How predictable is Apple these days? Will there be a new version of OS X? A new version of iOS? Will Apple launch a new iPhone and a new iPad? Yes, yes, yes, and, of course, yes. The technorati elite, analysts, and media pundits claim that Apple’s typical product life cycle simply cannot keep up.
Uh, keep up with what?
Expectations? Or, competition?
While a few Android OS smartphones sport the latest and greatest, most Android smartphones lag far behind Apple’s iPhone users when it comes to keeping up with the latest versions. That game isn’t even close. Apply the 10 Run Rule already. Game over.
So, what is it exactly that Apple is not keeping up with, and does it matter?
Expectations. It’s a fool’s game, but already Apple has fallen behind competing products that don’t even exist, and the technorati elite are already calling game over.
Why? How? The Street published the perfect example where Apple cannot keep up with the technology changes of Fantasyland in Apple iWatch Is Too Late.
There isn’t much of a smartwatch market, but already Apple has fallen behind so far that it’s just too late. You know, Apple was late to the smartphone party, and did pretty well. Apple was a decade or so late to the tablet market, and did pretty well.
A product’s life cycle in the modern world of high tech gadgets tends to be short, and seems to be getting shorter. In fact, it’s so short in the smartwatch segment that Apple should skip it altogether. Or, not. It depends on who you ask.
Some prognosticators say this rapidly moving and chaotic smartwatch market is killing Apple. It’s too late. So says Renee Butler, who must be depressed living under all those clouds in Seattle, as she forgot about how Apple is seldom the first to a market.
Butler points out a few attempts by Sony and others to launch a smartwatch as proof Apple is lagging in a market that doesn’t really exist.
Heard of the MartianWatch, MetaWatch or I’m Watch? In all that time, these “smartwatches” have yet to catch on.
So, maybe there’s still time for Apple not to build a smartwatch which would be too late because there’s no market for smartwatches?
Apple is just playing catch-up. In other words, Apple would be really behind the mark if it didn’t produce its own version.
Playing catch-up with what? There’s no market. You’ve admitted that already.
While many of the existing smartwatches are close, they are not quite ready to meet a variety of consumer needs and preferences.
Which might explain why there’s no market.
Apple may well be looking to drop in with a product that does fill those requirements and, in turn, dominate the market the same way it blew away the Mp3 player competition with its iPods.
Oh, so there is a chance that Apple could enter a market segment that still doesn’t really exist.
Rumors are that Apple may be building a slap bracelet-style smartwatch, that such a watch could have solar or kinetic charging abilities, and that it would have more functionality than existing smartwatches, like the ability to use a map application.
And there’s a rumor that Apple is building a car, and a rocketship, and a solar powered battery embedded into clothes you wear.
At this point, an innovative product, such as a slap bracelet-style smartwatch, may help it gain ground, but with as little interest as has been generated about such products, it may only be enough to make sure it doesn’t lose any more ground than it already has.
Please, do you even hear yourself Renee? Apple may gain ground in a market segment that doesn’t exist because there’s little interest generated by such products? That’s your argument? Or, it’s too late?
Which is it?
Admittedly, technology product life cycles seem to be shorter than ever. Instead of waiting a year, Apple introduced the iPad mini and iPad 4 (like the iPad 3, but with new stuff) barely six months after the last models and was roundly castigated and even sued because the six month life cycle was too short and, obviously, the one year life cycle is too long.
Here’s my guess on what Apple will do. For existing products, Apple will speed up the refresh cycle for all products, but we’ll still get annual, major upgrades of iOS and OS X. The Mac line will be updated as needed, although something is brewing in Mac Pro Land.
That said, calling Apple behind in a product market segment that doesn’t really exist is even more folly than saying Apple will never make it in smartphones or tablets– and plenty of people are still eating crow over that attitude.
It’s becoming increasingly apparent that so-called Apple watchers– technorati elite, market analysts, and tech media pundits– don’t really know much about how Apple operates, and expect the company to operate according to some kind of imaginary standard of expectations– or else.
Apple doesn’t work that way. Let Apple be Apple.