“Steve Jobs has been dead for about two and a half years now, and it’s hard not to notice that the regular parade of game-changing Apple products for which he was famous seems to have disappeared with him,” Walt Mossberg writes for Re/code. “Yes, Apple has announced some impressive features and design changes in the last couple of years. The iPhone has gained fingerprint recognition that actually works almost every time. The new iPad Air is has been made amazingly skinny and light, while actually increasing battery life.”
“And, yes, in the 2013 holiday season, the company once again set new sales records for iPhones and iPads, even as its share of the smartphone and tablet markets declined in the face of an onslaught of mostly inferior, but faster-selling, competitors from a host of companies using Google’s free Android operating system,” Mossberg writes. “But there have been no new game-changing products, the kind that establish whole new categories, or which finally get product categories right after others had attempted for years to do so. The last of these, the original iPad, was released four years ago this month.”
• 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, 7 months, and 30 days.
“Some have argued that Apple’s era of greatness is over, that with CEO Tim Cook sitting in Mr. Jobs’s chair, the magic is gone, and Apple is now, at best, just an ordinary company. Others have countered that, financially, Apple is still doing quite well, and that there’s no evidence that it’s out of ideas,” Mossberg writes. “But I think the most useful way of thinking about Apple is to see it as a movie studio. Studios release blockbuster franchise movies every few years, and then try to live off a series of sequels until the next big, successful franchise.”
“Steering the company through what must have been a tough transition in recent years, Cook has done just enough to keep his sequels appealing. I still believe that — when you combine hardware, software and the ecosystem — the iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air remain best-in-class,” Mossberg writes. “Sometime in the next six to eight months, I expect we’ll see if Cook is the kind of producer who grinds out too many sequels, or the kind who brings forth an original ‘Godfather’ or ‘Spider-Man.'”
Much more in the full article here.