A Journal of Musical Things5 Ways Apple Will Innovate Itself Out of Its Current Stock Funk » A Journal of Musical Things
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Published on December 23rd, 2012 | by Alan Cross

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5 Ways Apple Will Innovate Itself Out of Its Current Stock Funk

Apple is facing market criticism, saying that they’ve reached the end of the line and will not be able to innovate themselves out of their current stock funk.  

I think that sells Apple short.  Yes, things will plateu with smart phones, tablets and computers, but the company has hardly been sitting around counting its mountains of money.  Here are just some areas where Apple might end up disrupting things:

1.  Cash registers:  Been to an Apple store recently?  Cash registers and check-out lines are gone.  All you need to do is (a) walk up to an associate and they will accept your payment using a modified iPhone. Or you can just walk in with your Apple Store app, make your purchase and payment yourself and walk out.

2.  Automobile infotainment systems:  As I was driving home yesterday, I decided I needed to know the weather forecast.  I instinctively reached forward to touch the icon on my nav display–except that it wasn’t there, of course.  I can’t wait for the day when the apps on my iPhone are duplicated on a display in my dashboard.  Apple started hiring automotive engineers last year.  What are they working on? 

3.  An Apple TV:  We’ve been hearing this one for a couple of years now.  It’ll happen in some form as long as deals can be made with content providers and cable companies.

4.  Streaming music service:  It’ll happen in 2013.  They just have to conclude negotiations with labels and publishers.

5.  Home automation:  I have a home automation system called Control4 which links together my TV, audio and HVAC.  It was pretty cool stuff five years ago when I first installed it but frankly, it’s feeling a little long in the tooth.  That’s why this story about Apple perhaps buying a home automation company called R2 Studios caught my eye.

Don’t count out Apple.  They’ll do something new and cool.  Eventually.


About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.



One Response to 5 Ways Apple Will Innovate Itself Out of Its Current Stock Funk

  1. JC says:

    One can argue forever about this, but I think they had their shot, made craploads of money, and while they'll be around for some time, will fade. Somewhat like what Sony is starting to do now, and arguably Microsoft over the next decade. Lots of flat launches, misfires, misreadings of the market. A company isn't a person, they aren't your old pal who could always be relied upon to come through in the punch, they're a changing collection of people making constant decisions in a constantly changing market. There's always ebb and flow, they used to have a dictatorial leader who is now gone and internally the struggle for power has started, and there have been plenty of times they've screwed up in the past, media journalists just have a short memory with Apple. Like Sony with the Walkman and Microsoft with the huge desktop penetration they are comfortable with the power and relative safety that brings, but Walkmans die away and suddenly desktop penetration isn't quite as important as it was as mobile computing becomes a reality, and in their case, thanks Apple but instead of two products at a fixed high end point we've arrived at the point of 'good enough' with this tech and the world demands more variety.

    Whew, this is good coffee! :-)

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