Apple Looking Decades in the Future

Tech in Asia published this article about how “Apple Watch is a stupid idea, and it shows Apple is falling behind in innovation”. Putting the watch aside — how good it will fair is anyone’s guess right now — I am perplexed how the author is convinced that Apple is falling behind innovation.

Google is looking decades in the future with research into things like virtual reality and self-driving cars. Baidu is working on “deep speech” and artificial intelligence. Xiaomi (and a lot of other tech companies) are working towards a “smart home” system that unifies and networks all the devices in your house for easy remote control from anywhere. LeTV is building an electric smart car. Alibaba wants to deliver things with drones. I could go on.

Compared to all of that, the Apple Watch seems small. Unambitious. Ultimately irrelevant.

The author lambasted Apple for being behind on innovation to companies like Xiaomi (I know) and Google and should be “looking decades in the future with research into things like virtual reality and self-driving cars“. I almost stopped reading the article. The author is clearly clueless how Apple operates. If anything, Apple does the exact opposite: it takes its time entering a market then launches a product that defines the user experience and finally, refines and polishes the product. That’s how most of their flagship products became huge:

  • Macintosh was not the first PC, yet it became an iconic product.
  • iPod was not the first MP3 player, Apple entered the music industry and changed the way listen to music.
  • iPhone was not the first smartphone, Apple entered the mobile industry, changed the entire mobile computing landscape.
  • iPad was also not the first tablet, well, everyone knows what happened.

When was the last time Apple introduced a product that is so far ahead of its time? I would have to say when they launched Newton. We all know what happened to it.