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Apple is in fine fettle right now. The Cupertino-based company has billions of dollars in the bank, a phenomenal share price that continues to rise, and a legion of fans who will follow Tim Cook and co. wherever they may go. They also have a product line that is selling phenomenally well, and which looks set to continue to do so into the future.

However, there is one slight worry hanging over Apple in the aftermath of the iPhone 5 unveiling Everything You Need To Know About The Newly Announced iPhone 5 [Updates] Everything You Need To Know About The Newly Announced iPhone 5 [Updates] Today is the day we have all been waiting for. Apple finally jumped on the stage and announced everything. Months of rumors and speculations have finally been revealed. Apple finally announced the iPhone 5. As... Read More . Has the company lost its mojo? While the iPhone 5 is clearly a great product – fighting for the right to call itself the best smartphone on the market – it’s only slightly different than the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S that came before it. This lack of innovation needs to be discussed, and this is the best place to do just that.

This Week’s Question…

Where Does Apple Go From Here?

For this week’s We Ask You column, we want to know your thoughts on the direction in which Apple should head next. Its imminent future is clearly assured, with the iPhone 5 having sold out in 24 hours, and the iPad Mini Why Apple Should Release A Mini iPad [Opinion] Why Apple Should Release A Mini iPad [Opinion] There have been numerous rumors of late concerning Apple's plans to release a smaller version of the iPad. In fact, there have been similar rumors ever since Steve Jobs first stood on stage and unveiled... Read More universally expected to be unveiled in October just in time for the 2012 holiday season. But then what?

For around a decade, between 2001 and 2011, Apple proved itself to be the biggest innovator in the tech business. Sure, it borrowed ideas from everywhere (as Steve Jobs openly admitted) and many of its products were essentially undesigned to their core essentials Is Everyone Ripping Off Apple's Designs? [Opinion] Is Everyone Ripping Off Apple's Designs? [Opinion] Apple's products all have a certain look to them. Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive wouldn't have it any other way. The question is whether everyone is ripping off Apple's designs at this point in time... Read More , but it still changed the world with iTunes, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad. And ate into Microsoft’s market share with strong laptops, desktops, and operating systems.

For the past year or so the innovation seems to have dried up. No one but the most committed Apple fanboy can be pleased What's New In The iPhone 5? Not a Lot What's New In The iPhone 5? Not a Lot Apple has announced the iPhone 5, the number increase supposedly signalling a major new upgrade (as opposed to the 3G,3GS,4S). So what’s new? Short answer - not an awful lot. Long answer - lots of... Read More with the iPhone 5, which, in many ways, saw Apple playing catch-up with the best Android handsets. And the iPad Mini is hardly going to be revolutionary, again being more of a necessity than anything else in order to compete in the burgeoning 7-inch tablet market.

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We want to know your thoughts on all of this. Should Apple try harder to innovate or is this policy to rest on its laurels with annual incremental updates enough to keep the company on top? If consumers are happy to buy the latest iPhone and iPad despite this lack of improvement over previous models, would Apple be mad to try anything spectacular and risk upsetting its fans? Did the death of Steve Jobs also mean the death of inspiring innovation at the company? Or are Tim Cook and Jony Ive more than capable of replacing him Is Apple's Downward Spiral Inevitable Without Jobs? [Opinion] Is Apple's Downward Spiral Inevitable Without Jobs? [Opinion] All technology companies experience peaks and troughs. Products come and go, execs get up and leave, consumer tastes change. Just look at RiM and the fortunes of the BlackBerry platform for proof. Apple is just... Read More ?

Drawing Conclusions

All comments will be digested to form conclusions in a follow-up post next week where we will detail what You Told UsOne reader will even win Comment Of The Week, which will be included in the follow-up post! What more motivation than that do you need to respond?

We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. The questions asked are usually open-ended and likely to start a conversation. Some are opinion-based, while others see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps to fellow MakeUseOf Readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

  1. Lola Carthy
    October 25, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    They should make a tablet that can be "broken" into an iphone, that way you'd have both. I don't know, it just came up to me but it looks awesome in my head..

