Today, we could talk about the iPhone 5. Heck, everyone else is. We could talk about all its cool features
, and how you have to run out and buy new accessories
if you want to own it. We could even watch the keynote
But I don't want to talk about the iPhone 5. I want to talk about what this shiny new gadget represents in Apple's fascinating business timeline.
I came across this great article
that pleas with Apple Inc. to make something new. And I couldn't agree more.
Chris Taylor, the article's author, asks Apple to stop sitting on its hoard of cash (the largest accumulated by a company in history, apparently) and instead begin to invest in more R&D to create another culture-changing product, or run the risk of losing its innovative edge for good.
The company is reportedly giving $45 billion of its profits back to shareholders in stock buy-backs and dividends, according to Taylor.
And some time ago, I'd asked why Apple wouldn't use some of their pocket change to make its products cheaper
. And I'll still ask that question.
It seems Apple might have the capacity to do all three, to some degree, and still keep a sizeable stockpile in the bank, if that's the preference. Their profits could climb to $200 billion within the next few years.
Still, the Mashable article made me realize that probably more important than anything else, Apple needs another "iPod" or "iPad" moment — a product that changes the very nature of how we as a culture do things. It's what the company is known for, thanks to Steve Jobs.
The iPhone 5 looks to be a superior smartphone, by all accounts. But in the end, it's an upgrade.
Apple, it's time to present us with a little bit more than an upgrade. Or a miniature version of a popular product. Wow us. It's what you do. For many consumers, you've set the bar — now raise it.