The Me-Too Company: How Apple Lost Track of Success

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
Apple has delivered. That’s the mainstream message of the media around the globe after the Apple keynote. With iPhone 6 (coming with two different and bigger sizes), AppleWatch and some more interesting features there is no doubt that Apple will continue its success story in the near future.

But even yesterday’s keynote with its presentation of new products and featuers can’t conceal that Apple has passed its peak. Why? Because Apple has lost his leadership of innovation – at various levels.

The sizes of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are adjusted to the sizes of the competitors phones. And it’s not only the size, it is also the same style – for example the HTC phone (at the Screenshot, taken from a Tweet by HTC).

iPhone 6 vs. HTC

Maybe you can’t blame Apple for that. It is the development of a mature industry (like the automotive industry) that products become similar. Because everybody has the same (advanced) knowledge how to produce best products. And if form follows function the style is all the same. The thing is: That’s a problem to Apple. It has lost a unique selling position.

So new products must be presented. Yesterday that was AppleWatch. I must admit I was quite impressed by that part of the keynote (starting at 57 min). Obviously a lot of of good ideas found his way into the development. And I am pretty sure that AppleWatch is a watch with a future. Because applications will be developed (by Apple or third-party developers) customers want. But from the very start AppleWatch has no such a killing application. Maybe the navigation part. Maybe.

So Apple will sell a very expensive watch (starting at 349 Dollar) that has to be removed from your wrist eyery night (to be recharged). This is far from repeating the success story of the iPhone, I guess.

And moreover: Even if Apple presented many different models – wich is very clever because watches are an individuell matter (you don’t want to wear what everybody wears) – there was no model, from an optically point of view, I really liked. To me AppleWatches (Screenshot below from the keynote, 59:13 min) look like me-too products of iWatches already in circulation by competitors. So from the very beginning the AppleWatch follows the iPhone 6 problem: There is no distinguishing in style to the competitors.

Apple Watch

And: That Apple is presenting a product that can be bought only half a year later (“early 2015”) is another sign that the company from Cupertino is driven by the market, just driven by the market. “To have to” is in general not the optimum setting creating something magnificent.

It is well known that without a unique selling position there is no market leadership. So what is left to Apple? It is just one thing: Useability. Hard- and software in one place make Apple products easier to use and more reliable.

But will this be enough to lead Apple towards a bright future?

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