Why Apple Does Not March to the Drumbeat of Wall Street

I just saw an absurd Fox headline that says “After iPhone: Pressure mounts on Apple to unveil the next ‘insanely great’ product.” Had these guys been following Apple even for a short time they would know that Apple does not release products under pressure and especially just because some Wall Street Analysts want them to rush a product to market so they can make more money off Apple.

All throughout Apple’s history the release of a product is driven by when all of the hardware, software and services align properly; then and only then will they release a product or service to delight their customers. Apple does not do vaporware. And as Tim Cook consistently tells reporters and analysts who ask probing questions knowing full well that Apple will not answer them, Apple lives to surprise and delight their customers and that will not change.

However, the idea of pushing Apple to create the next Insanely great product is redundant. Apple shook up the market with the original Mac. They introduced the first all in one’s followed by the iPod, iPhone and iPad. All of these were insanely great products and to think that Apple can’t do that again is short sighted. Cook has even hinted that they have some revolutionary things in the works and before Jobs died he even gave of some hints around TV and suggested Apple would “nail” the TV of the future.

Calling for Apple to move faster is just folly. Insanely great products take time. Sure they continue to evolve current products to advance them within their individual categories but before they enter any new category that could be disruptive Apple’s smart enough to get all of their ducks in a row first. An Apple official told me years ago that when Apple breaks new ground they want to make sure they have all the pieces in place to not only create a new market for a product but also to give them at least a two year lead on the competition so that they can secure their leadership position in any new category they enter. That has been the mantra since 2000 and I don’t believe that has changed.

Apple does not nor should not ever march to the drumbeat of Wall Street or media types that think pushing them to get the next insanely great product out fast just to appease their agenda is smart. Insanely great products take time and thankfully Apple is much smarter and wiser than Wall Street and the media combined.

I completely understand Wall St and all investors desire to see Apple grow. Growth is possible within Apple’s strategy but it will also require patience. Something I know many investors do not have. Ultimately, Apple did not meet the expectations of Wall St, a group that understand financial markets but not the trends in product markets. Apple is less interested in meeting investors expectations of them but more interested in meeting, and exceeding, their customers expectations of them.

Published by

Tim Bajarin

Tim Bajarin is the President of Creative Strategies, Inc. He is recognized as one of the leading industry consultants, analysts and futurists covering the field of personal computers and consumer technology. Mr. Bajarin has been with Creative Strategies since 1981 and has served as a consultant to most of the leading hardware and software vendors in the industry including IBM, Apple, Xerox, Compaq, Dell, AT&T, Microsoft, Polaroid, Lotus, Epson, Toshiba and numerous others.

2 thoughts on “Why Apple Does Not March to the Drumbeat of Wall Street”

  1. Good article. But the retina iPad mini has a volume problem via its speakers that is noticeable if you had the much louder original iPad mini. It’s also noticeably heavier. I returned both of mine and am sticking with the original until the next version, which I suspect will arrive in Q2.

    My point is that as with the iPad 3, Apple sometimes ships a less than perfect product for business reasons. When this occurs, it works hard to replace that product quickly.

  2. I find it funny how people forget recent history. People complain and moan that Apple hasn’t released a new revolutionary product ‘in a long time’. 1984, 2001, 2007, 2010. You could argue for a few other years, perhaps. It’s silly to expect a company to keep churning out hit product after hit product, though that’s what Apple clearly has done. Wall Street needs to wake up and stop focusing on Apple’s short term performance and start looking at Apple’s long term strategy. Otherwise, Apple the company will continue to operate independently of Apple the stock and in the end Wall Street will lose.

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