So the rumours were true and Apple’s iPhone 5 was beset by enough technical difficulties to be canned (for now) and replaced by a souped-up iPhone 4:
Except it is the iPhone 5. Its technical specifications are exactly in line with what was expected of the iPhone 5. The only missing pieces were the bodywork and the title.
I think this is instructive. In the highly superficial world of technology, if your latest product looks exactly like your last product, will anyone but specification-obsessed-geeks care?
How difficult would it have been to tweak the casing, call it the iPhone 5, and watch the hoards flock to it?
In spite of a late-day rally, Apple’s stock is down for the day:
The entire episode smacks of mismanagement and reminds me of the market’s disappointed reaction to Operation Twist. Like Apple-junkies, the POMO-junkies wanted their version of the iPhone 5 — QE3. Just like the iPhone 4s, Operation Twist is what the junkies wanted — a massive money-printing operation (over the yield curve) in all but name. Yet the junkies end up disappointed.
Steve Jobs might have been dictatorial and Machiavellian, but at least he knew how to manage expectations and give the market what it wanted. The fear for Apple is that now Apple has lost its envisioner-in-chief that those same obedient automata who so smoothly executed Jobs’ vision will now fuck-up that last great bastion of American innovation (no Ben — “innovative” monetary policy is not innovation).