The news is abuzz about Apple’s latest forays into new products. It’s not enough that we heard that Apple’s retail stores would be utter failures and shuttered within a couple of years, but we heard pundits and market prognosticators tell us the iPod was too expensive, that iTunes Music Store was doomed because it didn’t run on Windows, that the Mac’s switch to Intel was proof Apple was about to go under, that the iPhone was an expensive bauble that would never catch on, and that the iPad was merely a large iPhone without a phone and would be priced at about $1,000 (it started at half that price, and remains Apple’s most successful new product launch).
With all that history going against those who predict the future you would think a lesson or two would have been learned by now. Yes, Apple is an audacious company that does not deserve to exist because it does not play by the same rules as most technology companies. Yet, here it is, the most successful technology company in history with riches beyond competitors combined, over half a billion happy customers, and a few new tricks to set critic’s hair on fire. Again.
Apple Watch is due to hit the streets in a couple of months and it’s already been called a flop. The rumor mill is working overtime manufacturing hype and cranking out news that Apple is working on an electric car; news that is referred to by those who think they’re in the know as ‘hot air.’
In short, Apple Watch will flop, and Apple Car is nonsense.
History since the second coming of Steve Jobs should tell us that Apple views the world differently than most technology companies, and that view has paid off handsomely. Watch will be labeled a ‘flop’ because it’s not going to have the same success as the iPhone. Sorry. That’s just math since a Watch requires an iPhone. That does not mean it will not be a successful product because Apple has a history of cobbling together features and functions in ways that competitors haven’t fully understood, that critics do not initially appreciate, but that customers come to love.
Could Apple put the same kind of magic into the automobile?
Why not? Cars today are computers and sensors on wheels and Apple has the technical chops and the money to pull together all the resources necessary to design, develop, and manufacture a variety of new era transportation devices (I’m think self-driving electric vehicles with extended range, low maintenance, and plenty of creature comforts). A new automobile factory costs a few billion dollars. Pffft! Apple lost more money than that last quarter on currency exchange rates. Engineering talent, monetary resources, and design capabilities are not the issue here.
One must ask ‘Why?’
The answer to that is more obvious than mere profits. Apple has always been, even somewhat during Steve Jobs years in the wilderness of NeXT and Pixar, and certainly since, an audacious company. If any company can figure out the right combination of technology and design to move the automobile into the 21st century, it’s Apple.