  2. Karen
    October 25, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Dick Tracy Watch, iOS style!

  3. Nosnikid
    October 11, 2012 at 2:39 am

    1. Apple should move towards making the Iphone part of the iPad so that a small docked phone pack is docked in the iPad until the phone function is needed then one un-docks the pack to listen to & speak into during the call. All the dialing & contacts information is on the iPad & the iPad on screen number pad is used to dial. Now I'm carrying one machine with 2 parts, costs are reduced. (one company has started down this track but I can't remember who ...sorry).
    2. User recognition simply from picking up the iPad. Enables 2 or more people to use the same iPad but have a unique set up & experience. This would be very useful for iPads in multi user environments eg using them on Hospital wards where many Nurses or Doctors use a number of iPads during their working day. As they pick up an iPad it configures itself for that person & their function giving access to different patient information or resources.
    3. Have an iPad with a built in data projector so that one can project movies & watch them big screen or project documents onto a large surface enabling side by side doc view for editing, report writing, viewing large spreadsheets.

  4. Kevin
    October 10, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    The Mac OSX and IOS are on convergent paths as are the hardware plattforms they run on. The future of Apple is where the personal computer finally attains the intuitive and elegant interface that Jobs was looking for... I think.

  5. Kavita
    October 5, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    nowhere...it'll stay in the same spot...like always...on top :P

  6. Dwayne
    September 26, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    I am by no means a fan of apple, but not to sound like a hater or anything apple hasn't innovated anything. the tablet has been around for almost a decade- from who else?...microsoft. they simply put a shiny coat on it. The smart phone?...no. palm, blackberry, nokia, motorola, how many of them put out a multi-function phone YEARS before the iphone. what they did was perfect the art of DRM being pushed down our throats. notice how you cannot use any apple products before first making it first known to apple.

    but to answer the question what does apple do to stay ahead and innovate?...drop all of the frivolous lawsuits; which show that they have no direction and get back to doing what ALL tech companies do best- steal and personalize someone else's ideas! They have the money for research, let them bring 3d holograms to the consumer for cheaper than what they cost.

    • Ravi Meena
      September 26, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      this is something i keep saying all the time to my friends :)

  7. Shayne Selwonk
    September 21, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    I don't think apple is thinking about innovation anymore that has change to were can they make the most money example of this is The smaller connector change to the iPhone and iPad that is useless tech wise, but they will make a lot of money from it because it renders current accessories unusable without an adapter.

    • Ravi Meena
      September 26, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      yes, they just want money

  8. Ravi Meena
    September 21, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    apple is more of a standalone innovation company, it doesn't value others opinion on their products, that was the reason they innovated in completely different direction than their competitors.
    but on the other side google is the company which values feedback and opinions too well, and in the long run, google's android will get more innovative features due to a large community contributing to the platform
    apple needs to open up about things, they need to get away from the profit/patent fights for a little time and concentrate on their core products and some new products.
    when 1000000000+ middle class people will be using android and 100000 rich people will be using apple ios, it is obvious that android will get developed much faster than any other OS and thus it will make it best thing ever. so my final words are "Technology and innovation is for people and about people, not about profits". and in the long run technology for people will rule.

    • Dr Shajul
      September 26, 2012 at 7:06 am

      Completely agree.. And the middle class are very discerning and cannot be easily fooled as they account for every penny they spend!

  9. Raunak Jyotishi
    September 20, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    Apple needs to rethink their strategy to be market as users will get bored

  10. scott pettersen
    September 20, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    The Patent Wars are getting way out of hand. Frivolouslawsuits are only going to drive the prices through the roof. Eventually it its going to have a crippling effect on all of the cell phone manufacturers and software developers.

    There isn't a clear line defining borrowing ideas and stealing. Apple admits to borrowing ideas and improving on them. Does this not apply to other companies as well? Or only to the companies with the best and most expensive lawyers.

  11. Darren Reynolds
    September 20, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    They still have the iPhone 5 S model to release ;-)

    • Dave Parrack
      September 20, 2012 at 8:51 pm

      September 2013... the iPhone 5S! Apple, predictable? Never.

