Re/code’s Walt Mossberg has a symbiotic relationship with Apple, and is often among a small circle of media given early details for future products. In a piece musing on Apple’s post-Steve Jobs era on Tuesday, the seasoned reporter said he’s been assured the Cupertino company has plenty of “blockbuster” hits scheduled for the second half of 2014, and argued the company is doing just fine under the direction of CEO Tim Cook.
Mossberg uses a movie analogy to explain Apple’s current state.
I think the most useful way of thinking about Apple is to see it as a movie studio. Studios release blockbuster franchise movies every few years, and then try to live off a series of sequels until the next big, successful franchise… Looked at in this way, your almost-new iPhone 5s and iPad Air are mere sequels, iterations of Apple blockbusters that rocked the world when they first appeared… After awhile, audience interest in sequels wanes, and competitors come up with alluring new things. Then you’d better have a whole new franchise, because you can’t live forever on sequels.
Apple has this strategy down to a science, which is why we don’t see a big game changer every single year. By creating these sequels—and setting records sales in the process—Apple is able to generate unprecedented hype for these big blockbuster products. This year, numerous rumors suggest Apple’s big blockbuster product will be a larger iPhone—maybe two!—while other reports claim the company is hard at work on a wearable, which could focus heavily on health.
There’s been an unnerving disquiet amongst the Apple camp—we haven’t seen a major announcement since September of last year, and the next imminent event isn’t until WWDC in June, nearly nine months of relative silence. But executives in the Apple ranks are apparently very excited about what’s to come, so the tail end of 2014 could prove to be huge for the Cupertino company.
When Apple takes the stage at WWDC in June, Tim Cook and the rest of the Apple team will be under immense pressure to deliver — at least on the software front. Whether we see more sufficient sequels or a bonafide blockbuster remains to be seen.