Tim Cook has proven himself a capable leader thus far, steering Apple successfully through the death of their beloved leader and onward through to his first major product releases while at the helm. Wednesday’s event made no mention of Steve Jobs but yet his fingerprints were all over it.
Even beyond the format of the launch which included Cook delivering opening remarks, introductions and conclusions while handing off the microphone now and then to other senior executives to let them do their thing (all of which danced to a beat that Steve Jobs orchestrated), Cook ensured that Apple delivered the next generation of innovation just as Jobs envisioned.
So what of the products released today? Would Jobs have been pleased and proud? Can his signature still be seen and recognized?
It seems obvious that the latest Apple TV shows a product in transition. It feels very much like a stepping stone. By bringing a faster processor and upgraded interface to their television solution, Apple has kept their device current and evolved it to the point where it can hang on in the market long enough to wait for the elegant and remarkable something that Jobs had in mind when he told biographer Walter Isaacson that he “finally cracked it.”
Would Jobs have released the Apple TV now or waited until he had the full impact of whatever television revolution the company has coming? He likely would have, because he saw this device as a “hobby” that Apple can use to keep their feet inside the media streaming game while they mastermind and perfect the real deal. Think of this as the Apple TV-S.
The upgrades to the iPad are all rather significant. With double the resolution, huge increases in processing power and a fantastic new camera, the third generation iPad has stayed ahead of the curve; but yet the launch itself seemed a little bit hesitant and underwhelming somehow. There were no surprises. There was no jaw-dropping moment. The only excuse Jobs would accept for this lack of wow-factor is that this intermediate step is required to transition Apple into a product so different that stability and security require it.
Did Apple release the iPad before they were ready? Where is Jony Ives and what has he been doing lately behind the tinted windows of his Apple design studio?
Apple did well today. Apple provided solid upgrades to already solid products that ensured they will remain at the top, but they didn’t show any renewed vision or innovation. So if we give Cook a pass for now, the real trial will come soon… they are going to need game-changers with the iPhone 5 and iPad 4.