  12. James Bruce
    September 20, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    They have some incredible patents and technology from recent acquisitions; it's just a matter of time before they bring something like haptics to the iPhone and change the entire game once again. Right now, they're riding on their success, and yes this is lame and boring for us, but it's also selling incredibly well. Nothing is ever going to stop the iOS platform from having the best apps; not while no one has a windows phone and Android remains so piratable. Users and developers choose the closed apple ecosystem for a reason; because the apps actually work and looks good; and developers can actually make money on it. That's all it is.

    • Dave Parrack
      September 20, 2012 at 8:50 pm

      If and when haptics does come to the iPhone and iPad then I'd concede that's a hugely innovative move.

      I agree iOS has the best apps, and that's the one thing that tempts me to buy an Apple product.

  13. Ricky
    September 20, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    I had written out a long response to your question of where Apple goes from here, and decided that it didn't really answer the question, but instead just called Apple out for not being truly innovating. Instead of that answer I would just like to say that without Steve Jobs and his ability to know who to steal the ideas from, Apple will only maintain it's shares for a while then fade away to another "could have been great" company that some rabid fans will still follow. They have never really done anything ground breaking, only copied and marketed ideas better than other companies.

    • Dave Parrack
      September 20, 2012 at 8:49 pm

      Wow, that's a pretty harsh commentary on how Apple have reached the heights it has. Jobs definitely borrowed many of his best ideas, just as every company does.

      • Ricky
        September 21, 2012 at 12:58 am

        Borrowed? From the beginnings, they have stolen almost everything that makes them "innovative". I cannot think of something that they have put out that is originally theirs. Everything that you mentioned in your article that "revolutionized" the world, was a stolen idea that they marketed better than the original creator. It might seem harsh, but it is an honest opinion, based on the facts that I have seen. Jobs himself has flat out stated that he stole the ideas, I don't know what other conclusion to get between his admitted theft and the fact that their products come at least a year after someone else puts out a similar product onto the market.

        • George
          October 9, 2012 at 3:56 pm

          in·no·vate/?in??v?t/
          Verb:
          Make changes in something established, esp. by introducing new methods, ideas, or products.
          By definition, to innovate means to take things that already exist and make changes that makes them better, more usable, or change how they are used. Yes, there were other smart phones before, yes apple did not "invent" the smart phone, but they did innovate it to the point that EVERYONE followed their lead. Now, they need to do it again.
          "Good Artists Borrow, Great Artists Steal"
          That is what I feel Apple does well. They steal, but I do not mean it in a bad way. They take existing ideas and steal them (make them their own) and not just borrow from others. They stoled the touch screen idea not borrowed it. What's the difference? If they had borrowed, EVERYONE would remember the touch phones before the iPhone and not just a handful of people. The stoled it, innovated the concept, and now few recall a touch phone before the iPhone. Same thing for the failed attempts at tablets before the iPad. Any one recall the UMPC (Microsoft's Origami project)? The movement that was going to "change" the world? Things would have been different if Apple had stolen that idea innovated it and brought it to market... but in a way they did with the iPhone.

  14. Santos
    September 20, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Apple is a very interesting company. I think that sentence summarizes my opinion of it. They do provide many great phones and services, but none that I can't live without. All in all Apple hasn't shattered the market with any new technology, they simply combined all the right software/hardware at the right time and took the market by storm. The competition was quick to catch up however, and now Apple overcompensates for their lack of innovation by suing competing companies. This trend could very well be the downfall of Apple in the coming years.

  15. Ashok Kumar
    September 20, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    I believe it was the vision of late steve jobs that enabled apple to reach the heights it is now. With his passing surely it is big blow to apple but i believe it will not stop them from innovating amazing features i the new world. With cloud computing being the next big thing, apple surely will come up with amazing features to harness the power of distributed computing. One of the biggest mistake that i see apple making now is its inability to reach the middle and lower class in 3rd world and also in developing countries. Apple products are still for the elite knowledgeable class of people who can afford it.

    Mobile phone technology for me is still at early stage and its enormous potential yet to be harnessed fully. With so many electronic devices surrounding us, the inter connectivity between them still has long way to go.

