What Apple CEO Tim Cook means when he promises significant iPad innovation

“On July 22, during Apple’s third-quarter earnings report, CEO Tim Cook responded to a question by Bill Schope of Goldman Sachs about the long-term market for the iPad, competitive landscape, and the next driver for renewed growth,” John Martellaro writes for TheStreet. “Cook said: ‘We feel that there is significant innovation that can be brought.'”

“On hearing that, it’s easy to jump to conclusions. It’s always tempting to think in the short term, with high hopes, even when an Apple CEO is talking about the long-term competitive landscape. Cook often speaks in a code that must be interpreted,” Martellaro writes. “As we’ve seen, iPad technology development has moved along incrementally, and so Cook is really suggesting that significant innovation will take time. Apple’s powerful ability to develop technology incrementally will accumulate and pay off in the long run.”

“The point here is that when we finally see the iPad Air 2, with incremental improvements, we shouldn’t reel back in horror that it is incapable of striking a mortal, technical blow to the competition. What’s important is the additive effect of gradual innovations over the long term — when done right,” Martellaro writes. “What’s more important than whether any single feature makes it into the blend is the aggregate effect.”

Read more in the full article here.

27 Comments

  1. “Cook often speaks in a code that must be interpreted …” Here you go: “great products in the pipeline” means ordinary updates, tweaks, and restyling of icons. But, when he appears on that Apple stage, the audience of the world’s most famous lemmings, whoops and hollers like there’s going to be something special to show off. Alas, we get the show but little substance. As long as the audience there and here keep celebrating mediocrity, that’s what we are going to get from the hapless Mr. Cook who has absolutely no motivation to do more.

    1. There is nothing ordinary or incremental about the iPhone 6. The crowd won’t be cheering mediocrity but the stirring evolution of a product that represents the apex of art and technology.

    2. @Jay Morrison: You are so amazingly clueless.

      Mediocrity? You must mean:
      – the only smartphone with a true 64-bit processor running a true 64-bit operating system
      – the only smartphone with a touch ID system that actually works
      – the only company offering both a mobile OS and desktop OS that have deep integration with each other, offering features such as Handoff and Continuity.
      – the enhancement of arguably the best software development platform in the world (Xcode) with a new coding language – Swift – that has been nearly universally praised
      – the capacity to offer the support of arguably the best enterprise organization in the world – IBM – for your mobile device applications.

      I’ll tell you what is really mediocre: You, JM. You bring an utter lack of depth to the role of a troll.

      I really miss ZuneTang…

      1. Zune Thang was funny. Updates on what he was saving his points for, his squirt adventures, lunches with his IT friends, the ultimate demise of the iPod, the toilet bowl picture MDN used to post. Classics.

        That makes Jays’ point about lemmings pretty relevant. I mean come on, what have we done at MDN as Mac fanbois, lemmings and such to innovate a handle like Zune Thang since his demise?

        Nada.

        We’ve become complacent. Now if we had someone with a handle like “Surface Sinker” or better yet “Surface Floater” we might have something going again.

        Meanwhile, we’ll have to deal with Jay, and face it, he’s a far cry from Zune Thang.

          1. Yeah BLN was good, and there is also first 20xx then 20xx with the political slant. 3l3ctro I haven’t seen but he’s probably away from the computer for the summer.
            Dare I say that botvinnikie does at times have some humor to him.

            Yet they are a far cry from Zune Thang.

            You never no, Son of Samsung might show up, or Glasshole. Gosh who can resist such tasty trollish handles.

    3. iPhone 6, Yosemite (much more than just new icons) with Continuity, Swift, Apple-IBM partnership, CarPlay, HealthKit, Everything Apple produces is a “product,” it’s not just hardware.

      Jay, you ignorant _ _ _ _ !

    4. You sound like most of the fund managers out there. They don’t see anything special about the iPhone, either. Most seem to believe that the iPhone can be easily replaced by Android smartphones costing half or one-third the price. You’re not alone in claiming Apple has lost all innovation but no one seems to point out what they consider innovation. Maybe they mean higher specs but I’m not quite sure.

      I’m not even sure most consumers demand that from Apple. I think most Apple-purchasing consumers simply want reliable, easy-to-use products. One thing I’m sure of is that the world of consumerism is not driven by a bunch of tech-heads crying out for some vague leaps of innovation. If some technical leap comes along, all well and good, but the average consumer doesn’t demand it to be that way.

      Most of the appliances we use today haven’t changed that much over the last 50 years. Yeah, they look a little shinier and they’ve got updated controls but they don’t necessarily work all that much better. If those things that most people use on a daily basis haven’t changed that much over the years, why should smartphones or tablets require a leap in technical innovation every year or so.

      As I’ve worked in the computer industry since the 1980’s I’ve never expected huge technical leaps. I’m happy just to get decent tweaks or minor upgrades. That sort of stuff can really go a long way to make things easier on a day-to-day basis. Why should Apple be that much different from any other company if Tim Cook says there are great products in the pipeline? I believe Apple products are already great and if they get a little bit better, that’s fine with me.

    5. Can you believe this tired old ‘Jay Morrison’ (anonymous coward) moniker is still being foisted around here? Stunning stupidity by whoever keeps using it. It’s a TROLL MARKER. You’d think they’d have noticed by now.

      Always a joy to dump on you ‘Jay’.

    6. In small doses, you can actually be a little amusing, Jay Morrison. The fact is, Apple could stop product development for years and still be ahead of its competition. Not so many years ago, neither the iPad nor the iPhone existed. Then everything changed…because of Apple. What makes you think that Apple can’t do that again? Perhaps a better question, why would people think that some other company is somehow better positioned to lead innovation in consumer electronics.

