Has the “What have you done for me lately?” mentality seeped into Apple’s board room? According to a report from Fox Business News correspondent Charlie Gasparino, Apple’s board of directors are concerned about Apple’s pace of innovation.
Citing “reliable sources”, Gasparino reported yesterday that the board is worried that Apple hasn’t had a major product announcement in quite some time.
What we are able to confirm is that the board is worried about what is in the pipeline. Do they have the right stuff in the pipeline? Do they have innovative stuff in the pipeline? Do they have stuff to keep the momentum going?
While time will of course tell if Apple, under the helm of Tim Cook, can continue its impressive track record of innovation, it’s important to remember that innovation isn’t simply something you can turn on and off. Often times, a truly innovative product can only come along when a number of external factors align, paving the way for a product that can have a fundamental and far-reaching impact on the marketplace.
I mean, do people want Apple to just show off everything they have brewing in their R&D labs to prove that the innovative spirit is alive and well within the company? Do people want Apple to be more like Google and announce a beta product like Google Glass which, while encompassing cool technology, doesn’t seem like it’s going to really change the way the masses use and interact with technology. As it stands now, Google Glass is nothing more than a niche product for the wealthy tech crowd.
It’s also extremely important to remember that Apple has never been a company to release innovative products every 9 months like clockwork. That’s not how Apple operates and, more importantly, that’s just not the way innovation works.
Looking back at some of Apple’s most iconic product launches is instructive. The iMac was introduced in 1997. The iPod was introduced in 2002. The iPhone was launched in 2007. Note that there are solid five year gaps between some of Apple’s major product releases. The iPad was released in 2010, the iPad Mini in 2012, and already folks are getting restless.
One thing’s for sure, Apple isn’t resting on its laurels, and one has to wonder why a company with a track record like Apple isn’t given the benefit of the doubt more often.
In any event, Tim Cook has said that Apple is hard at work on “amazing new hardware, software and services we can’t wait to introduce this fall and throughout 2014.”
Something tells me if that if we’re just a bit more patient, Apple will continue to deliver like it always has.