Apple CEO Tim Cook still hasn’t introduced a mega-hit and investors are growing impatient

“Apple CEO Tim Cook still hasn’t introduced a mega-hit like the iPhone or iPad, and investors are growing impatient,” Kevin Kelleher reports for TIME Magazine. “Every time someone asks Apple CEO Tim Cook when the company’s next new products are coming, Cook assures them they’re just around the corner. It’s just that Apple, to maintain its competitive edge, refuses to tip its hand.”

‘When Apple announced its quarterly earnings last month, one analyst asked whether the company was in ‘a gap period’ in which new products aren’t quite ready,” Kelleher reports. “‘We have the strongest pipeline that we’ve ever had, and we’re really confident about the things in it,’ Cook replied. ‘But as usual, we’re not going to talk about what’s ahead.'”

“For some, Cook’s discreet act is starting to look old. Apple released the iPod in 2001, the iPhone six years later and the iPad three years after that. All three have defined or redefined their markets in ways that the Apple Watch or Apple TV haven’t. It’s coming up on seven years since the iPad was unveiled, and Apple doesn’t seem to have its next big hit ready for showtime

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Pipeline Tim.” That sticks until the vaunted pipeline actually delivers.

Until then, Apple has made a number of mistakes, all of which look like laziness from the outside, including:

• No new 4K-capable Apple TV for Christmas 2016 (this would have been so easy, it’s inexplicable and unforgivable not to have this on the market right now)

• No new iMac, Mac Pro, and or Mac mini for far, far too long

• No Apple skinny bundle(s) for Apple TV while other companies ink deals and announce launches – these customers will be tough for Apple to get back once lost, if they ever get the deals signed. (Perhaps, Tim, you need to hire better negotiator(s) who can get the ink? Or make an acquisition that reshapes the industry, causing them to line up to work with you?)

• Flagship iPhone launches without its flagship feature (Portrait mode) and is currently still only in “beta” (seriously?)

• Apple TV remote looks to have been “designed” by Steve Ballmer himself (If Steve wasn’t already dead, the Apple TV Remote would have killed him; he would’ve had an aneurysm the second the mockup was handed to him)

• No new iPads for Christmas 2016 (Even simply “refreshed” with current A-series processors would have created more sales)

These are a few of the reasons why Apple fans and investors are and should be concerned.

On occasion, Steve Jobs teased the product pipeline, too. The difference is that Steve Jobs repeatedly delivered.

P.S. Don’t forget to rate Apple CEO Tim Cook’s job performance in our poll!

67 Comments

  1. Mega-hits are hard to get. Apple really have only had the iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad in the last 20 years. That’s an average of 1 every 5 years. Others like MacOS and the dominance in mobile PCs are slow burners that sucked all the profit from the PC market for competitors.
    At this stage I would be happy to see Apple releasing updates on existing products in a timely manner. Letting MacPros, Minis, iMacs slide in updates does not help with sales. Even iPads got a basic update in Sept.

    1. MDN, lets add a couple more to the list:

      -Flagship iPhone launches and months later STILL doesn’t have AirPods available…or even an indication of an eff-ing shipping date. Just inexcusable.

      -Quietly kills off Airport hardware division without so much as giving customers heads up or alternatives. I guess I’ll be moving to Google WiFi devices in my home since the future of Apple Extreme is completely unknown. Are we to expect the same with the Mac lines? They’ll just quickly languish and eventually be killed off as well? Makes you head explode.

      -The fact that they choose to quietly let roadmap rumors and frustrations from their CUSTOMER base fester without showing some leadership and providing guidance and assurance is breathtakingly stupid. Everyone in PR knows you get ahead and own the conversation…not just remain silent. (Steve obviously understood this by the way he owned the Adobe Flash convo years ago.)

    2. MDN is correct. While, I do believe Apple has some exciting things in the pipeline, Cook is making a fundamental error in understand Steve Jobs: Perfection. Perfection is an unattainable absolute. It’s great perfect as much as one can but not at the expense of delivering. NEXT taught Steve had to deliver in a timely fashion or become irrelevant. Speed is power.

      Assuming amazing things are in the pipeline, two things need to change:

      1. Deliver the insanely great new products in a TMELY fashion, while perfecting as much as one can. That may mean a lot of incredible pressure and reality distortion, but it MUST be done. Slow equals dead. This does not mean deliver half baked products. The first iPhone was 2G and didn’t have cut and paste and other shortcomings but it was good enough. I know Cook thinks this is already being applied, but it has to be done much better and in a much more timely fashion. Floor the gas pedal.

