Apple’s Board Of Directors ‘Deeply Concerned’ Tim Cook Isn’t Innovating Fast Enough [Report]

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2013 is, so far, what might be considered a year of regrouping for Apple. The company has seen huge success in the PC, smartphone and tablet markets, but it’s also pushed those about as far as they can go: Incremental improvements, not revolutions, are what we can expect for the Mac, iPhone and iPad from here on out. Meanwhile, the next big thing — the iWatch, the iTV, whatever — is still on the horizon.

To outsiders, it looks like Apple has stalled. Far from it. You only need to look at the changes Apple is making with iOS 7 to see that Cupertino isn’t standing still, and the company has signalled that it is committed to the future of OS X for at least the next 10 years. That said, all the products Apple is set to announce next month — the iPhone 5S, the iPhone 5C, the iPad mini 2 and the iPad 5 — are just sequels to what it’s already done.

People are getting impatient for the next major Apple revolution. And it’s not just outsiders. A new report suggests that Apple’s own board of directors is “deeply concerned” about Cupertino’s perceived slackening in the pace of innovation.

The report comes from Fox Business News correspondent Charlie Gasparino, who says reliable sources have told him that Apple’s board is worried Apple hasn’t released any innovative products recently.

“That concern is basically manifesting into pressure on Tim Cook to innovate — do something fast,” says Gasparino. But that’s not to say Cook’s job is on the line. The board, according to Gasparino, is “100% behind him.” But they’re hoping that in being 100% behind him they can push him to move faster.

It’s hard to say what is going on within Apple, but my guess is that even as fast as it has grown recently, Cupertino simply couldn’t keep on releasing new products at such breakneck speed and work on the next big thing at the same time. I really do believe that the iWatch — and to a lesser extent, the Apple HDTV — are products Apple is trying to push out for 2014. But at the same time, Apple’s board is right: Cook can’t coast on past successes and innovative products forever, or the company will lose its momentum.

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  • joewaylo

    They need to look for ‘never done before’ innovations. Only innovations I’ve seen are those already developed by Microsoft, Google and Cydia users and put into iOS 7. There’s plenty of ideas they can come up with in iOS 8 that has never been done before and is not already on Microsoft, Google or Cydia.

  • aboutcepimages

    Beyond refreshing OS X and iOS every year, Apple needs to refresh iLife, iWork and their pro-level app’s with features that the end users are requesting (Apple’s discussion forums will them some good guidance on this).

  • Adrayven

    Meh.. issue is the source.. Fox? ikkk.. thats a wall street influenced source.. This could easily be someone trying to ‘influence’ the board and Tim Cook. I’m not a fan of the instant gratification view WS has; which is largely driven these days by the parasitic micro-traders looking for the quick buck.

  • AdamPluck1

    Tim isn’t an innovator, he’s a business man. Johnny Ive is the innovator at Apple. I, however, don’t think Tim should be fired. Him and Johnny are the two parts needed in apple. One focused on profit margins, one on making revolutionary products

  • thegraphicmac

    Fox News is the source? Really? Why is this being republished all over the Apple-web? Bunch of horseshit.

  • iFan41

    People need to stop being so impatient, especially article authors like this one. The pipeline for innovative products is usually a decade long while technology prices come down enough to mass produce the product. In my humble opinion, Apple puts out too many versions of iPhones and iPads as it is…they are being pushed yearly to be innovative. Good technology takes longer than that, of course all you get are refreshes. Apple has made it known three times now, that when they do release their “next big thing” it crushes the market and they are on top. It’s in between product cycles people always cry they aren’t innovative anymore…then all of a sudden everyone is in love with them again. Shut up and let the pipeline work…

  • Thesixler

    The dumb thing is that OF COURSE we know about the sequel products because those are automatically refreshing products that come out predictably. We have much more info on that because they’re less protected, because, you know, everyone knows that new iphones and ipads will come out. It’s just observational bias to assume there’s no innovation because you’re aware that new versions of products are coming out and you’re not aware of entirely new products that haven’t come out yet.

    The things that they ARE innovating on are things that are more secret and under wraps, that’s why there’s less info about it. And even then, its not like we don’t know that innovation is happening. iWatch? iTV? new mac pro? That’s not innovation? Those aren’t going to be gamechangers? Its just that they don’t talk about them because OBVIOUSLY competitors (samsung) will just copy and release crappy clones of the technology that they’re investing R&D dollars into.

  • Gregory Wright

    Provided this story is true, I don’t quite understand what Apple’s board wants. Who can they bring in to do things differently? Al Gore needs to focus on improving the Internet since he invented it.

  • Ianthetechman

    Although i am a massive apple lover and have been a dedicated apple consumer for years, When my upgrade was due this year i decided to go with a android device.
    I was just sick of waiting for apple to deliver something new i don’t really want the 5s i want a iphone 6 with a new design and some real stand out features that are not available on other phones.
    Although iOS7 is nice i still believe it is not enough and apple are really just playing catchup to android jellybean which is a shame because for years it was the other way around.

  • Gregory Wright

    Al Gore, the inventor of the Internet, gotta love him. No wonder Apple isn’t innovating fast enough.

  • MrsCleaver

    Apple’s Board Of Directors ‘Deeply Concerned’ Tim Cook Isn’t Innovating Fast Enough”

    Yeah, that poor old Apple Corp just can’t innovate fast enough. Crappy ideas, bad products, low profit, flagging sales, no money in the bank, poor and understocked stores, horrible customer satisfaction, worldwide disgust in general… Yeah Apple must have it ALL wrong. No wonder the Board is “Deeply Concerned.” Too bad; it seemed like the last 35 years was a good ride for Apple, but now—according to the Board—it’s over.

    I have an idea: let the Apple Board members come up with their own list of ideas, their own innovations, and submit them to Tim Cook, Jony Ive and the others designers at Apple. Let’s see what they can come up with. Maybe the Apple Board of directors can somehow resurrect this horribly failing company from the ashes of it’s dismal profits and dissatisfied customer base.

  • Jonathan Ober

    Beyond refreshing OS X and iOS every year, Apple needs to refresh iLife, iWork and their pro-level app’s with features that the end users are requesting (Apple’s discussion forums will them some good guidance on this).

    iWork/iLife updates are coming don’t worry. I know someone inside that is working on QC with Pages and he said the new is just around the corner.

  • DanBoltron

    Maybe the board needs to be dismantled and refreshed with new board members if they are going to buckle under the pressure of stupid pundits who don’t know their a** from a hole in the ground…

  • Commonman

    Having waited for more than 3 years of updated iDevices, I’m happy to see the new Mac Pro. Maybe the board hasn’t received the memo yet?

  • rammo123

    Why is Apple held to a higher standard than any other company in the industry? No-one criticizes Samsung or Microsoft etc. for rehashing the same products year after year. We shouldn’t be expecting Apple to revolutionize the industry – just be thankful if and when they do!

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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