Apple stops Innovating – in shock, old-new news conundrum

As someone who watched Apple rise from the ashes 20 years ago, I stand open-mouthed and shaking my head at Apple’s latest launch. Ok, we know they’ve moved on from being a hardware innovator – but if the best they can do is launch an uninspiring magazine subscription service, a funny credit card and a middle class, not-as-good TV channel then we know its a different era.

Interestingly, all the new hardware releases were done in the run-up to this weeks services-fest, quite clearly indicating the future direction of Apple’s launch PR focus. But do remember, this is the company that created the SmartPhone world domination, the laptop design copied by every manufacturer, this is the same Apple that took clunky slate devices and made them uber-cool as the iPad. And think what the iPod did for music.

The list of innovation and disruption might be long, but is dwindling markedly. Arguably, it died out years ago but we’ve been kept hanging on for “just one more thing”. When was Apple’s last great innovation? When did Steve Jobs die? I guess what we can surmise now is that innovative Steve Jobs created stunning products, whilst conservative Tim Cook masterminds huge piles of off-shore money. Yes, that will do nicely, and difficult to argue against.

With over a quarter of a trillion dollars in Tim’s piggybank you’d think he might go out on a limb, maybe even contemplate bringing back innovation (Ed: or provide a decent fix to the MacBook keyboard calamity). Still, times they-are-a-changing. We live in a service-driven world, subscription is king, hardware evolution is dying, and geeks who were inspired by Apple the first time around are now running the world.

Besides, who really needs a 5G phone today, or a fragile A4-sized folding touchscreen device, or DSLR-quality camera? Mostly no-one, mostly folks don’t care or need this stuff – so why not focus on making a few more millions out of conservative add-ons to your existing products set. Hell, I know I would. But I guess Steve would be spinning in his grave.