      2. Keep old products on a regular update cycle, despite what’s in the pipeline. This is good business and respectful to loyalists who need their products to keep up with the competition. No excuse to lag on Macs and other devices because something new is coming. Refresh until the new ones are in the stores.

      Of course, this is assuming “insanely great” things are around the corner. Then a fix of these two areas and Apple will skyrocket.

      1. So, what you are insinuating, is that Apple do away with proper field testing & should cut out “unnecessary” safety checks of said products to beat the “competition” to market? BOY! Are you shortsighted. Take Note (7) what an extremely HOT product that became! Idiot.

        1. ‘Timely fashion’ does not mean ‘rushed’. It means managing your expectations and shipping product without unreliable features that can be ‘updated’ later if necessary.

    3. Well said, doggonetoo!

      And I would like to add a question for general consideration… “What other blockbuster consumer electronic products have been released by other companies in the past 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?

    4. Difficult to live on “Mega-Hits.” That implies only a few big companies survive if “Mega-Hits” is all that counts.

      Given the aging population, I would guess the next “Mega-Hit” for Apple could be the iHi Hearing Aid which takes orders from your iWatch & iPhone.

      1. Tried searching for “iHi Hearing Aid”. All I got were links to “Institute for Healthcare Improvement”. Can you provide a link for the product you are referencing?

  2. Apple under Cook has become Microsoft under Ballmer.

    Apple under Jobs looked for and took radical leaps as he said they skated to where the puck is going. Microsoft under Ballmer was all about iteration of existing product and copying what had already been done by others. That and having no focus.

    Apple has dropped the ball on the fast moving online video market to Netflix, Dish (Sling TV), Sony (Playstation), Roku, Google, Amazon and now AT&T (via Direct TV streaming). Even sluggard Comcast has greatly improved their streaming product and offerings. Meanwhile Apple has no streaming service and a player that is incapable of 4K Video- lots of 4k TVs will be under Christmas Trees this year and Apple has no product to play it in the living room.

    Apple Music is a failure- an abject failure- as over 800 million iTunes accounts have not translated into any significant number of rental customers despite billions invested and millions of free streaming trials. Pundits can polish the Turd Eddie Cue created when they bought Beats and renamed it Apple Music, but what fraction of iTunes accounts have actually signed up and kept the rental service?

    iCloud has aped the online Google Docs and castrated Pages, Keynote and Numbers to make the iOS and online versions align with the stronger Mac versions. I am not sure how taking features away makes a product better.

    They have abandoned the server market, the iPod, the Pro Software Market, the Workstation Market, the resale of Mac accessories at the Apple Store- oh, I’m Sorry Apple (the store). I can buy a fucking DJI Helicopter at the local Apple Store that is also available at sophisticated outlets like Wall-Mart, but cannot get a Thunderbolt Dock for my Mac.

    The fact is Apple does not have a clue as to what it is or wants to be. It obviously has no interest in selling computers to people or enterprise and seems like an also ran in online services. There is not one damn thing that distinguishes Apple’s current product line beyond being overpriced, underpowered and lacking on features.

    Phil Schiller can spin things and Gruber can regurgitate them, but Apple is becoming increasingly a one trick pony and the market for the iPhone is pretty damn well saturated. Most of the growth opportunities available are downmarket and dominated by Android devices.

    Apple has stuck it’s middle finger out to the Mac customer while chasing the Facebook and Snapchat crowd like an outsider Freshman trying to get a bid from a Fraternity. When Buffy and Biff decide to move on they are going to be fucked as they are overly dependent upon the iPhone and have left everything else to also ran status or killed it with neglect.

    Glad I stopped buying Apple stock a long time ago.

    1. Don’t forget that Balmer pushed through Windows 8 and the almost overnight conversion to touch screen computing. Most users rebelled and they backtracked with Windows 8.1 and 10, but Balmer took a HUGE gamble with Windows 8.
      Cook has taken no gambles. None. Zip. He’s got a steady hand on the tiller, taking the ship straight out to sea as it sinks lower and lower to the waterline.

      1. Well, in all fairness, Cook is making a big push on iCloud — trying to force it into every facet of computing on Macs and iPhones.
        Like Windows 8, iCloud is a big loser (BFL).

    2. To the down voters, exactly what part of the truth detailed bothered you most? The reality or the fact you disagree with anything not blindly pro Apple?

      One invests based upon hard numbers- not fandom. The real money to be made on Apple was between 2000 or so and when Apple split last. on January 2, 2000 a share equivalent of today’s Apple was $1.05 (adjusted for splits). Since then it is range bound.

      Apple has also went from debt free to heavily indebted and underperformed considering the massive waste of stock buybacks. Now it is a company with massive overhead and highly dependent upon on product. When the iPhone plays out Apple is in deep trouble.