    • Dave Parrack
      September 20, 2012 at 8:40 pm

      That's true, Apple doesn't really cater to those who don't have money. It's not doing them any harm, clearly, but it means they'll never grow into developing countries.

  16. Dr Ramraj
    September 20, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    My opinion is apple will taste the earth within five to ten years . First of all , their target buyers are from the creamy layer of the society . Man it`s highly priced ,so that majority of people will never think buying one . On the other side android is growing like hell . Anybody can afford a droid . It`s growing very powerfull as apple . Lastly, innovations are not the sole copyright of apple . Everybody in the market tries to innovate new things . Who knows , a new operating system may arrive which will be superior to others , suiting the needs of future mobile computing . Probably a web based OS(like chrome or peppermint) may gain popularity since cloud computing is THE FUTURE . Now coming to the point , APPLE IS GOING DOWN TO EARTH .

  17. Richard Borkovec
    September 20, 2012 at 10:24 am

    The first thing that needs to be done, for any company, is to drop all lawsuits and start cross-licensing ALL patents, without the "no-clone" agreements Apple is famous for in their agreements. This will allow all companies to use what most people see as "standard essential" software and not fear being sued. Plus, the extra money that doesn't get to lawyers will go into R&D, giving us all better products. Even then, by dropping the ridiculous lawsuits, maybe their image will be restored with the consumer. Then we'd have a really competative smartphone/computer market, where the consumer would be the ultimate winner.

  18. Patrick Jackson
    September 20, 2012 at 8:19 am

    I think that following Microsoft's idea of the Surface tablets and Windows 8, they might just launch a iPad-Macbook hybrid, with a new OS which works both on their iPad and Macbook as well!

    But Apple 'Thinks Different', so they might just launch just another consumption device, take a smart watch (or iWatch), which allows users to connect to the world using the thing that looks swanky as well!

  19. Nicky Angel
    September 20, 2012 at 8:15 am

    soon the apple followers aka Apples will find out why apple is no good!

  20. scott pettersen
    September 20, 2012 at 7:42 am

    Apple should drop all lawsuits and come out with a dual OS device. One that runs on both IOS and Android. Hire developers to write high quality AndroidAAndroidAops and sell them on Amazon.

    • Dave Parrack
      September 20, 2012 at 8:39 pm

      Ah, we have a dreamer in our midst :D

  21. Laga Mahesa
    September 20, 2012 at 7:32 am

    Before understanding where Apple is likely to go, first you must understand the key difference between Apple and all the competition.

    Apart from Amazon and Apple, every gadget, device, phone, tablet, PC, laptop manufacturer promotes and sells tools with a system hammered and stretched onto them to make it fit. Apple and Amazon sell tools designed to fit the system, which in turn is designed to fit the larger ecosystem.

    Expect more development on the ecosystem front rather than the system or interface front. Nothing new hardware-wise will appear unless it benefits the ecosystem *experience* as a whole.

    • Dave Parrack
      September 20, 2012 at 8:38 pm

      That's a very good point well made. The hardware is what draws consumers in, the ecosystem is what keeps them invested in the company.

    • Elliot
      October 1, 2012 at 9:28 am

      Point maid. I have some concerns about that however. For starters, the mentality Apple (and not just Apple) adopts, in my opinion, is outdated. You have one company, controlling its market corner with an iron fist. Which to some extent is a good thing. Applications are screened, they have quality assertion and that's all well and good and it's what makes Apple reliable. But it's also what makes it bad for technological growth.

      Android does the opposite. Apps are submitted and only lightly tested, in some cases coming up with bugs that would make your hair stand on end. BUT... You have a couple of things. 1. Google's code is (for the most part) open-source. Which means anyone with some working knowledge of the SDK and Java can make their own apps that suite their needs. And you have a huge community willing to pitch in to make better and better apps. Which is something you can't really do with Apple.

      Technically we're being tricked into thinking that we NEED better hardware to suite our needs. In reality most apps would work fine on a single-core phone with 512Mb of RAM....if only the code got refactored and cleaned up.

