Apple doesn't need a disruptive technology hit. They've got billions in the bank. Products that they can't keep enough of to satisfy demand. One of the most valuable companies in the world.
So they certainly don't need to be taking advice from a web designer and podcaster at this point in their company's life.
But I was thinking about what made me switch to the Mac and buy an eMac originally. And I think Apple does need that thing that makes you tell you friends about it. That helps separate them from the other options out there. I don't think they can just sit out the rest of the so-called PC wars because it's ending soon. There's still some money to be milked from the Mac.
The iLife suite isn't what it used to be - not to say that the software isn't great. iPhoto, iMovie, Garageband, and iTunes 1 are solid and work really well. But they're not a differentiator the way they used to be.
My Story as a Switcher permalink
I switched to the Mac because of iMovie and iPhoto. There was literally nothing like it on Windows. I'd still maintain that there's nothing as good, but that has a lot more to do with personal preference than arguable facts.
The iPad (and iOS platform in general) is certainly close to being that thing - and maybe it is. Maybe it's because of, not in spite of, Apple's success in getting the iPad into the hand(s) of so many people that there just isn't the opportunity to wow people anymore with how amazing iMovie is on the iPad.
I had this post sitting in draft and then ended up having a conversation on ADN with Neven Mrgan along similar lines.
The Future's Uncertain and the End is Always Near permalink
There's little on the horizon as a big thing that Apple needs to conquer or develop in the same way that the iPad's announcement and iPhone before that were. There were rumblings of something coming before we knew what the iPad or iPhone was going to be. Not just leaks but a general sentiment that Apple had something coming out.
These days I'm not sure what that might be. Depending on who you talk to an actual Apple TV might be that thing, or maybe smart watches2?
If history repeats itself, at least as far as Apple is concerned, then in a year or two from now we'll all be looking back and wondering how we could have lived without our Apple iToaster. Or Apple iBabysitter. Or maybe iHoverboard.
I'm just an Apple nerd who's curious what the conversation is like at Apple's R&D department these days.