Back in 2012, a few months after Steve Jobs died, newly crowned CEO Tim Cook told analysts that Apple had some amazing products in the pipeline. We waited until 2013 and Tim Cook said the same thing. Amazing products are coming. Now it’s 2014 and guess what? Tim Cook’s song is the same. Amazing products are coming.
Either Cook believes that products with modest upgrades constitute amazing products in the pipeline or he’s biding his time until the company’s inherent vision catches up with technological capability.
Apple hasn’t released a product roadmap and other than the Mac Pro, nothing really new and different since the iPad in 2010.
Are the products in Apple’s product pipeline for real?
The company that always seems to Think Different might be leaving clues. For example, Apple hired Angela Ahrendts, the famous Burberry’s chief, to run Apple’s retail stores. Think upscale retail. Apple hired Dr. Michael O’Reilly, former CMO and EVP of Medical Affairs at Masimo. Think health products. Former CEO of Yves Saint Laurent is now Apple’s VP of special projects. Think wearable devices. Apple also hired Ravi Narasimhan from a health sensor company, and Nancy Dougherty a highly touted engineer whose products include health monitoring equipment. Think medical devices.
It’s possible that all these hires are a smokescreen and Apple’s product pipeline is absolutely stark naked empty.
I don’t believe that for a New York minute.
Apple’s products fall into the affordable premium category, but are decidedly upscale from the riffraff of Samsung, Microsoft, Amazon, et al, so we should expect future products to be in the premium segment as well.
Wearable devices of all kinds come to mind, including the long awaited iWatch and iGlasses, but others like iMed could easily move Apple into the rapidly growing health products industry, a business segment where Apple can do what it does best– leveraged integration with other Apple products.
It doesn’t take much imagination to see that Apple’s future products are beginning to take shape. There’s visibility this year where there was only invisibility last year.