Apple no longer an innovative company, says Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson

Apple no longer an innovative company, says Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson
If you've ever read Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs' biography, chances are it was written by none other than Walter Isaacson, the official biographer of the late entrepreneur. Currently serving as a President and CEO of the Aspen Institute, Isaacson is a person that has spent a long time alongside Jobs and has a great insight into Apple's inner workings. 

That's why when he speaks about the Cupertino giant, people usually listen carefully.

That's exactly what we imagine happened when Isaacson took part in CNBC's Squawk Alley just recently, where he addressed both Apple and its competition. According to Isaacson, Apple has fallen behind Google and Amazon in terms of innovation and is no longer a leading player in this regard.


One of the points Isaacson makes is that Apple has missed on putting Siri inside people's homes and utilizing its potential to battle Google Home and Amazon Echo, two of the most popular smart home hubs. Isaacson claimed he has both of these in his home and often lets them talk to one another for kicks and giggles. Admittedly, he has a point -  smart home device with Siri on board sounds like a no-brainer. Such a device is one of the lightly-rumored novel gadgets that might get unwrapped at WWDC '17, Apple's developer summit that's kicking off in less than a month. Supposedly, Apple's answer to Google Home and Amazon Echo will one-up these by rocking a display, which is something Apple SVP Phil Schiller is obviously very keen on.

Finally, Isaacson admitted that Apple doesn't necessarily need to innovate all the time in order to be "a great company", but also claimed that "it isn't in Apple's DNA to be that way". Case in point, Apple just recently released its financial stats for the second fiscal quarter 2017, revealing a substantial $11.03 billion in profits on top of 50.76 million iPhones sold although consumers holding off for this year's iPhone harvest. 


source: CNBC

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82 Comments

1. Tipus

Posts: 869; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

It was obvious after iphone 7 release

13. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

It was obvious prior to anyone who had eyes.

67. lyndon420

Posts: 6790; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

It was obvious when Steve thought 3.5" was as big as anyone needed. Same with when he said no one needs a stylus/pencil.

73. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Only crazy ppl dont change btw. Pretty sure Steve would had accepted some change. but he would had push for more innovation.. Now apple product are just overpriced and more money is put on marketing than R&D lol.

82. HanoiBoi

Posts: 43; Member since: May 05, 2016

Erm..., sure, EInstein. Because *everyone* is using a stylus nowadays

2. AmashAziz

Posts: 2927; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

No product being released that changes the way we use it. Apple's only releasing more watches and watch faces that everyone else is doing too......what's different? How do you expect Apple to still be called innovative with that??

3. palmguy

Posts: 982; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

How many time has Apple been "innovative"? Now it can sell/market ice to an Eskimo.....

15. GoGoGalaxyNexus

Posts: 80; Member since: Nov 01, 2013

Agree, Steve Jobs was the greatest salesman ever. Apple's success still relies on the followers Steve Jobs created, that's all folks!!

39. juandante

Posts: 679; Member since: Apr 23, 2013

Agreed but as young get older people will forget and apple will become as lame as it has never been. Time to fire this Tim Cook and put fresh new blood at the heads of this company (not that I am an Apple fan but innovation is always welcome)

5. toukale

Posts: 631; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

The easiest and best way to get headlines is to say something about Apple then let the blogs do the rest for you. I always laugh when folks say Apple is not innovating then when ask who is innovating they can't tell you but will give lame examples like his "Echo or Google Home." Great innovation there Apple is missing. Two years ago it was "vr", then we remember all those "bots" everyone was pushing. Folks were losing their minds just a year ago about that. I wonder what happened to all those products? The blogs and media are falling victim of confusing "Activities for achievements." A lot of companies are famous of releasing a bunch of crap in the public and beat their chess "look we are innovating." It's a good thing Apple do not need to jump on every little thing the blogs and media feel they are missing.

11. corvette72778

Posts: 164; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

The only thing holding VR back is live NFL. Once they have live sports vr will shoot through the roof.

19. toukale

Posts: 631; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

vr will be a niche market, not big enough to make a difference for Apple. Which is why they are pushing AR instead.

35. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

"vr will be a niche market, not big enough to make a difference for Apple" Because Apple's iPhone has abysmal screen resolution for VR, that's why Apple is leaning towards AR.

46. toukale

Posts: 631; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

Yes, VR is setting the world on fire right now and Apple is missing it /s.

50. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

VR isn't setting the world on fire yet, but it's on track for that.

