“The Apple of today hasn’t yet shown much indication of emulating its co-founder Steve Jobs and his streak of world-changing products, but it’s still proving a tough act to beat,” Michael Liedtke reports for The Associated Press. “The main reason: Before Jobs died in 2011, he left behind the iPhone — a product with such a devout following that it will likely spin off billions in profit for the foreseeable future. Even if Apple fails to come up with ‘the next iPhone,’ whatever that might be.”

“The Apple Watch, the only new device introduced during Cook’s reign, is the world’s best-selling smartwatch. Unfortunately, smartwatches just haven’t captured the public imagination the way the iPod, iPhone and iPad did during the decade leading up to Jobs’ death in 2011,” Liedtke reports. “Now online music steaming is turning the iPod into a relic, and the iPad’s sales have fallen for the past three years.”

“Those challenges prompted one shareholder speaking at Tuesday’s annual meeting to question whether Apple is losing its innovative touch. He said the company seemed to be doing a better job of ‘financial engineering’ — for instance, spending $47 billion buying back stock and paying shareholder dividends — than it is in coming up with new product ideas,” Liedtke reports. “Cook wasn’t on stage at the time that point was raised, but later in the meeting he pointed out that Apple still generates nearly 40 percent of its revenue from products other than the iPhone. ‘All of these are essential to Apple’s growth,’ Cook said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: For users, Apple Watch is indeed a very innovative product and now, with Series 2 and watchOS 3, it’s a product that’s out of beta and ready for all iPhone users. If Jobs were alive, this current Apple Watch would be close to the first version he deemed ready to release to the public, but, alas, Steve is gone, and so we had the unofficial public beta period (Series 0 and watchOS 1.0 and 2.0, which we wouldn’t have missed for the world).

Steve Jobs was unique, rare, and as irreplaceable as they come, but Apple has the capability to do it again, as they did with the Apple II, Macintosh, Newton, iMac, iPod, Mac OS X, iTunes Store, iPhone, iOS, iPad, Apple Watch, etc.

It may take time — and as with Apple Watch and the Newton, we the buying public may have to collectively help refine the product; doing the job Steve would have done behind-the-scenes — but Apple innovation will continue!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward W.” for the heads up.]