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Business Makeover: Apple


If it's broke, fix it.

Just last week, BusinessWeek dared to ask, Has Apple (AAPL) reached a product plateau?

At first blush, the question seems downright insolent -- the company, after all, has had a 7-year stranglehold on the consumer electronic space and introduced 2 game-changing devices during that time -- but makes sense on further consideration.

You've heard the president talk about the "soft bigotry of low expectations." This is its flipside.

Because innovation on the scale that Apple has demonstrated probably can't go on in perpetuity, consumers and shareholders who cultishly await its next move are bound to be disappointed by mere product-line diversification.

And so, with the tacit recognition that its headquarters will more than likely be toilet-papered by Apple's loyal flock, Minyanville suggests 6 ways the company can continue to dazzle.

The iPhone should come in a whole family of models, much like the iPod. Introduce the lower end iPhone Nano, featuring no-touch screen, a keypad and a state-of-the-art vibrating ringtone in a revolutionary clamshell design.

The latest generation of iPod Touches feature a capacity of up to 32 GB, which some users still find too small. For those who want access to their entire music collection, slap a touchscreen onto a Sony Discman and dub it the iPod Retro.

Some users have complained that the Apple TV has languished on the company's back burner for over a year. Respond by saying, "Apple has no back burners" and unveil the new free-standing iStove.

Rumors of a Mac-based tablet device have tongues wagging and Apple fanatics drooling. Even if it's not in development, keep the customer base excited with a realistic Photoshop rendering of the device on an assembly line.

The iTunes Store could wind up operating at a loss if the Copyright Royalty Board were to require higher royalties for music producers. Stamp out the risk by limiting songs to those in the public domain, like "Little Brown Jug," "Froggie Went a-Courtin'" and "Jesus Loves Me."

Ensure the endless development of cutting-edge products by implanting CEO Steve Jobs' brain in a preservation chamber.

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