You can also listen to the commentary in the audio version.
The introduction of the number 13 iPhone in the title is reminiscent of what few people are aware of. Less than 15 years have passed since the last major innovation in the mobile market. In January 2007, Steve Jobs introduced three new products, which were in fact one revolution called the iPhone, in a now legendary presentation. It is one of the most successful products in history. But let us remind ourselves again that nothing more fundamental has happened in this industry since then.
The technology industry does not remember such a long “innovation break”. Yes, it is certainly to some extent the other side of the coin that the iPhone was such a fundamental and revolutionary product. And yes, even those who would add up all the “cosmetic changes” brought by the individual models and come to the conclusion that the first iPhone and iPhone 13 are incomparably different in terms of parameters would be right. It is true. But we’re still just talking about “cosmetic changes.”
Apple is doing exceptionally well in business, actually better than under Steve Jobs. The founder of the company proved what extrovert visionaries can rarely do. He raised a great successor and installed him in office before he left. Today, Apple is a $ 2 trillion company, and if there is no economic collapse, it is expected to catch the $ 3 trillion target next year. Tim Cook is an exceptionally good CEO, as evidenced by the numbers in article Pavel Kasík.
Apple “delivers” new iPhone models every year with the precision of a watch (for example, its iWatch, if you want), which have not shocked anyone for many years, but always basically please a few new little things. And, of course, they sell well (now at a rate of about half a million pieces a day), they are comparable to the competition, in all important parameters. On the contrary, they manage to avoid dead ends, which Samsung or others sometimes go to. Just good work.
But it almost seems to be a prime example of what Clayton Christensen called an “innovator dilemma” in his famous book of the same name. To put it very simply, successful companies or institutions sometimes get into trouble, precisely because their managers do everything well. And “good” in this context is that they do not take risky steps, such as innovation. Which in a field based on innovation can lead to their downfall in the long run.
Christensen formulated this dilemma back in 1995, the book was published two years later. It was received with enthusiasm and understanding, but corporate bosses did not learn from it. This can be evidenced by the sad stories of companies such as Nokia and Blackberry, to stay with those who have become “victims” of the iPhone. But we can also find examples in other technological fields.
The company’s management is obliged to have the best possible results towards shareholders and investors, but these are published quarterly. There is a lack of a horizon that takes into account investment and innovation efforts. Managers are even worse off than politicians, who typically have at least 4 or 5 years at their disposal.
If the iPhone accounts for about 50 to 60 percent of a company’s revenue (depending on whether it’s a quarter when a new model went on sale, or when it was waiting for another one to be introduced), it would take a lot of courage to “reach for this working machine.” “. And yes, Apple is trying disruptions elsewhere (for example with iWatch), but there is little space left.
The fans had a lot of promise from the project Apple iCar, but with Doug Field’s departure for Ford (announced in early September), those hopes were dashed. Field was vice president for “special projects,” but the media claimed his main responsibility was the car. After all, he worked at Tesla, where he led the development of the Model 3. He joined Apple in 2018.
But hopes that the company will introduce the “iPhone with four wheels” and put Tesla in the Nokia position (or simply something like that) are minimal today. Mainly because no one knows what such a car should look like. Yes, undoubtedly with electric drive and as autonomous as possible. But the time has not yet come for this disruption.
The project of smart glasses is similarly mysterious and uncertain. Apple is another technological giant, after Google and now recently Facebook, which is brushing its teeth on this product. But he would have to come up with some really new and revolutionary ones. According to the MacRumors server, this is a secret project with hundreds of employees working on it. But we don’t know if they will present a result in 2022, or 2025, or ever.
One thing is certain: in the context of today’s world, the mobile phone is too important a product to “end” its development with the iPhone. So it seems inevitable that another revolution will come in the relatively short term. I agree with analysts who say it will offer a larger display and better storage at the same time. But specifically, I have no idea. Just like before 2007, I had no idea what a new mobile phone would look like.
The second sure thing is that Apple won’t come with this phone.