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Has Apple Inc. (AAPL) Lost its Hunger to Innovate?

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Apple Inc. is no longer the world’s most valuable company. Alphabet Inc is.  This news didn’t surprise the market. Apple has been facing serious headwinds since the stock market opened for trading this year. One of the reasons Apple’s stock has been facing pressure is that the iPhone is losing its shine in the market. The second reason for the weakness is that the firm has not been able to deliver another game-changing product to the market.

Apple Inc (AAPL)

The current situation at Apple is all too similar to the script that played out when Steve Jobs first left Apple in 1985 and Sculley started focusing on selling the Mac and hoarding market share instead of pushing the frontier with new products. Apple got its groove back when Steve Jobs returned in 2007 and the firm blew our minds away with iTunes, iPod, iPhone, and iPad among others. There won’t be a third coming of Steve Jobs ad the onus now falls on Tim Cook to find ways to right the ship.

Has Apple lost its hunger to innovate?

The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are not breaking sales records because the market doesn’t really consider them to be new products. Apple unveils a new generation of iPhone every other year and the “S” and “S Plus” versions only sport improved specs over their original models. In the past, the market has usually gone crazy about new iPhone releases but now, most folks don’t think that the upgraded features justify the premium of buying a new phone.

In a bid to reignite love for the iPhone, Apple might be considering using a hover-sensing multitouch display in the next iPhone. Apple has debuted a 3D Touch force-sensing input in the iPhone 6S but the firm thinks that it would make more sense to interact with the iPhone without touching the screen.

Apple has been granted a patent (No. 9,250,734) for a hover-sensing multi-touch display. The patent uses inline proximity sensors to detect non-contact hover gestures so that you can make inputs by hovering over the screen with your fingers instead of touching the screen.

Apple has practically milked out all the juice in the iPhone as evident in the slowing sales growth of the device. Apple started the iPhone with a 4.7-inch compact device and Steve Jobs was against those “phablets” big-screen smartphones. Apple joined the “phablet” bandwagon to unleash a bigger iPhone. Nonetheless, the market seems to have become satiated to bigger, slimmer, and sleeker iPhones and it seems that Tim Cook might want to revisit the 4.7-inch device.

In other news, Apple might be planning to refresh its iPad line in March as 9to5Mac reports that the firm might unveil the iPad Air 3. It is being said that the iPad Air 3 will have a 9.7-inch display (the screen size of the original iPad) as the firm starts going back to its previous form factors.

Apple must break new grounds or sink

Yet, there’s only so much hardware and software upgrades that you can make in a device until it stops making sense. On Monday, rumors surfaced that the firm might want unveil two versions of the iPhone 7 – the main difference in the two versions is the presence of dual lens cameras.

Now, Tim Cook thinks touching your phone screen is too much work and that you’ll prefer to swipe, pinch, and zoom in on imaginary icons in the air – little wonder that some analysts are starting to question Tim Cook’s sanity. In the final analysis, the hover-sensing multitouch display might help sell the next iPhone, but it is high time Apple blew our minds again by breaking new grounds in tech innovation.

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Victor Alagbe is a seasoned business and finance writer with a specialty in writing about how to invest for the long-term in healthcare, pharmacology, energy and tech stocks. His long-term focus is on stocks that provide a nice mix of growth and income. For the short term, he passionately writes about trading stock options for the excitement and leverage that stock options offer.