5 Truths That Explain Our Love-Hate Affair With Apple
Could it be that Apple’s best quarter ever—and the second most profitable in U.S. corporate history, at $13.1 billion—is a head-for-the-hills disaster? With margins declining and no imminent “insanely great” new products (as Steve Jobs liked to call them), has the age of Apple come abruptly to an end?
To understand what’s happening with Apple, it’s prudent to step back from the noise of Wall Street and recognize five essential truths about Apple’s success.
Truth No. 1: Apple has never been a nonstop, new-product machine.
Truth No. 2: The real driver of Apple’s success has been incremental innovation.
Truth No. 3: Apple’s distinctive reputation can hurt as much as help.
Truth No. 4: The legacy of Jobs is haunting the company.
Truth No. 5: Apple won’t give up the magic without a fight.
The question is whether Apple can defy the odds and retain its sorcerer’s hat or whether it will settle down into a life more ordinary. The latter has been the fate of tech stars before Apple (witness Microsoft) and since (witness Facebook). The transition would be a tough one for Apple; if it sheds its status as an agent of revolutionary change, there’s no telling how proponents—consumers and investors—will react.
[Photo Illustration by Joe Zeff Design]