      The start of the 20th century meant we had a new toy. Something we can build on. And as time passed we needed more processor power to house new technologies. But at some point we just woke up with a lot of processor power, a lot of space, a lot of everything and we just stopped caring about making it light enough to work on older machines.

      My point is, Apple's not bad. But it puts a strangle-hold on software innovation which makes me hate it...a lot. Sorry for the long-winded comment.

      • Rutul
        October 11, 2012 at 10:54 am

        Very well said, the apps must be refactored for other phones, also there are lots of bloatware coming up. When you offer big memory size and it gets filled up by bloatwares then whats the meaning of it?

  22. Sandeep
    September 20, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Apple is a trend setter in technology...so they should innovate and change the life of humans... they should not just behave like others who just replicate the specs and give it new marketing name and sell it...bring in new technology...there was no touch phone until apple brought iphone in the market..others just copied it and now see every where there is touch phone..........Apple should do this in everything...

    • Elliot
      October 1, 2012 at 9:12 am

      No touchscreen phone? You mean like the Nokia 7710? Launched 3 years before the iPhone?

  23. Sandeep
    September 20, 2012 at 7:20 am

    Apple should sell their iPhone without data plan...like other normal phone...where in you buy just a phone and put any sim card in it...that would really help...might break all sales records also....Since I am an Indian...on thing I would prefer is that they should bring their devices price down a bit...it would really help to boost the sells..for e.g...if they sell their latest iphone in the range of 20K INR to30K INR range..they might dominate the indian market...(this is all my personal opinion)

  24. Sandeep
    September 20, 2012 at 7:01 am

    What I think is they should not bring mini version of ipad..instead...keep the form factor same..add more ppi to display..support resolution of 3840x2080..add quad core processor with clock speed 2 Ghz with 2GB ram or more...support external usb connectivity.. more memory 128 or 256 gb models...trying to make ipad that will replace desktop atleast in some way.. it should be like developer should be able to use it for application devlopment like they use pc now...it will be awesome...

  25. bonioloff
    September 20, 2012 at 5:08 am

    Where Apple will go?
    Even i just a new fan of Apple, there is one thing that stay in my head while talking about Apple "Think Different", I don't know if it is just a good word or a true heart of Apple, but i think "Think Different" is still a good way to describe Apple so far.

    Innovation is the heart of Apple, at least they can prove it so far. And We'll not saying Apple will be perfect forever, but they do it many things perfectly. But any company can do the same. So no one can say Apple will stay like it now, it can be better, and it can be worst.

    Innovation has no limits, and everybody can make new innovations.
    So.., where will Apple Go From Here? We'll see..

    • Dave Parrack
      September 20, 2012 at 8:35 pm

      I have one problem with Think Different... that it's grammatically incorrect ;)

      • bonioloff
        September 21, 2012 at 4:05 pm

        Haha.. Yeah, English is not my native language, but i think they should make it "Think Differently". ;D

        • Dave Parrack
          September 21, 2012 at 4:14 pm

          Exactly! Sadly Apple seems to think it knows better ;)

    • Elliot
      October 1, 2012 at 9:04 am

      Personally I have a problem with Apple's MO. The "Think different" concept is true. They do. If thinking differently means you patent everything you can ever think of in every variation possible and even if you never intend to use that patent you sue anyone else that does.

      Read an article recently about various patents issued by Apple from 2000 onward and most of its base concepts for which they own a patent are just things other companies already made. Right down to the UNIX core (which they pretty much mangled btw).

      Not saying Samsung is better. The latest security issue they face is proof of that. But I think people need to just distance themselves a bit from the companies they hold in such high regard and maybe allow for some breathing room for smaller players that might actually come up with something more relevant to this century.

  26. Ahmed Khalil
    September 20, 2012 at 4:58 am

    Apple is go to the future with strong steps as per my opinion, and it will face competation of course but it will stay on the top

    • Dave Parrack
      September 20, 2012 at 8:35 pm

      You don't think consumers will tire of the lack of innovation?

  27. Terry
    September 20, 2012 at 3:48 am

    Maybe a screen size option or two more in tablets now. I would like to see something iOS iPad with a more Transformer like option.

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