"Your challenge is to keep the fine-tuned engine humming while you take on some new initiatives that will begin to document the Tim Cook era in the life of Apple.”
Gerry Purdy, MobileTrax
||Tim Cook, CEO, Apple
||Gerry Purdy, MobileTrax
||Congratulations! … Oh, and one more thing: a Few Suggestions
First and foremost, congratulations on becoming CEO at Apple! That’s a great testament to all the fine work you’ve done to help make Apple one of the most valuable companies in the world. You’ve kept the gears all moving harmoniously when viewed from the outside – engineering, design, manufacturing, channel management, customer experience and financial performance. You’ve got a fine-oiled machine that is operating at ‘full throttle.’
Here are a few things I think you can do to help Apple do some insanely great things under your leadership:
iTunes ► iMedia. I recommend you change the brand name of iTunes to iMedia. When iTunes was created, it was only about music and podcasts. Now, iTunes is all about rich media – music, TV shows, movies, music videos, podcasts and all kinds of media . It’s time to brand iTunes as iMedia. Everyone will say, “Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.” And, you’ll be able to generate more revenue than before.
iHome. I’ve been trying to think of where Apple could open up another new multi-billion dollar industry. It’s not likely to happen in desktop or mobile, and you’ve already started to enable iCloud to be your next app platform. What I recommend you do is take a gigantic leap forward and put together a total, easy-to-use system for the home. I’ve dubbed it ‘iHome’ in spite of the company by that name having an iPhone/iPod compatible clock-radio accessory line. The important thing would be to provide people with a really easy-to-use interface for all of their home media and electronics (the iPhone and iPad apps can partially do this today) and then integrate and make it very easy to get access to all kinds of rich media (TV, video, music, movies) via the new ‘iHome’ that can access different delivery channels (cable, internet) and view them on the user’s screens (TV, PC, smartphone and tablet) with the ability to start on one screen and finish on another. Finally, you need to connect all the components wirelessly so all you have to do to install them is to plug them in and turn them on.
Acquisitions. With over $70 billion of cash on the balance sheet, it would seem like a good time to begin making some strategic acquisitions. I’m sure your biz dev team will be able to create a good ‘bid list’. One company comes to mind right off the bat: TiVo. They have an excellent UI but could do 100 times the business as part of Apple. And, it could form the foundation for the ‘iHome’ system described above. Another candidate would be SanDisk, since they are a leader in flash memory and you include flash in every mobile unit. Give us a few ‘holy cow’ announcements during the next few years.
iPhone ► product family. Apple was masterful at taking the iPod and then developing an entire product family around the iPod music player with easy sync to iTunes in a number of form factors. Now, you need to extend the iPhone from a single form factor and functional capability into a line of wireless products. First up: take the iPod touch and rebrand it into the iPhone family. Add cellular wireless data. Thus, it becomes a wireless, data-only version of the iPhone that can still make calls via VoIP apps like Skype. Second, consider creating the iPhone nano that would have a smaller screen and lower price point.
Smaller iPad. You would do well to introduce an iPad with a smaller 7” display to complement the current iPad with a larger display. And, while we’re at it, change the iPad form factor slightly to a 16x9 ratio to better display movies and TV shows.
Acknowledge Adobe Solution to Flash. This seems like a ‘no brainer’ – all you have to do is publicly acknowledge that Version 4.5 of the Adobe Flash Media Server is acceptable to Apple, since it automatically utilizes HTTP Dynamic or Live Streaming on Apple devices (and Flash on PC devices). These are both compatible with iOS. Case closed.
iCloud ► all mobile products not just iOS devices. I am personally very excited and optimistic about iCloud. MobileMe never did work as envisioned, but iCloud takes the original version further and allows a family of services – including new iCloud apps to make cloud-based computing really profound. But, as announced, iCloud only supports sync with Apple devices and PCs. I recommend you extend iCloud to sync with any popular mobile device, so that iCloud can truly transform mobile computing while allowing users to own any smartphone or tablet mobile device they want in order to benefit from iCloud’s services.
Apple is already great. Your challenge is to keep the fine-tuned engine humming while you take on some new initiatives that will begin to document the Tim Cook era in the life of Apple.
I look forward to continuing to work with Apple under your leadership.
J. Gerry Purdy, Ph.D.
Mobile & Wireless
Disclosure Statement: From time to time, I may have a direct or indirect equity position in a company that is mentioned in this column. If that situation happens, then I’ll disclose it at that time.