customer base than seeking out new customers with new products.