You aren’t cleverer than Tim Cook. Neither am I.
When it comes to business and, specifically, the business of selling consumer technology, Tim Cook is in the top 0.1 percent of people. He’s not Steve Jobs but he is Steve Jobs’ chosen heir.
In that context, the eye-rolling about Apple’s announcements yesterday can feel plain wrong. Holly Brockwell articulated the opposing view in a really funny piece but I disagree with her.
The usual charge is being levelled, namely that Apple just invented technology that already existed and claimed that it has changed everything with features that have been found on Android phones for yonks and even – shock, horror! – BlackBerry devices.
But hyperbole aside, Apple isn’t saying it invented the long press with 3D Touch but rather that it thinks it has created the best implementation of that feature.
Similarly, yes, it’s true there have been apps on TVs for a very long time but the point is that Apple introducing a new version of the Apple TV with universal apps that carry across from the iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch means huge scale and uptake.
Finally, the new iPhones fit into Apple’s so-called ‘tick tock’ design schedule – big redesigns one year, iteration and improvement the next – which has left obsessive fans and observers a little bored. We know how the company will work.
Hopefully with the next generation of iPhone, Apple will do as it has done with the iPad and ditch the number designations entirely: “Here’s the new iPhone. It’s called… iPhone.”
Ultimately, Apple’s innovative spirit has never been purely in inventing new features but in creating new ways for those features to be deployed and placing them within new hardware that, to those who love it, feels more integrated and smooth than other options.
The iPod was not the first MP3 player. The iPhone was not the first smartphone… and so on.
“New” and “improved” might be familiar bedfellows but they don’t automatically have to go together. Apple cares about making products it thinks are the best, not really about being the master of ‘new.’
The chatter about changing the world? It’s marketing.