The Macalope Daily: A broken clock

Now that Mike Elgan has finally woken up in 2011 and realized, “Hey! This Apple thing may actually take off!”, he’s decided to stop writing stupid pieces for Computerworld and instead write stupid pieces for Cult of Mac.

iPod. iPhone. iPad. Why Apple is Done Inventing New Devices. (Tip o’ the antlers to Shawn King.)

Most of Apple’s money comes from recently invented gadgets. More than two-thirds of Apple’s revenue comes from product types that didn’t even exist five years ago (iPhone and iPad). And 78% of Apple’s income is made by products unimaginable just ten years ago (throw in iPod and iTunes).

That means, in order to stay on the same growth curve in the current decade, Apple will have to invent product categories as new as the iPod, iPhone and iPad were, right?

Wrong.

Do tell.

NO, WAIT, DON’T!

The new products were part of a killer strategy Apple came up with in 1997…

Arrrgh.

According to Elgan, Apple came up with a strategy of making not hardware and software, but products that handled content creation and consumption. That’s not a bad assessment of what happened, it’s the conclusion and the certainty with which he states it that are so absurd.

And that’s why Apple is done creating whole new platforms. There will be nothing in the coming decade equivalent in newness to the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

Apple’s full line enables the company to fix what’s broken about all the major ways people consume and create content.

I do believe Apple will offer a TV set at some point. But they can’t claim to have invented the TV set. It’s not a new gadget platform in the same way as, say, the iPad is. A better TV is not the same as inventing the TV.

Can Elgan not read? Is that the problem here? Is he some sort of savant who can type words but not understand them? Read any Apple press release, the word is “reinvented”, not “invented.” Apple reinvented the personal computer, Apple reinvented the digital music player, Apple reinvented the cell phone, and Apple reinvented the tablet computer. It never said that it had “invented” those things, and it didn’t.

So, Elgan thinks Apple invented tablets, but shipping a TV wouldn’t be entering into a new product line because it didn’t invent the TV. See, this is what’s wrong with his thinking: He has no idea what an Apple-branded “television” would look like; he doesn’t even have his terminology right.

Is Elgan right about what Apple’s plans for the future are? Well, the Macalope’s not going to talk out of his furry rump about things he has no idea about. He’ll leave that the Mike Elgans of the world.

But the horny one will suggest that the same guy who said “Microsoft’s Zune scares Apple to the core” probably doesn’t have any valuable insights into how soup works let alone Apple’s strategy.

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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