I just read David Smith's ReadWrite Article, Why Apple's iPad May Have Peaked. Many readers know that I have a long history with Apple and did work with Tim Cook when I was director of Apple federal sales team. I have also credited Tim with being one of the three people who helped to save Apple. Almost exaclty two years ago I said that Tim Cook might be the right person for Apple.
Unfortunately in the two years since I wrote that I have seen little evidence that Tim is the guy who can take Apple to the next level. I was very disappointed that Tim basically blamed changes in channel inventory for the iPad's disappointing results. The arguments are weak and typically would have been dismissed not very pleasantly in a Jobs led Apple.
Most people think Apple's success hinges on making great products, but Apple's got where it is by defining new categories and changing the way we interact with devices. Since Tim Cook has been at the helm, Apple has fallen into the game of trying to beat other devices on specifications. There have been no new categories.
Steve Jobs always said that trying to out spec another manufacturer was a losing battle. What we have seen under Tim Cook basically proves that Steve was right. Retina displays and the thinnest and lightest computers provide only a momentary victory because other manufacturers quickly catch up and pass you.
Tim Cook is a numbers guy. There is nothing wrong with that, but his leadership has yet to to inspire the rest of Apple to find the next great thing which helps redefine computing. Apple is a money machine and certainly is not going to disappear, but the disappointing iPad results are a clear warning that the mother ship definitely needs some attention.
The reality is that Amazon and others have products out there that cost less and have arguably better specs than the iPad. Others are eating the iPad's lunch and it is not a light channel inventory that is responsible for weak iPad numbers.
Unfortunately Apple's top down culture might need to be turned upside down before the next great thing can come out of Apple.
That is my nickel view on Apple from North Carolina's Crystal Coast.