Apple to present at today’s WWDC. Eh (shrug).

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

2 June 2014

Where’s the innovation?

Later today, Apple CEO Tim Cook will take the stage at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco – and I wouldn’t expect any earth-shattering developments.

The word, especially because the audience consists of developers, is that updates on the IOS software system will be in place, along with updates for Macs and possibly a connected home system.

“If you’ve seen the recent Apple ads, you are seeing a similarity with its competitors.”

That same word is saying a new iPhone or even the much-bandied-about iWatch would be announced later this year.

What caught my eye was Eddy Cue, a senior vice president at Apple, saying last week, “Late this year, we’ve got the best product pipeline I’ve seen in my 25 years here.”

Pretty exciting stuff, especially when you consider that Apple completely changed the way we think, interact and consume in that time. We’ve seen the iPad, the iPod, the iPhone, iTunes and much more.

But my gut is telling me it’s an overstatement. As a brand, Apple has lost some of its luster – and it’s not just because it’s been out-innovated by competitors. (Although that’s an issue. The purchase of Beats sparks a concern. Instead of innovating, is Apple’s plan to just buy technology?)

If you’ve seen the recent Apple ads, you are seeing a similarity with its competitors. Its latest campaign is showing how famous people use the iPad, for example, to “explore a world without limits.” The latest features travel writer Cherie King.

Apple WWDCI like them better than what Apple had been doing right before that, but I don’t get the connection to Apple that, for example, the “I’m a PC, I’m a Mac” ads used to have. Think of it this way: The “exploring a world” angle could be taken by any of its competitors. What made – and may still make – Apple unique is that its users were taught that they “think different.”

As I’ve said before, I’m not expecting Apple to tumble by any means. It’s still a powerful brand and I love its products. I am an Apple loyalist.

But doesn’t it seem now when Apple is presenting at WWDC that it’s less exciting? It used to be that you’d tune in looking for that “Oh, and one more thing” moment.

Now, it’s just greeted with “eh” and a shrug.

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