Apple Inc. (AAPL) Litigates And Innovates; Can It Multitask?

Apple Inc.Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has developed a reputation over the last 35 years as one of the truly innovative companies in the computer technology world. Under the late Steve Jobs’ direction and guidance, Apple Inc. (AAPL) became a marketing juggernaut that happened to develop revolutionary, high-quality products that many people wanted and became loyal fans and followers of the brand. But with the recent questions and shoulder shrugs over the iPhone 5 along with the company’s aggressive legal defenses of its standing patents in courtrooms all over the world. Is Apple spreading itself too thin?

Should Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) focus on one thing at a time, or is it able to multitask – litigate, while it innovates? There are certainly investors like billionaire fund manager Julian Robertson of Tiger Management, who will be watching this closely.

While Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) seems to be getting more headlines about its busy legal docket lately, it seems that the reputation of being an innovator has been compromised. After all, while the iPhone 5 is generally raved by consumers, many tech critics have shrugged their shoulders. It’s a nice phone with nice upgrades, but many don’t see it being revolutionary, but more evolutionary. And one blogger compared this litigation-over-innovation philosophy to the stunted growth in mobile by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and the fate of MCI as it tried to beat AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) in the courtroom rather than the market.

And there might be something to this when one considers that in this current litigious climate, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has pushed forth applications for seven patents involving camera technology on mobile devices that seem to be consistent with technology that has existed on digital cameras for a while – with the exception being that gestures and touches on the screen can serve to direct the devices to sharpen focus on one part of an image while the rest blurs, or can fix red-eye problems in an image. Again, it could be that all of the legal wrangling has led Apple Inc. (AAPL) to be more evolutionary and may be contributing to Apple losing its focus.

Do you, as an investor or potential investor, think Apple inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is still a leader in innovation, or do you think all these legal battles are distracting it from its reputation? If you were CEO Tim Cook right now, would you still multitask, or try to focus your company laser on one thing at a time, and what would that one thing be?