Apart from the regular speculations on what Apple will reveal in the next, also speculation, iPhone event this article include one true observation: That Apple's rate of innovation has slowed.
It is, of course, obvious for all who follow Apple this is the case. Statistics say that companies who lose their charismatic leader chug along for 2, sometimes 3 years before losing their direction and return to the obscurity that leader took them out of. Unless the management wakes up, this is where Apple is going too. But why? Steve Jobs had an amazing intuition of what would work in the market, and just about every product Apple produced during his reign was a success (as opposed to other companies where typically 80-90% of products are failures of some kind). Despite reassurances from Apple's management, the death of Jobs put them all in a 2 year panic freeze where nobody had the guts to tinker with his "secret sauce". Two years without any innovation at all and one after another of underwhelming product launches - giving away their clear smartphone market leadership to Samsung.
In the latest earnings call, Tim Cook told investors that 2014 is going to be the turnaround year for Apple. Do you believe him? The same Tim Cook who told investors the Apple Innovation University would guarantee an uninterrupted continuation of Job "secret sauce". Time will tell.
The lesson, of course, is to understand how important products, service and business innovation are, and that, as business leaders, we cannot stand still. We continually have to reinvent our companies, we need to make sure we have the resources for such innovation, and we must have go-to-market and sales processes to match. The truism are that you price for profit to get the resources to innovate, and to top it off, you need a sales processes that ensure you can capture the maximum of your customers willingness to pay (no good if your sales people discount away all the profits you deserve).
With a bite-of-an-increasing-sour-fruit regards,