CEO Tim Cook and his executive team continue to say 2014 will be a great year for new products from Apple. Maybe so. After all, who doesn’t want to see Apple disrupt yet another industry with a product category that puts to shame lame efforts from competitors.
Samsung has been copying Apple at the atomic level for a few years and the latest Galaxy tablets are so advanced they’re slightly thinner, slightly lighter, slightly faster than Apple’s iPad mini and iPad Air from last year.
That’s not disruptive innovation, folks?
Neither is bolting on a bucket of features that make Android OS a pain to use. Neither is a Microsoft notebook that can also be a gigantic tablet.
Disruptive innovation from Apple may come in the form of wearable technology devices, or some cool new way Apple re-invents television, or, thanks to the executive team from Beats, saves the music industry. Again. Those are all well and good and somewhat expected, but here’s the product combo Apple needs to save the tech industry.
Privacy and security.
It might be easier to publish a list of all the companies that have not been hacked in the past year. AT&T announced a breach yesterday, but it occurred in April. In fact, it seems as if every week we read of a bank, a retail store chain, an online store, or a government agency that gets hacked; customer data stolen, credit card numbers obtained, social security numbers ripped off, and user IDs and passwords taken.
Apple works diligently to differentiate Mac, iPhone, and iPad from the likes of Google, Samsung, Microsoft, Amazon, and a growing plethora of also-ran tech companies. Beyond usability and durability, Apple’s customers need privacy and security.
That should be a hallmark of Apple’s product focus. Differentiate OS X and iOS by making both platforms ultra secure and private.
Doesn’t Apple do that already? After all, the Mac, iPhone, and iPad are far more secure and in less danger than Windows PCs or Android-based smartphones, right? Yes, but that’s not something Apple brags about, partly because security and privacy are often fleeting, and Apple doesn’t want to paint a target on the backs of their customers.
What needs to be secured and protected on Apple’s products?
It’s a laundry list that ranges from device access, to email and data encryption, to cloud storage and security, to biometric-based security access. Indeed, Apple seems to be moving slowly in the direction of greater privacy and enhanced security, and the company stands above other PC, smartphone, and tablet makers, but if ever there was an industry segment ripe for disruption, this is it.
Privacy and security are major issues with customers, and could be a massive differentiator for Apple. The problem may be that complete security and privacy just isn’t possible, technologically speaking, of course (quite often the user is the weakest link). As any PC, smartphone, or tablet user if their data is valuable and should be kept private and secure and the answer will be yes.
Privacy and security. That should be rallying cry from Apple’s customers.