Why Apple CEO Tim Cook Will Prove All of Us Wrong
John is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) CEO Tim Cook is a smart man. At least, he’s aware the American public thinks he’s no replacement for Steve Jobs.
How could he be, given the groundwork for innovation left by Jobs prior to his death. How could anyone surpass the man who revolutionized the technology industry, time and time again?
The iPhone pioneered the smartphone market in 2007. Few at the time realized iPhone was a sea change in mobile technology, and not a product designed for a high-tech niche.
And in April 2010, Jobs introduced the iPad, which is serving a far greater purpose than the creation of the tablet PC market. The more powerful effect of the iPad is the ongoing disruption of the traditional PC industry--the disturbances at the Intels and Microsofts of the world. In fact, Steve Jobs may be the sole reason that Michael Dell is seeking to take his lifeblood, Dell, private.
Despite the glory of Jobs, we can’t write off Cook just yet.
I’m here to spill the pudding and say it straight: Tim Cook wants to prove all of us wrong. Here’s the hard evidence that Cook is developing several game-changers that are likely to satisfy critics and shareholders alike:
The division between our digital lives and traditional, offline ones is becoming increasingly slim. And for better or worse, the percentage of time in which we are disconnected from the digital world is likely to decrease in coming years. A new generation of devices such as Apple iWatch and Google Glass will likely fill the void between smartphone usage and being completely offline.
First, my research indicates the proposed iWatch is not the device that Apple fans believe it to be.
The device is not designed to be a “smartphone watch” at heart. While the iWatch may possess iOS capabilities, Apple is not planning to use its smartphone functionality as the primary selling point.
Instead, the iWatch is likely to be Apple’s entrance to a new category of devices to supplement our existence as human beings. This includes everything from making digital payments to secure user identification. The Apple watch is rumored to have biometric capabilities, which could be used to validate personal and confidential data.
Cook indicated at the recent All Things D conference that Apple is planning to introduce a host of “game changers” in the second half of 2013 and throughout 2014. He also stated the wearable technology field is “ripe for exploration.”
Unwilling to wait for the Apple iWatch? Competitor Sony (NYSE: SNE) has made its entrance into wearable technology with its SmartWatch device, designed to check e-mail, text messages, and connect with your Android phone to play music. The device meets the definition of a smartphone watch, but falls short on biometric technology.
Game-dedicated entertainment system
With competitors Nintendo, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), and Sony unveiling their next-generation entertainment consoles, it’s possible that Apple could decide to enter the fray.
Notice I used the term “entertainment console” as opposed to a traditional game console. Microsoft anticipated the migration towards entertainment (and away from gaming) with its Xbox 360 console, which offers streaming movies, music, sports access, and even fitness-related games. Fast forward to the next-generation Xbox One, and Microsoft is planning to take center stage of the family living room.
On June 28, Microsoft announced a landmark deal with Time Warner Cable to bring up to 300 of the most popular live TV channels to its customers through the Xbox Live Gold membership. The application will be available in the Xbox Live Marketplace later this summer, as part of the $5/month membership cost.
Sony is also expected to unveil its PlayStation 4 in time for holiday 2013. The console is expected to price at $399, or 20% lower than the Xbox One at $499. Shares of Sony have delivered a 90% return so far in 2013 as anticipation builds for the PlayStation 4 and the company benefits from a weakening Japanese yen. In April, Sony doubled its profit outlook for the year as a result of the depreciating currency.
The console war between Microsoft and Sony is fiercely competitive, so why would Apple CEO Tim Cook decide to enter the market?
The answer is relatively simple. Apple already has the ecosystem of iOS, and the gaming platform could be combined with the Apple TV entertainment system.
Rumors are persisting that Apple will unveil its own gaming console as part of the next Apple TV release. Let’s not forget that Game Center, Apple’s gaming application, was built from the ground up for iOS. The app is turning three years old from the time it was unveiled in June 2009 with the iPhone 3GS. Currently, users can play games on the iPad Touch, iPhone, and iPad anywhere in the world.
Its iOS 7 is the latest piece of evidence to include in Apple's gaming puzzle. The new operating system, unveiled by Cook at WWDC in June, will allow game developers to include controller support with physical hardware buttons. The decision for physical hardware was unprecedented by Apple prior to the June announcement.
Groupthink may be a worthwhile subject in psychology, however it can cause investors to incorrectly assume and reach faulty conclusions.
Given Apple’s rich history of innovation, I understand it’s hard for investors to endure an entire year without a new product introduction. However, my research indicates that long-term investors will likely be rewarded with multiple new “game changers.”
Investors should give more credence to Cook when he says Apple’s day in the sun is not over. You never know, Cook might surprise us and deliver the goods.
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John Macris has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Is this post wrong? Click here. Think you can do better? Join us and write your own!