Human nature is causing me to rethink my career choices. Instead of slaving over my Mac’s keyboard each day just to make a living, I figure I can make more money as a tech industry prognosticator. The money must be good. How else do you explain why so many people write for a living?
Prognosticating, or telling the world about Apple’s future is really, really easy. All you need is a little imagination. Facts or astute analysis don’t matter. If a company is on top of the world then the only way they can go is down, and that will happen sooner or later.
Steve Colquhoun notes that Apple tops all the brand surveys. Again. But could be teetering on the brink of irrelevance. That’s what happens when you make it to the top. You teeter. Then, well, you’re gone.
I know what you’re thinking. If Apple still has the world’s top brand, and it does, then how is it possible the company will go from the top of its game to irrelevance within a year? Because Apple must have another game changing product or, well, you know. Doom.
You see, Apple’s original computer was a game changer. So was the Mac. Then nothing much happened from 1984 until Steve Jobs returned and single handedly made Apple relevant again in 1997. And he did it overnight. With blindfolds on. And one hand tied behind his back.
The next game changer from Apple came in 2001 with the iPod. A few years later Apple changed the music industry with the iTunes Music Store. Then, the company went into a drought where it flirted with irrelevance but was saved by Jobs yet again when the company launched the iPhone in 2007, a period of four years after the iTunes Store.
Three years later the company launched the game changing iPad, and revolutionized the tablet industry. Along the way, Apple regularly dated oblivion, obscurity, and irrelevance while racking up untold profits from the iPhone, iPad, iPod, iTunes Music Store, iTunes App Store, and Mac App Store, and while the Mac’s profits grew to equal the amount of the five largest Windows PC makers.
It’s easy to see why tech media prognosticators would think Apple is near death because it has happened so many times in recent years. Well, actually, only once. And that was in the last century and not really recently.
Still, Apple is on top and there’s only one way to go and that’s down and you don’t have to be a math wizard to know it. The abyss of oblivion, obscurity, and irrelevance is near at hand because Apple has not bothered to remake an industry since the iPad launched in 2010. That’s three years.
Since then, Apple’s competitors have outpaced the iPhone maker at every turn by stealing designs, lying about facts when comparing products, and even paying critics to say nasty things about their competitors.
Oh, and the innovation snooze that Apple appears to be taking right now, that vacuum has been filled by Microsoft’s hot selling Surface tablet and Windows Phone. And BlackBerry, Nokia, and Motorola are ready to rise from the ashes to take Apple’s place as the innovation leader. Of course, they’re still in the ashes, but they’ll rise soon and they’ll innovate again. Just as soon as they rise from oblivion, obscurity, and irrelevance.