Apple Inc. has always been unpredictable when Steve Jobs was in control of the company. Back in 2007, we thought Apple Inc. was just a computer company, that had expanded to MP3 players in the early 21st century. They release an iPhone and completely redefined the cell phone and smartphone. 3 years later, they went further to increase their product line to include a tablet and redefined that category as well. They wanted to prove that they were unpredictable with innovation (iPhone, iPad, etc.) Apple has strayed away from being unpredictable with innovation to becoming unpredictable with their products.
Being unpredictable with innovation is one thing. It gives you the competitive advantage, it gets consumers really interested in your products and shows that you are the better choice among your competitors. The iPhone was the only phone like it when it came out in 2007. There was smartphones, sure like a RIM Blackberry, and flip phones; but there was nothing like the iPhone. Not many bar shaped phones that only used 4 buttons and a switch to control the phone. It was an entire screen that responded to touch, something that would be crazy to think of at the start of the century. The iPad changed things again; it was like a giant iPhone, but it was a tablet. Steve Jobs proudly walked out on stage to announce it and showed everyone that we all needed this product in our lives. He motivated us to go buy one because it was a necessity. The iPad mini came out recently in October and its the closest thing Apple has come to being unpredictable with innovation since the iPad. One could argue that the iPad mini is just a smaller iPad so it doesn’t really count as an innovation. Apple needs to innovate again, create something before everyone else does. iWatch or an iCar, but a full blown Apple TV is not really innovation, because it has already been done. Samsung, RIM, Nokia and other similar companies haven’t created a SmartWatch and it would be perfect for Apple to create it. There would be a big press event, Tim Cook would proudly walk on stage and announce this innovation that was unheard of and create the need for one. He would need to motivate us, almost like Steve Jobs did that we need this product in our lives. They need to show their unpredictability with innovation and creation again.
They tried in 2012 to show their unpredictability with their products, but it didn’t remind us how they are innovative. Starting in the first quarter of 2012, they released the 3rd generation, not called the iPad 3 (as most of us expected), but called the “new iPad”. No one really predicted that Apple would not attach a number to the product to identify the advancement and next generation of the product. A few months later, the iPhone 5 was released with a screen size that was nothing like the past generations of iPhones. They have all had the same screen size, until the iPhone 5. Rumors were spread that the 6th generation iPhone would have a larger screen, but many people dismissed this idea because the iPhone wouldn’t change that much. Then, the iPad with Retina came out this past Autumn. Apple tried to show us that they are not predictable, releasing two iPads in one year?? WHATTTT??? Not calling it the iPad 4 or new new iPad??? All they did was change a few small things of the “new iPad”, slapped a new name on it and angered hundreds of loyal customers that had just purchased the “new iPad”. Apple is stuck in rut of showing that they are unpredictable with products, not with innovation.
2013 needs to be the year that they release a new innovative product that changes the way we currently think about a technology. Whether it be a watch or a car or a television (although the latter has already been done and redone), it needs to be something or else Apple is going to continue downhill and be wiped out within a decade. Apple needs to get back to what it does best. Yes, be unpredictable with products. Release two iPhones this year, release two iPads and give us some new MacBooks, but give us another product to be excited about. Give us an innovation that would blow Apple out of this rut and back on top where it belongs. Give us something we need, something unheard of. If the market doesn’t exist for the product, Apple will make it exist. Apple is very powerful and can convince everyone that this product is a necessity in our lives. Apple Inc. is no longer Steve Jobs, but it is Tim Cook. It is under a new leader and new management and needs to show us that it has new ideas. It has new innovations and it is unpredictable because it thinks different.