Apple’s innovations stagnate

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Apple Inc. has had its ups and downs. Though, in the past decade the company has had a tremendous climb in both product sales and market shares making it the most profitable company in the world. Apple has hit their ceiling, so to speak, but Wall Street is not taking that for an answer.

Over the years, Apple has been a pioneer. In the relative scheme of things, maybe it was not Apple innovating, but their late CEO and founder, Steve Jobs. Jobs sold products in an interesting manner — he almost knew what the consumer needed or wanted before the consumer even knew.

That is key for any entrepreneur; without jumping ahead of the competition there is no innovation. Without Henry Ford creating his streamlined production line, people might still be trying to figure out better ways to use horse-drawn buggies.

Jobs made his keynote addresses sell the products he created. He would hype-up the event and send an ambiguous invitation. Jobs would pack auditoriums full of eager journalists and make them drool for what was on stage.

He would lay out exactly what the competition on the market was for their product, and explain why his would be better. Sure, it was just shoving the competition in front of a moving bus, but it launched Apple into a perpetual stigma of innovation and branding.

Every single product on their line-up was, and currently stands to be, in some ways cutting edge and innovating.

The iPod put Apple back on the map, after a hiatus during the 1990s, with its simple and easy-to-use design. No other MP3 device on the market at the time could compare.

Their MacBook line paved the way for sleek and powerful computers, constructed out of only the best materials.

The mobile phone market was forever changed by their iPhone. An all touchscreen phone that made calls, browsed the web, played music and reinvented the personal data assistant.

Currently, most top-selling phones on the market resemble the iPhone in some way or another.

Oddly enough, the iPad, which debuted after the iPhone, was designed before the iPhone.

Their iMac and Mac desktop line remain some of the sleekest and most powerful computers on the market. Apple TV brings each of these products together in harmony and displays them elegantly on a television.

Sitting down and looking over each product, you start to see a trend coming to the surface. It is all about functionality, beauty and making sure it is the best. Jobs expected nothing but the best from his engineers and designers and his whole company.

In 2011, Jobs stepped down from Apple due to terminal illness. Cancer took his life in the latter part of the year, stunning the world. At the time of Jobs’ passing, Tim Cook, the new CEO of Apple had been in place for a few months and had worked closely with Jobs for years. But after Jobs’ death, investors and Apple lovers were uneasy. Would Apple remain the same? Would products change?

Since the death of Jobs, Apple has maintained its presence in the tech-savvy world. Though their innovation has become stagnant. Their products have lost some of their “cool factor,” if that is just from them being on the market as long as they have or the simple fact that their products have not broken boundaries since Jobs was running Apple.

Apple has to step up their game or other companies will begin to take over as the innovators. Rumors are churning over Apple producing an actual television or a watch-like device, which would be an entirely new market for Apple. Rumors are also spreading about another redesign for the iPhone, in late 2013.

The secret to Apple staying on top of the market, and holding their reign as cutting edge and innovative, stands on those rumored products and a drastic change in their current products. Apple needs to recapture the hype they got when they released their first iPod, their first iPhone and the first iPad.

Frankly, for Apple to impress Wall Street and consumers, it needs to create a new market or drastically change a current one. Apple has had a long history of doing so, but whether or not they do it again is another story.

About Matthew Swope

Managing Editor

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