“At the start of the month I discussed five key features of the iPad Mini launch that would define Tim Cook’s Apple and illustrate the strategic direction that Apple would be taking in 2013 and beyond under his leadership,” Ewan Spence writes for Forbes. “Now the details are confirmed, let’s revisit them.”

“Before I do, a quick thought. There’s no doubt in my mind that short-term the iPad Mini is going to be a hit, sell by the millions, and be the must have gadget for Christmas 2012. But selling lots of devices is the result of a strategy, not a strategy itself. Apple’s long-term health is just as important as the sales figures on the new hardware,” Spence writes. “Historically the decisions and choices that eventually damaged weakened companies like Nokia, Kodak, and Sony all took place while sales were good and the corporate outlook was optimistic. Will Apple continue to grow and innovate? That’s what I want to look, rather than quantifying the upcoming success of the iPad Mini.”

“You always believed that Steve Jobs could do something special when he led Apple. I saw nothing at this week’s events that led me to believe that Tim Cook has that spark to lead Apple onwards to something truly new and different,” Spence writes. “Apple will continue to sell hardware by the metric tonne, the company will continue to be one of the biggest companies in the world, but I can’t see any impetus for change. It’s the same product line-up, slightly better, still with high margins, and trusting people to buy into the Apple story, shouting about short-term success…”

Spence writes, “If it were any other company, that would be enough, but Apple is not ‘any other company’, it’s Apple. It’s meant to be forward thinking, to be magical, to think different, to just work. Right now, it’s doing none of that.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: People who underestimate Tim Cook get iCal’ed for our future merriment.