While Waiting For Apple’s Next Big Thing

Interesting comment from Gruber about an article from the Walt Street Journal on the need for Apple to find the next big thing. Here is an excerpt (emphasis is mine):

There will be major new products from Apple, someday, when they’re ready. There is no rush for them. If you’re worried about Apple’s near-future success, the key is their execution on their existing products. The Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Watch are all businesses that any company would kill for. Apple has all of them, and none of them are going anywhere. Apple needs to keep them insanely great where they already are, and raise them to insanely great where they aren’t.

So let’s try to judge how is the execution going on current products lines.

  1. Repetitive problems with MacBook Pro keyboards since their redesign in 2016. Still in need for a final fix.
  2. Batterygate (all iPhone). Bendgate (iPhone 6, 2018 iPad).
  3. Bad FaceTime camera on recently updated MacBook Air.
  4. Lack of updates on the 2013 Mac Pro, still selling for the same price since launched.
  5. Many years without updating the Mac mini.
  6. Product delays for the AirPod.
  7. Announced but unreleased AirPower.
  8. Software quality was going downhill on up until iOS 12. Not sure this is better on macOS though.
  9. iOS 7. No comment.
  10. Lost of general enlightment while using their software in general with a few rare exceptions.
  11. And on, and on, and on.

You could argue that nobody can’t match Apple on their scale for selling so many devices. This would be a fair point. But as Tim Cook likes to point out, this is not about selling most, this is about selling the best devices.

Any question ?

On Apple’s Newest Products Price Hike

From: Foad Afshari on Twitter.

There is a lot of consternation regarding prices of products going up – and don’t get it twisted – Apple isn’t the only one raising prices. Everyone is. Few people making arguments really think through the worldwide dynamics of creating and delivering these products.

Intl. trade wars, wage increases in countries especially China, sourcing raw materials humanely, inflation, currency fluctuations, advancements in the technology being produced, rapidly rising costs of transportation, costs of taking large scale manufacturing green, etc.

It of course sucks that prices are going up and the latest and greatest isn’t available to the masses, but there are so many moving parts. Apple’s ASPs go up but it isn’t directly increasing margins in every case.

It is why I assume Apple is partly keeping older products in the line, while improving perf. on them. I don’t think they are happy to have older products on sale. It increases all sorts of costs. Just because prod. costs might go down over time, does not mean support costs do.

Navigating these waters at the scales these companies are, is beyond bonkers, even if you have the best people working for you. You can’t control everything and when you try to, it adds it own complexity. Unfortunately, consumers get hit no matter what.

Great take. I had to share it here.