Thursday, October 06, 2011

Financial and Tech Pundits Always Get IT Wrong

As stories about the succession at Apple have begun to build we have gotten a new line of discussion by "experts" who argue that Tim Cook is not Steve Jobs.  Well, duh.  At Tuesday's event he did not try to become Jobs.  (Although they both wear black shirts.)

One pundit on CNBC this morning droned on about the "pipeline" which would sustain Apple for a while and another yammered that the pipeline was short.   Most viewers of the announcement event earlier in the week where the 4S phone was announced panned it.

Let me explain why I would not be so quick to judge.  Apple did a couple of major things this week.  First, they did not announce a radical restructuring of the iPhone - although there are some very nice upgrades.   Second, they did some interesting strategic repricing.   Get a phone with monster memory for a smartphone and it costs you $400.   But get a phone two generations out with 8 GIGs of memory for free.  That sounds to me like the company gets where the market is moving.  And all of the current product line gets the upgrade of the operating system.

More importantly are the two products which I believe will be game changers.   First is reminders and Siri.  I have used the standalone SIRI app since it came out.  With the new features I think this will make my phone even more indispensable.   It is rarely away from me and now that will be even less.   Second, the camera - it looks like a major upgrade to the capabilities both in terms of resolution and other features.   Ditto for the stickiness of those changes.

Obviously, Tim Cook has his own style.  And we surely did not hear the "one thing more" riff that you expected from Steve Jobs' performances.  But what Tim Cook did was present, in my mind, a very credible case that Apple will continue to lead on portable devices.   When the first iPhone was about to come out some numbskull marketing expert from Wharton said the phone was "too expensive" and that it would never sell.   Let's wait and see how the first couple of days of pent up demand works out.  I will buy one tomorrow morning because those features and the extra memory seem well worth the price.

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