NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- When Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) Phil Schiller spewed Can't innovate any more, my ass at this year's Worldwide Developer's Conference, I came out against his defensiveness. Because, as I explained Monday morning at TheStreet, if you're not concerned about Apple's ability to innovate in a post-Steve Jobs world, they should be waiting for you at Bellevue with their oxygen masks.
(Go ahead, Google that fine piece of lyrical gold).
Schiller simply misplaced his anger. With iTunes Radio, Apple is absolutely not innovating; it's knocking off Pandora (P - Get Report). And, while you can technically call it "innovation," the new Mac Pro computer, as incredible as it is, means little, if anything, in the consumer (or even business) marketplace. Certainly, you can make the case that Apple should and needs to do these things, but the Internet radio thing isn't innovative and the computer that could double as a generator is innovation in a vacuum.
I would much rather have seen Schiller level with people. Sort of like Tim Cook did when he said Apple will never make "crappy products."(My, what crude language out of the mouths of these Apple executives). Second link, first paragraph. The data's in there. The media is lying to you. Or, at the very least, it's not reporting a complete story. In the U.S. smartphone market, iOS is the only platform that gained market share in the most recent reporting period, according to comScore. Apple's down a couple percentage points as an OEM, but still miles ahead of No. 2 Samsung, even though it hasn't had a new phone in what feels like ages (until last week). The fact is that Apple doesn't need to wow consumers with iPhone. It has already accomplished that millions of times over. Luxury brands, particularly automakers such as BMW and Mercedes, don't have to keep wowing people. They have hooked a strong core of consumers who upgrade their motor vehicle every so often. The new 7-Series doesn't necessarily come with revolutionary enhancements; they're most always evolutionary. And, until Tesla Motors (TSLA - Get Report) came along, there wasn't much meaningful challenge to that strategy. Not to say that BMW, Mercedes and others should stand still, but Tesla, as great as it is, remains a regional phenomenon. With this analogy, I don't mean to say Apple should stand still. Absolutely not. But it does not need to, nor should it make anything but incremental upgrades to its existing pipeline of best-selling iPhones and iPads. Even if a Tesla-equivalent came along in the smartphone world (#lolz to the notion that one exists), Apple should not change course. Unlike its competitors, Apple has hit it big -- they have products that stand the test of the upgrade cycle. Loads of folks who passed on the iPhone 5 are now free to pick up a 5s. And, next year, people like me, saddled with one year remaining on an iPhone 5 contract, will be able to pick up an iPhone 6, penalty-free. I'm not quite sure why so many people expect Apple to mess with a winner at the same time as the critics attempt to, disingenuously, brand it a loser. For the umpteenth time, Apple does need to step up its game. It needs to focus on keeping the halo effect alive. That will happen with a new product that complements what already exists, both inside and outside of Apple's wide-ranging ecosystem. Follow @rocco_thestreet -- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.
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