After it was revealed that iPhone sales dropped for the first time since the iconic product’s launch in 2007, some experts have gone as far as calling for Apple CEO Tim Cook to step down.
Mighty savior, or just a pretty face?
“Apple doesn’t need a traffic cop, it needs a visionary.”
Thus wrote music and industry analyst Bob Lefsetz in a recent blog post.
Steve Jobs, of course, was the visionary. The traffic cop? That’s Tim Cook.
Lefdsetz is far from being Cook’s sole critic. Apple’s stock value dropped after the company’s most recent financial investment revealed a 13-percent decline in revenues in a year-on-year comparison. Cook’s appeareance on CNBC’s Mad Money, meant to assuage investors’ fears, prompted hedge fund manager Doug Kass to write an article stating that Apple would be better off without Cook as its leader.
Lacklustre or persuading? You be the judge.
To be fair, not everyone thinks Apple is in trouble—yet. As observer John Gruber wrote:
(…) With $10.5 billion in profit, Apple earned more in the quarter than Alphabet ($4.2B), Facebook ($1.5B), and Microsoft ($3.8B) combined. That’s what happens after an almost unfathomable streak of over 50 consecutive quarters of year-over-year growth — you reach an altitude at which even an indisputably very bad quarter still leaves you with enormous, industry-leading profits.
A concerning quarter? Yes.
Surprising? Shouldn’t have been.
Alarming? Not even close.
Gruber, however, stopped short of defending Cook. And although only time will tell whether Lefdsetz and Kass are correct , Apple’s near-term outlook appears tied to the iPhone 7. (Cook himself admitted as much on Mad Money.) That’s not because everyone expects one single device to revive the company, but because many have come to view it as the ultimate indication of whether Cook should be replaced.
The Magnificent Seven?
To the rescue.
There’s plenty of debate online as to what the iPhone 7 will look like and what features will it have. (According to a Yahoo.com article, the iPhone 7 is already generating more excitement than then iPhone 6s ever did.)
The more reliable rumours indicate that the iPhone 7 will have a bigger battery. It will also feature wireless charging, thanks to Apple’s new Smart Connector, which can already be found in the 2.9-inch and 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Through it, users would be able charge wireless headphones by connecting them to the iPhone, and they could connect accessories without setting up Bluetooth.
There’s also some indication that the iPhone 7
will be waterproof. (In typical Apple fashion, this feature would be an improvement of a competing product’s feature, in this case Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge devices, which can be fitted with waterproof cases.) As for all the hoopla about the iPhone 7 not having a headphone jack, it now seems like it will feature one indeed.
Lastly, it’s been speculated that at least one of the three iPhone 7 models which Apple might release this year will feature a dual-sensor camera. This would make for better performance in low-light conditions and produce DSLR-quality images. More excitingly, Apple could use technology from LinX, a company it acquired in 2015, to enable the camera to sense depth, which would be ideal for 3D scanning or augmented reality experiences.
But wait, theres’ more
That’s not all—a redesigned iPhone 8 is reportedly being considered by Apple to replace the iPhone 7s’s expected release in 2017.
This would not only make the iPhone 7 an incremental update and the iPhone 8 the completely redesigned model; it would also break with the update timeline that Apple’s stuck to since 2009, with the more advanced iPhones being called iPhone 3G, 4, 5 and 6 so far, and the ones featuring only incremental updates being called 3GS, 4S, 5S and 6s/6s Plus.
Disappointingly, it could also mean that the iPhone 7 will not include all of the features mentioned earlier. Instead, the more exciting ones would likely be reserved for the iPhone 8. Or, if indeed the iPhone 7 will boast all of them, then perhaps the iPhone 8 will truly be a revolutionary product.
Whatever the case may be, the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 8 are but part of a lineup born in Jobs’s days. For all the hopes pinned on both, the fact remains that the world has not seen Cook’s Apple release a revolutionary product.
“We’re going to give you things that you can’t live without that you just don’t know you need today. That has always been the objective of Apple. To do things that really enrich people’s lives. Features where you look back to before they were introduced and you wonder ‘how did I live without this?’” said Cook in his Mad Money appearance. Pretty words, for sure, but only one thing is certain: Cook is fast running out of time to prove the naysayers wrong.