As an Apple fanboy I often get asked whether I’m worried about the future of the company. People will say things like ‘clearly they aren’t innovating anymore’. I call bullshit on that, and here’s why.
Apple has revolutionized several industries and somehow if they don’t keep revolutionizing a lot of people suddenly get bored. We want, or demand, another revolution at every Apple event, and when we don’t get one we are disappointed. Kinda like a spoiled kid that gets a car for their birthday and then complains about it being the wrong color.
Of course we also get disappointed when we DO get to see something new. When the iMac was introduced it was dismissed as a colorful toy that would never sell. When the iPod was introduced people called it uneventful and ‘just another MP3 player, and an expensive one at that’. When the iPhone was introduced competitors openly laughed out loud. The iPad? It was dismissed as ‘just a big iPod touch!’
Apple just can’t win with us.
If they don’t introduce something revolutionary, we complain.
If they do introduce something revolutionary, we also complain.
So is Apple behind on its next revolutionary product announcement? Let’s look at history – there have always been years between product introductions.
August 15, 1998: Apple announces the iMac. 3 years, 2 months, 7 days later: Apple introduces the first iPod, on October 22, 2001. 5 years, 8 months, 7 days later, on June 29, 2007: Apple introduces the first iPhone. 2 years, 9 months, 6 days later: Apple introduces the first iPad on April 3, 2010.
The last keynote was on September 10, 2013 which is exactly 3 years, 5 months, 9 days after the introduction of the first iPad.
In other words, there were more than three years between the iMac and the iPod. Almost six years between the iPod and the iPhone. Then almost three years between the iPhone and the iPad. And that was almost three years ago.
It took Apple almost six years to work up to the iPhone introduction. If the company wants to come up with an iWatch and revolutionized another industry I think it’s entitled to work on that for another year or so. We have been talking about the iWatch for, what, a year now? How about we give Apple a break and see what happens in the next two years? And if it hasn’t launched a new product by September 2017 then the only thing we can do is conclude it is taking longer than average with its next big thing.
Now stop complaining and enjoy what Apple has to offer today. Apple doesn’t owe you a revolutionary product and we certainly can’t expect them to give it to us any time soon.
For your entertainment, here’s a timeline of important Apple milestones from Wikipedia (click to zoom in):
Header image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images