Yesterday’sWWDC keynote from Applewas pretty breathtaking.
The company announced a new programming language, a total overhaul of the Mac operating system, new features for the iPhone’s software, a new platform for connecting your home to the internet, as well as a new health-focused platform for the iPhone. And, much, much more.
Yet, some people are still feeling let down.
“We came away relatively disappointed,” said Macquarie Securities analyst Ben Schachter. “While we did not expect major new product initiatives, the mostly incremental improvements announced were underwhelming. No new hardware was announced (as expected), and the press reports about new healthcare and home automation products proved to be too aggressive in our view as the new initiatives were very modest.”
While Schachter says he wasn’t expecting new hardware, the fact is that the lack of a new hardware product is what’s really driving his feeling of disappointment.
Apple has been teasing that this is going to be a big year for new product categories. We didn’t get anything at WWDC, which means Apple is planning to pack in a lot of stuff for the second half of the year.
“While no new products were announced at WWDC, we believe elements of the new iOS hint toward an iWatch later in the year and potential connected home products in the future,” said Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster in a note. “We believe Apple remains on track to deliver on its promise of multiple new product categories by the end of 2014 and do not believe HomeKit or HealthKit count toward the total.”
Apple is reportedly planning two new iPhones, an update to the iPad that will include the fingerprint scanner, and the iWatch for the second half of the year. There’s also a chance we see a big iPad Pro that competes with Microsoft’s Surface, a revamped Apple TV, and an iMac with Retina display.
That’s a lot of stuff! In fact, it might be too much stuff. The last time Apple rolled out a bunch of products, it was a mistake, and CEO Tim Cook acknowledged it.
In 2012, Apple introduced the iPhone 5, the iPad Mini, MacBooks with high resolution screens, and new, super thin iMacs. Apple wasn’t able to handle that extensive a roll out, however. The iMacs didn’t ship until much later than expected, which adversely affected Apple’s earnings for the December 2012 quarter.
When Cook was asked about it in April of 2013, here’s what he said:
I don’t spend a lot of time looking back except to learn from it, and if we could run it over frankly, I would have announced the iMac after the turn of the year, because we felt our customers had to wait too long for that specific product; or the iPad mini was in shortage in the December quarter I would not have done that differently, because we were able to get the iPad mini out to many millions of customers who really wanted that product for their holiday. And so, yes, we did do a lot, our teams fortunately can do a lot, but in retrospect that one, yeah, I sort of wish it were after the turn of the year, because our customers would not have had to wait as long as they did.
With this in mind, it will be interesting to see how Apple approaches the back half of this year. It has a lot of potential products on deck, but if it’s not careful, it could end up with the same sort of issues it had in 2012-2013.