When Apple screws up, and the company does from time to time, I’ve never been afraid to both defend and criticize, depending upon the situation and visible public circumstances. Something caught my eye today which made me think Apple is on to something under Tim Cook’s leadership.
While it’s true that Apple sold over 9-million new iPhones during the launch weekend, it’s also true that the company included China and Japan as launch targets. What’s impressive about that is that Apple could build and ship millions of the iPhone models to a large number of countries. Within the next few weeks Apple will begin selling the new iPhones in over 40 additional countries all over the world.
Despite a few shortages here and there on specific models, Apple has ramped up manufacturing to cover more of the world’s markets, with more products, and in a shorter period of time. That’s no mean feat and you don’t hear Microsoft, Google, Samsung, or Amazon matching Apple’s launch capability.
That tells me that Tim Cook, the engineer in charge of making Apple’s train run on time, has improved Apple’s manufacturing and distribution.
Apple plans to launch the next generation of iPad models in a couple of weeks. Again, Apple watchers will want to see how many new models are available, how many countries get the new models, and how quickly Apple can roll out new iPads during the all important holiday shopping season. Let’s assume that Apple moves iPads the way they moved the new iPhones. What does that say?
It says Apple has become a machine. Not just a profit machine, but a design, manufacturing, and distribution machine of the highest order. The little engine that could, can, and does.
What else does Apple have in store for the remainder of 2013? On the official list is OS X 10.9 Mavericks (remember when we used to stand in line to get the next OS X version), a highly anticipated Mac Pro model, and probably an upgrade to the MacBook Pro line with new Intel CPUs and 802.11ac Wi-Fi to match the iMac and MacBook Air models.
In other words, Apple is moving plenty of new products through the pipeline– from design to manufacturing to distribution to customer– at a record pace.
Oddly, there hasn’t been a whisper about Apple’s iPod line other than a modest update to the iPod touch.
What’s next? My guess is we’ll need to be patient until early 2014 while Apple works diligently on the next insanely great thing– wearable technology. Hey, Apple has been on a hiring spree and brought in both engineers and apparel executives so something we can wear will have an Apple logo on it sometime next year.
The little engine that could has become a big, honking, beast of a machine that appears to be working very well these days.