Originally Posted by macarena
Some of the details of the iPad announcement signify a shift in Apple's thinking. And I am not sure yet, but I think this could be a massive change in mentality for Apple. Whether it is better in the long run or not, only time will tell.
The first change I see, is that under Steve Jobs, Apple would have likely priced the new iPad at $579 or $599 - claiming that this radical new screen never before seen in any mobile device and LTE with whole day battery life was a steal at $579. I remember the iPhone launch - when Apple said this device combines a phone, iPod and internet browser - and even if you paid $200 for each, it would work out $599! Pricing the new iPad at $499 is mind boggling in several ways. Considering that Samsung is the only vendor that has managed to meet Apple's specs, it is very likely that Apple will be supply constrained for a long time. They are easily missing out on an additional $80 to $100 on each device. Very few people would have complained, and even those who complained would have happily paid up for this device.
The second change is in making the device slightly heavier and bigger - to keep battery life high, and still support Apple. Very likely Apple under Steve would have declared LTE to be not yet meeting Apple's requirements for battery life, and not yet fully deployed across the US and across the world, so at this point in time, LTE is a meaningless spec. Apple would have likely given up on LTE if they could keep the weight and size down to iPad 2 levels. This is a major shift in Apple's mentality - when a compromise has to be made, Apple is ready to make the compromise, without compromising on usability.
The new Apple will be even harder to compete against - Steve Jobs for all his skills and magic, still left some flanks open - either by pricing his products high, or by skipping on some of the latest features that were not yet fully ready for prime time. The new Apple is not leaving those flanks open - how on earth is the competition going to survive against this Apple!
The Apple under Steve was a "we are pricey, but we don't really want to serve 100% of the market anyway - if you think we are too pricey, you are welcome to buy crap from the competition". The Apple under Tim Cook seems to be following a totally different approach. Price the product cheap, go for marketshare and momentum, leverage every possible strength to improve margins despite pricing the product at levels the competition just cannot meet.
I think (not sure yet) that Tim Cook's Apple will be a lot more successful. Steve's influence was essential in taking Apple to the levels it reached, but once Apple reached where it is today, it is Tim Cook magic that will keep it running.
Because there is no point having the best product in the world - if you can't make nearly enough of it!
Steve Jobs created a lot of magic - but in some ways, what Tim Cook is pulling off is also quite magical. Some day, we will read about how Apple revolutionized the logistics business, till then Tim Cook will remain an unsung hero.