Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 23rd Apr 2013 22:35 UTC
Apple "Apple just posted its hotly-anticipated Q2 2013 earnings, and the company posted a profit of $9.5b on revenues of $43.6b, compared to $11.6b in profit on $39.2b in revenue this quarter last year and $13.1b in profit on $54.5b in revenue last quarter. That's right in line with the company's guidance from last quarter. Most importantly, iPhone sales are fairly flat year-over-year. Apple sold 37.04 million in Q2 2013 versus last year's 35.1 million, a modest growth of seven percent. iPad sales for the quarter were 19.5 million, up a massive 65 percent from last year's 11.8 million, but the average selling price (ASP) dropped fairly steeply year-over-year, likely due to the introduction of the cheaper iPad mini."
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RE[2]: What's going on here?
by Tony Swash on Wed 24th Apr 2013 10:21 UTC in reply to "RE: What's going on here?"
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

The issue of whether Apple's rate of innovation has slowed and if so how important that is for the future health of the company is an interesting one. I have posted before, and I will again if anyone is interested, a simple chronological list of Apple key breakthrough product releases with dates and it clearly shows that the speed of innovation at Apple appears erroneously fast in the rear view mirror and that the gap since the introduction of the iPad in 2010 is not anomalous.

But let's consider the worst case scenario and that Apple has nothing up it's sleeve except the continuous iterative improvement of it's broad product and service lines. How bad is that scenario? Certainly looking back at the PC era one can see that by around the late 1980s pretty much every major innovation, except for the internet, that shaped the PC era was already in place and that other than internet related innovations nothing very new appeared in the PC arena other than simple continuous iterative improvements. That still didn't stop the industry, and those that were successfully in it, such as Intel and Microsoft, from growing hugely in the two decades after 1990.

It's certainly possible that the key features of the mobile device revolution, flat, powerful and networked devices in various sizes that you touch with your fingers, is now in place and all that one will see from now on for many years is continuous iterative improvements (lighter, faster, better batteries, UI tweaks, more bundled services etc). If that is the case then Apple seems, on past performance, to be able play that game as good as anyone.

There is lots of speculation and teasing about the next step to wearable devices but nobody has anything that looks like a breakthrough innovation in that field yet, so all that there is right now is just speculation and we have seen that before (web TV, gaming consoles as gateway devices in the living room, blah, blah). When a paradigm shift happens, such as the PC, the Internet and the arrival of powerful mobile devices, innovation and change happens very quickly and during such periods of paradigm shift it's easy to come to believe that the rate of innovation of the transitionary period will continue into the stable growth and consolidation phase but once the shift is over it becomes clear that the pace of innovation has slowed to a much more sedate pace, until the next big shift comes along. Big paradigm shift don't happen that often, the PC happened in the early 1980s, the internet happened in the mid to late 1990s and the mobile revolution started in 2007. I would love for the next big shift to happen sooner rather than later but it might not.

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