Steve Jobs Would Be Furious: Apple’s Betrayal of Innovation Leaves Consumers in the Dust

Aaron Smet
3 min readMay 27, 2023
Photo by zhang kaiyv on Unsplash

Steve Jobs, the visionary co-founder of Apple, was renowned for his relentless pursuit of innovation and his desire to create groundbreaking products that revolutionized entire industries. His passion for pushing boundaries and disrupting the status quo was a driving force behind Apple’s success. However, if Steve Jobs were alive today, he would likely be disappointed with Apple’s current approach under the leadership of Tim Cook.

While Tim Cook has undeniably steered Apple towards unprecedented financial success, there is a growing concern that the company has shifted its focus away from innovation and towards protecting its intellectual property through patents. Instead of embracing risk-taking and venturing into new industries, Apple has chosen a more defensive stance, stifling competition and limiting consumer choice.

One of the most significant consequences of this shift is the lack of investment in research and development (R&D). Steve Jobs was a firm believer in investing heavily in R&D, understanding that it was crucial for developing breakthrough products. However, under Tim Cook’s leadership, Apple’s R&D spending as a percentage of revenue has remained relatively stagnant, and there has been a notable absence of groundbreaking new products from the company.

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As a result, consumers are left with incremental updates to existing products rather than truly innovative offerings. Apple’s flagship iPhone, once synonymous with technological advancements and excitement, has experienced minimal changes in recent years. While the newer models may boast slightly improved cameras or slightly faster processors, these updates pale in comparison to the game-changing innovations that characterized Apple’s earlier years.

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Furthermore, the lack of competition in the market has allowed Apple to maintain higher prices for its products. Without strong alternatives and truly disruptive offerings from competitors, consumers are left with limited choices, and Apple has less incentive to price its products competitively. As a result, consumers are forced to pay a premium for products that have seen little significant advancement.

Steve Jobs once famously said, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Under Tim Cook’s leadership, Apple appears to be veering towards the path of a follower rather than a leader. While the company continues to generate staggering profits and satisfy its investors, it risks losing the spirit of innovation that made it a household name.

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It is important to acknowledge that running a company the size of Apple is an immense challenge, and maintaining a balance between protecting intellectual property and fostering innovation is not an easy task. However, to truly honor Steve Jobs’ legacy and continue the trajectory of groundbreaking innovation, Apple must recommit itself to pushing boundaries and venturing into new frontiers.

Tim Cook’s Apple should take inspiration from its own history and reignite the spirit of disruptive innovation. By increasing investment in research and development, fostering a culture that encourages risk-taking, and exploring new industries, Apple can once again become a pioneer rather than a protector of its intellectual property.

Ultimately, the disappointment that Steve Jobs would likely feel towards Apple’s current approach under Tim Cook stems from the missed opportunities to redefine industries and delight consumers with groundbreaking products. It is crucial for Apple to remember its roots, embrace risk, and rediscover the passion for innovation that once made it the epitome of technological excellence. Only then can Apple reclaim its position as a true industry leader and deliver products that truly captivate and inspire consumers.

Lastly, I invite you to watch this lost interview featuring Steve, where he eerily describes the exact scenario of what Apple would eventually become.

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