Innovative and disruptive products have defined Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) since the stock began its magical run in the early 2000s. Today, Steve Jobs is gone, but the core of the team that developed these products is still there, and it’s about time the company began disrupting markets again. Here are three things the company can — and should — be working on.
Killing cable TV
The cable industry has created a distribution network that allows little choice for consumers and high prices to boot. Channels are bundled in packages that include dozens of channels we’re not interested in watching, and there’s often only one company offering service.
The Internet could change all of that if a company could create the leverage to break the hold cable has over us. Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), and Hulu have tried to do this through their streaming services, but they don’t have business models that scale well for content owners, and they still haven’t proved to be profitable enough to take on cable.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has the scale and has already proved it can disrupt media after conquering the music industry. It could offer a la carte or subscription services tailored to consumers’ needs so we get only what we want. Rumors have swirled for years that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is going to introduce streaming content deals, but so far it hasn’t happened.
It’s actually The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) that holds the key to breaking cable through its 80% ownership stake in ESPN. Steve Jobs helped build a strong relationship with Disney and was Disney’s largest shareholder and a board member before he died. The Steve Jobs tie is gone, but Disney is still close to Apple, and if the two can collaborate, millions of people may take cord-cutting seriously.
If Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is working on an “iTV,” it can’t just be any old TV. It has to be super-thin and incredibly high-quality, and it has to offer a “wow” factor that no one else can. If Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is taking a totally new look at TV, there’s really no reason the television as we know it has to remain the same. Why mount a TV on the wall when placing it on the table or bringing it outside might be more convenient? Why have two TVs if you could just move your TV wherever it’s convenient to use? For years we’ve been hindered by cords and the inconvenient form factor of TVs, but Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could change that.