52. toukale

Posts: 631; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

@trojan_horse - Wake me up when that happens. The past two years everyone and their mother have been pushing things like VR, bots, not to mention everyone new favorite new marketing word "AI." Even HTC with their "U' launch decided to call their message crap "AI" That's a lot of stuff Apple is missing according to some, meanwhile in the real world, things remains the same. VR market will be about the size of consoles meaning, can't move the needle for Apple in the grand scheme of things. It's not every little thing you need to do when you are the size of Apple, so stop confusing "activity for achievement."

65. BuffaloSouce unregistered

VR is bigger is bigger than you think. It's even apart console gaming now with Playstation and Microsoft is adding to the Xbox Scorpio

18. Sakeem

Posts: 857; Member since: Sep 05, 2012

Why risk innovation when you have a healthy profit margin with each release of an Iphone? If consumers really wanted something new from Apple, then they should stop buying their phones. Until that happens, if ever, why should Apple stop doing what they are doing?

22. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Because nerds and hipster want them to stop!/s Let's be real here... nobody is bringing meaningful innovation to the table ATM. Tech blogs are lazy. They want everything without understanding the market around them. Take VR for example: last quarter, Samsung sold 750,000 Gear VR headsets... most in the industry. However, that means that only about 1% of the people who bought Samsung phones ALSO got a Gear VR. It's a market that no one is winning because consumers don't care about it... yet. What it has always come down to is timing. Who releases' what and when, basically. Apple has it's cashcow until another cashcow can be seen. I think it's AR... but it could be anything. It's only a matter of time before we become aware of said category.

23. toukale

Posts: 631; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

@kiko007 to nitpick a bit about the 750,000 gear vr, you do know that same article said that number was mostly misleading since most of those shipped gear vr was given away with the gs7 purchases.

25. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Oops... I stand corrected then. So even less than 0.5%?

72. willard12 unregistered

Not to nitpick your nitpicking. But can you show the article that shows 750,000 Gear VRs being sold? I've seen articles showing 750,000 Playstation VRs being sold in a year, with 4.5 million for the Gear VR. Even at 750,000 a quarter, that still does add up to 4.5 million. If it's misleading to add promotional giveaways which are subsidized, then would that also mean that there are a lot of phone sales that are misleading since many are "given away" with purchases of cell phone plans or lease agreements that subsidize the device? http://www.wired.co.uk/article/samsung-vr-outships-psvr-htc-vive-and-oculus http://phandroid.com/2017/02/07/samsung-gear-vr-sales-2016/

27. Sakeem

Posts: 857; Member since: Sep 05, 2012

Ok. So once the category reveals itself, Apple will simply apply said category to their ecosystem. My thinking is, why would Apple risk innovation, when without it for many years now, they are on their way to being a trillion dollar company? There's no need in my opinion.

30. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

There's always a need to follow trends for companies like Apple... even if they are stupid. Look at the Apple Watch for such an example. A product in a category nobody wants, yet Apple made one anyway. Why?Potential market growth. Wearables were up 31% for Apple this quarter. They have 57% smartwatch market share, and over 80% of it's profits. And that's just one example. Consider if they make something akin to the Hololens within the next three years. In all likelihood the exact same,scenario as the watch will occur. Will it bring in as much profit as the iPhone. Probably not early on... but expanding into potential markets is necessary. Healthy organizations need potential growth venture to stay that way.

33. Sakeem

Posts: 857; Member since: Sep 05, 2012

Hololens is awesome. Apple is in a great situation and once the Iphone 8 drops, I really don't see that slowing down. Rumors of true wilress charging and embedded fingerpint scanner should be enough to silence some of their critics.

37. tedkord

Posts: 17357; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

You seem to be confusing sales numbers with innovation. They're not related.

45. iushnt

Posts: 3105; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

I was thinking the same. I was like --what the f**k r these guys talking. Just showing their fanboism every chance they get.

53. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Using facts and common sense are fanboism? Right...

55. Sakeem

Posts: 857; Member since: Sep 05, 2012

Congrats! You are the first to call me a fanboy. I do not own one single Apple product. Not one. I simply asked a question and stated an opinion...but that makes me a fanboy? Wow.

54. Sakeem

Posts: 857; Member since: Sep 05, 2012

I understand they are not related. I was just asking, while their sales are there, why risk innovating at all? Plus, wouldn't true wireless charging be an innovation if Apple could pull that off?

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