How Apple Is Messing Up Its Product Lines
Apple has quietly released new iMacs, iPads and Airpods these past two days and is expected to release new iPods and even the long awaited AirPower Wireless charger this week.
All this is leading to the Apple special event on 25th March where Apple is expected to launch its own video streaming service which is being touted as a "Netflix killer".
This is the first time that I am not excited about an Apple event and probably won't even tune in to watch the live stream. It's not because all the hardware updates have been released already and the event will only probably consist of new services or minor software related launch.
The reason is that the latest harware updates from Apple has confirmed for me what I already had been suspecting about the new direction is Apple is on, and it is opposite of what had once made me an Apple fan.
The Road To Complexity
We all know that since Steve Jobs was ousted from his own company in 1985, Apple literally lost its way and by late 1990s, it almost got bankrupt. Steve came back and not only saved the company, but also put it on the path to becoming a major tech company in the world.
One of the things that Apple did horribly wrong was its product strategy and the associated price strategy. They were doing way too many products and their product lines were painfully confusing for the customers. Steve changed all that and killed 70% of the products to focus on a handful.
Today, it's been more than 7 years since Steve died and it looks like Apple is once again making the same mistake it did back in the 80s and the 90s. You see, there was a time when there was only one new iPhone and one new iPad every year. The Mac lineup was pretty simple as well.
In fact, in 2010, Tim Cook, current CEO had said that all of the company's gadgets could fit on a table, saying that this allows them to focus fully and thus deliver better products.
Well, the same Tim Cook is now making the mistake of launching too many products that wouldn't even fit on three tables! Apple just launched new iPads and guess what? Now there are four different iPad lines, all with confusing specs and pricing.
The same is true of the Mac lineup. There are three MacBook lines and they just don't make sense. I mean the MacBook is thinner than the MacBook "Air". The iMac line has two basic categories but are further divided into three with the non-retina displays still on sale in 2019!!
We also know about the iPhones and what a mess it has become. Even though the iPhone is the most important category for them (revenue wise) they're simply diluting and fragmenting it to a point where the average customer doesn't know what to get. There are iPhone Xs, Xs Max and Xr. They've also discontinued the iPhone X for whatever reason and still have the iPhone 7 and 8 on sale!
It is glaringly clear to anyone who has thought about this that Apple is no longer the minimalist company and are launching whatever they can to increase sales, especially in the emerging markets by selling older products at not so reduced prices.
And don't get me started about the prices. For the past several years, Apple has changed trajectory. It used to reduced prices every year or so for minorly updated products and now, all it does is increase prices to a point where the products are now no longer unaffordable by the masses. I guess, they are not customer-centric anymore and are only share holder centric. Typical corporate doing typical corporate stuff.