Opinion: Let the Apple ripen - real innovation takes time

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Poor Tim Cook. Sitting in his glass workplace with a terrific mob of investors outside with pitchforks shouting ‘INNOVATE! INNOVATE!’ while the Apple CEO stabs unfortunately at an iPod with a screwdriver.

He glances at his desk phone then back at the iPod as a wild grin creeps across his face. Hope and relief sparkle in his eyes.

A shaft of heavenly light beams from the window as he picks up the recipient, picks up the iPod, puts the 2 together … then slumps. That’s been done. He shakes his head, defeated – that Jobs is a challenging act to follow.

A sad sight, I think you’ll agree.

Over the in 2012, Apple has actually lost what the ‘market’ calls ‘energy’. It’s got a bit dull. Iterative updates have replaced significant new gadgets and, let us admit, when a revamped Mac Pro is your most exciting gadget of the year, questions are going to be asked.

Some say the company is doomed without Jobs, others think it’s ‘incredibly undervalued’.

Question time

One of the people asking questions is Fox correspondent Charlie Gasparino. ‘Exactly what’ve they’d recently?’ he requires. ‘They’ve had the iPad, they have had a couple of other things, however they don’t have anything innovating from exactly what originated from Steve Jobs.

‘And that concern is generally materializing into pressure on Tim Cook to innovate – do something fast.’

We are not exactly anticipating big things of September: we know we will absolutely see a brand-new iPhone (5S), we might see a less expensive iPhone and we will most likely see a new iPad and an iPad mini 2.

Rumour has it that a fingerprint scanner will be the heading attribute of the new iPhone.

A fingerprint scanner.

So yeah, we can see why the board might be getting jittery, but simply demanding Apple stop messing about and ‘innovate!’ something – anything – hardly feels like an option.

Do something quickly? No. Do something excellent.

History repeating

How long did it take the company to come up with the iPod? The MP3 player was launched in 2001, so you could suggest that it took Apple 25 years from incorporation to its first full-on category-busting tech advancement. After that, it took a leisurely 6 years to put the iPhone together and reveal it to the world in 2007.

It could then have been a hop skip and a get on to the first iPad release in 2010, however the iPad was never ever as advanced as the iPod or iPhone.

The innovation world has changed and distorted since 2001. There were greatly fewer tech blogs shooting word bullets at Jobs’ feet and requiring he dance when he and his group developed the iPod.

There was no heaving tech mob at the door, waiting impatiently, as one or more of the braver ones scampered in and got scraps of reports from under Apple’s confusingly metaphorical table.

We have believed prior to about the ruthless report cycle taking the magic from tech – and indeed, obviously, Apple needs to INNOVATE! INNOVATE! – but, like any tech business, it likewise should take time to obtain things right.

That means getting its existing items right in addition to developing glitzy brand-new ones. That indicates not launching a half-baked iWatch just due to the fact that its board desires it to live up to some type of fictional schedule. Bear in mind Maps? Never ever forget Maps.

Like you, I desire magic: at any tech launch, I am wishing for something that’ll trigger my eyes to widen and an uncontrolled ‘Oh wow’ to slip out. I desire it to do something beneficial, I want it to work perfectly, I desire it to look gorgeous and I desire it to be incredible.

And hey, that’s going to take a bit of time.