      In horse racing, you “go with the horse than brung ya’.” And if that horse has already won a triple crown, you become a legend. Apple is already a legend several times over. But the story has not ended.

    7. So just keep buying the shitty plastic Android objects that you so clearly admire, fuck off and stop annoying us on here.
      Your continual whining is about as welcome as a room full of Mosquitos.
      Jackass.

    8. Yes, the Apple faithful whoop and holler at every improvement whether incremental or revolutionary.

      Whaaat, do you expect them to boo?

      That said, I agree with your main point. TC promised amazing products in 2014 and it is 7.45 months in and nada.

      Dumbing down stylized icons and linking iOS with OSX is not what I call amazing. Microsoft and Android have done both and it looks like the last few years Apple has been following the lead of others instead of leading. No large screen iPhone is another example.

      Unlike all your posts, I’m going to wait until the end of the year after fall products are out, to judge if TC has the moxie.

      I vehemently disagree Ive should go. Do agree he should pick up his colored pencils and stay far away from professional graphic design. But hardware design there is no one better.

    1. The first paragraph is word for word identical to a slam article at Forbes by a different paid shill. They’re not even putting any effort into hiding the fact that they are trying to drive the stock price down.

  2. It is so apparent that Apple does not NEED to strike a mortal blow, the competition is more than capable of doing that to themselves. As far as a technical blow, if stuck the competition will just copy (except it seems for 64 bit mobile processors and really cool touch id systems).

  3. Currently, judging from rafts of Apple patents during the Cook era, there is a huge amount of new technology maturing in the wings. Typical of Apple, they’re waiting until they perfect the recipe before expecting anyone to consume it.

    Meanwhile, the greasy half-baked crap continues being foisted, dying in the market, by lesser companies. I’m not buying it! No way.

  4. The long delay in the “incremental updates” to some Apple products and the “once annual” model for iPhone refreshes as well are financial GENIUS as Apple sees it. However to many impatient types who always want today the latest and greatest ideas immediately 3D printed and functionally perfect … well Apple’s pace is a frustrating model they don’t like !!! Uh … I am one of them? Yup, some days I can’t STAND THE WAIT … other days I’m glad that my year old 5s iPhone is still the heat and not obsolete 30 – 90 days after release. My 2001 Camry and my 2011 Tundra CrewMax are both still as good as any vehicle on the road today although missing a bell or whistle to be sure. Quality and durability take years to developed and patience to wait for. Bring on the iPhone 6, iOS 8, and the mysterious “”” iwatch “”” … I’m ready to be satisfied once again 😉

    1. Yes, it would be much better to release 3-4 “new” iPhones during the year like Samsung does with its Galaxy phones, so that journalists don’t really know what model phone they are reviewing, what is different, how to work it, etc.

      That would be so much better. Then we wouldn’t have 6 months of fuzzy photos from anonymous Chinese sources purporting to show us the next iPhone.

      Yes, much better indeed.

      /s

  5. The iPad is a best-in-class product and is priced as that. What Apple needs to do is figure out how to build an iPad that is of the same great quality we expect, but at a significantly lower price. It’s possible the innovation he’s talking about is aimed at doing that. If it were cheaper, people would be more likely to replace the iPad more often. I think they’ve achieved sufficient battery life, screen quality and thinness. Now they need to conquer the price. It annoys me when people ask me what tablet they should get and I say “iPad.” They say “I can’t afford that.” So I suggest the Kindle Fire, which is not as good. But it’s “good enough” and much cheaper.

  6. Bollocks. The main problem with the iPad (and tablets in general) is that people do not know how to use them properly. Let me explain.

    Is anyone old enough to remember when the PC was invented? For years, people only used PCs as (very) expensive typewriters, calculators and video game consoles because those were the devices that they were familiar with. It took time before people started to actually use a computer as a different piece of technology, and a lot of that was due to people who grew up with computers finally writing good software for them.

    The world wide web/web browser? Ditto. When it was first invented, people used it as an electronic newspaper and online file system or a virtual way to access and represent PC software mostly. It was years before people figured out how to use it as technology on its own, and again that happened when people who grew up using browsers developing web-based applications (which is why so many breakthroughs and startups were literally the work of high school and college kids in their bedrooms and dorms who were innovating client side web programming while their professors were still writing bloated PC software).

    So right now, sure mobile devices exist, but people are still using them like they are small PCs, even down to the virtual touchscreen keyboard. Most “mobile apps” are actually adaptations of PC software. It is going to be awhile yet before people start using them to be the totally different technology that they are, and again it is going to be due to kids growing up around tablets and smartphones now (many of whom do not even like PCs or laptops) creating software for them when iPads will actually start being used.

    I mean seriously, look at wearables like the smart watch. This is their second year on the market, and they are still just small smartphones, which themselves are small computers. The first apps to be available in the Android Wear store? CALCULATORS! FITNESS TRACKERS! (Oh, and interfaces to smartphone apps, which themselves are shrunken versions of PC software, or are interfaces to web applications designed for PCs.) It is going to be several years before kids who haven’t grown up with their minds’ dominated by PC-centric thinking before we start to get the first really useful wearable software (which is when wearables will then actually start to sell).

  7. Tim Cook is treading water. He is coasting on the reputation of Steve Job’s Apple. Tim Cook’s Apple is sliding into mediocrity. The “advances” Apple announces now are boring, bland, tasteless. Their ads represent how much Apple is rotting at its core. If Tim Cook truly cared about Apple, he would step aside, along with Ive, and let a real leader take the reigns. Instead, they want “collaboration” aka, design by committee. The very thing Steve was opposed to. High profile long time Apple employees are jumping from a sinking ship. Apple is now run by a bunch of yes people who rubber stamp the worst of the worst ideas. Sure, they will make money hand over fist, Microsoft did the same thing, doesn’t mean the company is managed well.

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