Does anyone not believe that Apple isn’t guilty of the head fake two-step dance? Remember what Steve Jobs said about the iPod. It’s not a good environment for watching movies. That was the rule until Apple’s line of iPods could also manage to run movies. Remember what Steve Jobs said about 7-inch tablets? Terrible idea, right? That was the company line until Apple released the 7.9-inch iPad mini (possibly Apple’s best selling iPad).
There are other examples of this Apple head fake two-step dance which fakes in one direction but shows up later moving in another direction.
How about Apple TV?
Apple’s executives (and Steve Jobs) have hinted that television is in Apple’s future but so far it’s just, well, you know, a hobby. Of course, selling a few million of any $99 device each quarter makes is more than a hobby. Is Apple faking and downplaying the future of TV in Cupertino?
Elsewhere, Apple hasn’t said much about wearable computing, or the iWatch, or Google’s Glass glasses, so we don’t necessarily know which direction Apple’s head fake two-step dance will take us on the product line of the future.
What we do know is that history tends to repeat itself.
Apple is seldom the first company to a new market segment. It wasn’t the first to bring out a portable music player, or first with a touchscreen smartphone, or first with a tablet. What Apple did was improve on all of them to a point so much better that competitors were left to the crumbs of the bigger market Apple created.
History repeats itself this way. Google, Microsoft, Samsung, or whomever will come out with a new product and Apple will be criticized as no longer capable of innovation, living the life of a follower.
Then, Apple will enter the same market but with a product that works better and that masses of customers actually want to buy and use, and that fits seamlessly within Apple’s superior ecosystem. Then, once Apple’s product becomes the standard bearer, the company will be hailed as an innovator again. And, again, Google, Microsoft, Samsung, et al, will bring out their latest products in the same segment, and all of them will look and feel more or less like Apple’s product.
I can see why Apple does the head fake two-step dance from time to time.