I recently read an article about Apple being interested in virtual reality. I am one of their biggest fans and really love their products. I, however, noticed of late that they are getting themselves into so many things which are not in-line with their core business. I believe the first thing Steve Jobs did when he returned to Apple in 1997 is cut down on the products. He discontinued almost 70% of all hardware and software products.
The quality of products has also slipped in so many areas that I can not even remember all of them. Quality control over their hardware and software has slipped. I am sure if you are an Apple fan you have heard about the Apple Maps issue, iCloud hack, iPhone 6 Plus easily bendable, and faulty iSight camera. Those are the most recent ones that I can remember off the top of my head. However, You can easily see the number of software updates Apple has been recently pushing is increasing.
Lastly, one major design flaw that I could not believe was the iPhone 6s Smart Battery case. Honestly, I have not bought that case nor tested it, though I believe any product that gets to the market must look good. That is how Apple got their number one place in the market. They made sure their products had the easiest user experience and looked at their best. I really can’t find an uglier product on the market than this case.
Even new products introductions are becoming not so important. I can’t see the added benefit of the new Apple TV which was introduced late last year. I am usually one the first people to buy an Apple product when it’s introduced. This product did not really interest me at all. The iPad Pro is another product which has no added benefit other than the screen size. Sure Apple introduced the smart keyboard and Apple pen however that just got them more products to look after.
I am for the first time not confident that Apple will make any significant change by getting into Virtual Reality. I believe that their Apple Watch needs to have the focus to make the watch useful rather than being used as a snooze button on your phone. The leaked information about their work on an Apple Car will also keep them occupied with so much work to be done to succeed in that field.
Apple has to ensure that their current products make a huge success before they move to another. For a company their size, any product which is linked to an existing product will definitely be a hit as they have one humongous customer base. However to ensure they do grow their customer base, their products need to be beneficial to the rest of us.
Getting into so many ventures and introducing products just because you can does not make any business sense. I believe its time for them to step back and reflect on where the company has pivoted so far. Have a sanity check and ensure that future products do make sense for the echo system it has created.
This article is a pessimistic view of what is currently happening, and I am hoping to be wrong on those thoughts.
UPDATE: Today I passed by an Apple Store and purchased few accessories. I was shocked to see that the iPod that is being used by the employee to check me out is an ancient one that is running some iOS 7 or less. It seems that the technology behemoth is not adopting their most up to date iOS system. That can be translated into two things. Either they do not believe in their own up to date software, or they are not updating their internal Apps which makes you think again !!!