      1. There is very likely just one single dipshit that is systematically down-voting others over and over again (and up-voting his own posts). Super lame troll.

        You can probably scroll thru all the comments and take a look at the posts that have a significant number of high vs. low votes and surmise who the ding-dong is.

            1. That seems to be more hassle than it’s worth. That person must really love or hate the poster to go through that for multiple votes. Good to know it’s possible though so the developers know what they are trying to fix.

  3. Tim Cook never possessed the requisite skills or character traits to successfully lead Apple.

    He’s not competent, he’s lazy, and he’s so greedy that he has robbed the Apple faithful of billions with unnecessary dongles that have become a huge revenue stream for him.

    He has systematically destroyed both Apple’s reputation and the worldwide value of AAPL. His only interest is the advancement of the gay lifestyle at the cost of Apple’s reputation.

    Cook (along with Cue, Ive and Schiller), should’ve been fired years ago. Investing in public telephones is a better investment than AAPL today.

    Thanks for nothing Tim Cook!

      1. Steve was credited w/ the magical/supernatural affect “The Apple Reality Distortion Field.” A bit of hyperbole and a bit of tongue in cheek, but history shows well, that what followed, often came to fruition. Tim’s statements on the other hand…. When he says “pipeline,” I’m starting to think IT’s the subject, not the things supposedly within. He’s been saying the same thing over and over and over again (years) with commonplace Apple results/releases.

          1. by extension…

            but, but….it doesn’t matter if he’s an incompetent, glorified Marxist traitor, Obama is The Great Black Hope, you racist!

            but, but….it doesn’t matter if she’s a criminal, psychotic Alinskyite globalist, Hillary is The Great Feminist Hope, you sexist peeg!

            In the real world, identity politics is impotent, in the real world you have to produce.

            1. Dr. Raymond Stantz: “Personally, I liked the university. They gave us money and facilities, we didn’t have to produce anything! You’ve never been out of college! You don’t know what it’s like out there! I’ve WORKED in the private sector. They expect ‘results’*.

    1. Cook is far from lazy. You can criticize decisions and the direction (or lack thereof) of Apple, but calling the man lazy is unfair and just plain stupid. His ridiculous work ethic is well publicized.

      As far as your complaint about AAPL, you are free to invest in whatever you want. If you own AAPL and are unhappy, you should sell. If you think the company is going in the wrong direction but continue to hold the shares and be pissed off you are making a mistake.

      1. Yeah, right, Cook’s not lazy. It takes hard work to:

        Release a crappy maps app with zero QA, because you work so damn hard

        Not update products for years

        Fail to put in features like 4K that users waited years for in ATV 4

        Not update Airport for years and then get rid of it altogether because you’re working so hard

        Update the one-port Macbook but fail to add another port because of your hard work ethic

        Discontinue the Mac Pro and the Mini, but because you are such a hard worker you don’t even bother to officially announce it

        Release slightly faster Macbooks (years later), with a few extra WORTHLESS USB-C ports, then call them Macbook Pros

        Remove the 3.5mm jack just to sell more adapters, because you work so hard at ripping off Apple consumers

        Cook works so hard that the iPhone 7 can’t natively plug into the sorry new so called Macbook Pro

        Thanks for your hard work, Tim Cook.

      2. im sure its not laziness… .. but it feels there is an air of complacency at Apple… maybe they are too close to the trees…maybe their ego is way overinflated..

        something is Amiss

  4. What Apple’s problem is that they don’t have any real competition from any other company. Companies like Microsoft, Samsung, and others copy from THEM.

    Apple has also forgotten a key area with young people – the iPod. It hasn’t seen a major update in years, and some of the newer ones will soon not be able to run the newer operating systems, such as iOS 10.x or iOS 11, so they will basically be dead in a year or so.

    1. The “key area with young people” is the iPod ONLY if you haven’t spent any time around actual young people in the last few years. 🙂 They’ve all got (or want) iPhones and iPads that happen to play music, too.

    2. Apple’s problem is not the lack of real competition, it’s the inability to see the competition. Other companies have advanced in areas outside of Apple’s immediate concentration and have succeeded in creating high hurdles for Apple to overcome once they realize that they may have missed ‘the next big thing’ and attempt to catch up.

  5. While the author mentioned the iPod as a major product release, I must point out that when the iPod was originally released it was considered an interesting curiosity that might see moderate sales. It was not a blockbuster at the start. Only when iTunes was ported to Windows did it begin to gain momentum. It took years of Apple nurturing the platform before iPod sales went supernova.

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