Investors and customers yearn for an Apple iThingamajig

“Let’s play a little game,” Nick Bilton writes for The New York Times. “If you were Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, and you could have any gadget in the world that you wanted, what would it be? Forget that such a gadget doesn’t exist yet. Remember, you’re the chief executive. of Apple — you can just pick up your iPhone 10, scroll down to Jony Ive’s number and tell him to build you an iThingamajig.”

“So, what is it? A new iPhone with a double-sided screen? A 160-inch Apple television? (Too small? Maybe 260 inches?) An iWatch? Maybe you want an Apple-branded car?” Bilton asks.

“I’m sure we could play this game till the iCows come home,” Bilton writes. “Meanwhile, a lot of investors seem to be asking themselves this question, especially after Apple’s earnings report on Monday… Investors also exited the stock this week for another reason. Wall Street, and customers, have been waiting and waiting and waiting for an entirely new product category from Apple. You know, an iThingamajig.”

“In March 2012, Mr. Cook said Apple’s pipeline was ‘full of stuff.’ In May 2012, he said ‘the juices are flowing,’ at Apple and ‘we have some incredible things coming out.’ Then in an April 2013 earnings call, Mr. Cook said that there was ‘the potential of exciting new product categories,’ and that ‘we’ve got a lot more surprises in the works.’ Again this week he promised a new product category,” Bilton writes. “But we still haven’t seen it. It’s like listening to your friend at the bar say he can pop a beer cap off with his teeth, but he keeps using a bottle opener.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Tim, have we got a fable for you: The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

Just kidding! A little birdy keeps telling us with ever-increasing urgency that something is definitely coming – and sooner than later.

Patience, padawans. Not much longer now.

• iPhone was released 5 years, 7 months, and 19 days after iPod.
• iPad was released 2 years, 9 months, and 5 days after iPhone.
• Tim Cook has been Apple CEO for 2 years, 5 months, and 8 days.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. After the iPod was released, rapid improvements were implemented, and derivative model iPods arrived regularly. The iTunes Store grew dramatically, and Apple had those great Hodgman/Long ads that illustrated to people how the Apple ecosystem and products worked better. Several Macs were released in that period with game-changing build quality and performance. That’s why the time between the iPod and the iPhone was just a blink. Everyone was pleased with Apple’s passion for improvement.

    The iPad release was quick because it is a derivative product, the underlying technologies and software were already in place. It happened quickly without any strong leadership required.

    With a couple exceptions, Tim Cook has done nothing but predictable product refreshes that were long overdue anyway. He has less than a year to release something truly new, or Apple will see even more investors leave. Apple TV, the Mac mini, the whole range of iPods, and much Apple software all need significant updates. More derivative iPhones can’t come soon enough. Apple can’t expect to be considered “Premium” when it falls behind. When the world tells you that a 5″ phone is what they want, then get off your asses and offer them one, Cook. When users complain about iOS7, don’t just shrug and say change is tough — address their legitimate concerns! Cook seems deaf to his users.

    Fact is, in many product categories, Apple sales growth is little better than population growth. So “record sales” doesn’t mean much. Cook flubbed the iPhone strategy, he’s not executing any Apple TV strategy, and he’s done a crappy job growing the Mac division. Compared to the competition, Apple is not moving as assertively, and the only possible explanation is Cook’s weak leadership.

    1. When has Apple EVER released a product that SOME users didn’t complain about? NEVER. It seems more prevalent in this day and age because everybody and their brother have an opinion about Apple and are blogging it. Most of those people are usually whiners and complainers – you know the old saying, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

      I’m assuming you have many years of experience in developing products? You know they could actually be coming out with something that is truly revolutionary and they’re waiting for all the pieces to come together; hardware, software, backend infrastructure, licensing, etc.

      1. Interesting commentary but I don’t see how your points conflict with mine. MDN boards are chock full of reasonable requests for Apple product improvements. Read for yourself instead of criticizing me.

  2. Can we find Tim’s actual quote. Because I’m almost positive he said all the good things that were coming was going to be fall 2013 and all of 2014.

    He clearly thought a plastic iPhone and the Mac Pro were the fall innovations. He still has all of 2014 left.

  3. I’ll continue to predict that Pono will be incorporated into some Apple hardware device. How about expanding an AppleTV model to incorporate Pono? Pono either is, or is not the next big thing. We shall see.

    1. Walter aka Neil Young.. nice try!

      I don’t see how Apple needs Pono. Apple moving to lossless audio codecs seems well within their capabilities technically. It currently seems more of a licensing issue and file size considerations at this point.

      It would be nice to see Apple truly make great products (like they say they want to) by never selling an iOS device below the 32GB threshold as a minimum. In the iPod realm, the classic model has 160GB. The flagship iPod touch maxes out at 64GB. Unlike the iPod classic, we are now also using apps that can take up huge amounts of space on our iPod touches and iPhones. There should have been a 128GB model years ago, and we should have a 256GB option by now rendering the iPod classic model EOL’d.

      The lossless audio codecs will make sense if Apple can break the 128GB barrier, and stop insulting it’s customers with iOS devices with 16GB capacities or less.

  4. Family vacation. Dad drives from Florida to Yellow Stone.

    Kids ask, rightly so, “Are we there yet?” The thing is, they are still in Florida. Dad says, “Almost” And this goes on and on.


    So the issue is, we know what it takes to make new products and new categories. However stop leading us on. Tell us, “We plan on coming out with something, I can’t tell you what it is or when, but we are working hard on new ideas.”

    MDN, makes a good point, there are lulls between new product categories. I say, tell the kids to be patient, and good things will come. In the mean time, watch this video or play this game.

  5. Here’s a hypothesis:

    Wall-Nut Street is so strung out on cocaine, meth, whatever, that it treats the world like it owes them a high.

    So dammit Apple! Get Me High!

    IOW: Drug addict mania.

    And I wish I could say I was joking. Knowing someone who is indeed a coke addict, I’m kind of afraid I’m correct.

  6. It’s like listening to your friend at the bar say he can pop a beer cap off with his teeth, but he keeps using a bottle opener.

    ~So listen you here Timothy Cook! You STOP enabling our drug habit and tell us you’re going to be BORING from now on, DAMMIT! Gawd how I hate suspense and anticipation.~


Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.