Snippet: Tim Cook’s Apple ☇

Shared on December 18, 2019

Nick Heer:

Walt Mossberg emerged briefly from retirement today to publish a decade’s-end column about Apple for the Verge. The nutshell version of his column goes something like this: Apple’s biggest hardware introductions came in 2010 with the iPad, iPhone 4, and the modern MacBook Air — all of which were done while Steve Jobs was still in charge. But, while Apple has grown beyond anyone’s wildest imagination, the company under Tim Cook’s tenure has failed to produce a “blockbuster” product. I disagree […]

But I find it hard not to consider either the AirPods or Apple Watch blockbuster products. While both are accessories, I don’t think that diminishes their impact on Apple, the tech industry, and society at large — in fact, if anything, it indicates that we should not be so quick to dismiss the power of a dependent product. After all, it wasn’t too long ago that the iPhone and iPad couldn’t update their operating system without requiring an iTunes connection.

By the sole criteria of how they set the standard for their respective categories, the AirPods and Apple Watch are absolutely blockbusters. The sales figures implied by Apple’s earnings only reinforce that.

Historically, I’ve almost always agreed with Walt Mossberg on anything Apple-related, but I do think the expectation that Apple release something as industry-shaking as the iPhone every few years is a bit absurd. It’s true that towards the end of the Steve Jobs tenure, Apple did introduce some new category-defining products. However, in the time since Apple has not only refined those, but also introduced more smaller products and services that have made that core group better.

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