Mossberg: Apple is a movie studio and its next blockbuster is coming later this year

D11 Tim Cook

Recode’s Walt Mossberg is out with an interesting piece today taking a look at Apple after Steve Jobs and revisiting Tim Cook’s promise of new product categories across 2014. While comparing Apple and its product releases to movie studios— big blockbuster hits followed by sequels that often make more money— Walt says Apple execs have told him “impressive new products” are indeed on the way.

But I think the most useful way of thinking about Apple is to see it as a movie studio. Studios release blockbuster franchise movies every few years, and then try to live off a series of sequels until the next big, successful franchise. We are in the early stages of one such project right now: On May 2, Columbia Pictures will release “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” the first of what may be several sequels to the original 2012 film, that was itself a reboot of an earlier series.

Just because these things are sequels doesn’t mean they’re bad, or even worse than the originals. Sometimes, as with “The Godfather Part II,” the sequel is considered by many to be even better than the original. (Of course, sometimes — as with “The Godfather Part III,” a sequel may be reviled as so bad that it’s unworthy of the series.)… And sequels can make more money — sometimes much, much more — than the originals.

While Mossberg has had relative success with Apple’s sequel products in recent years— despite a few hiccups with Maps and iOS 7— he claims “Apple executives have assured me that the second half of 2014 will have impressive new products.” Whether that includes a new game-changing product or “franchise” category remains to be seen.

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  1. PMZanetti - 9 years ago

    “Apple executives have assured me that the second half of 2014 will have impressive new products.”

    No Shit.

  2. jrox16 - 9 years ago

    Sounds like Samsung will have new blockbuster products in early to mid 2015 in that case… :-)

  3. OneOkami (@OneOkami) - 9 years ago

    What I take from this, what I’ve been talking from the past several weeks is how the roadmap went from products “all across 2014” to products in the “second half of 2014”.

    Sounds to me they’ve fallen behind.

    • barlen - 9 years ago

      Agreed. I think the summer iPhone release date of the past made a lot more sense and gave Apple the ability to sell more product. Cramming all of the new releases, revisions, etc in the Sept to Dec timeframe always seems to backfire, as the good products never seem to be available in enough quantities to meet demand.

      • alvinguzman - 9 years ago

        Yea – the issue now is with the carrier firming up their upgrade policies fewer people might be able to upgrade if they released a new iphone in June – Cook already acknowledged as much last quarter – looks like they sold 2-3 millions units fewer than expected.

  4. Steffen Jobbs - 9 years ago

    The only thing that makes Apple seem like a movie studio is that they’re producing an obscene comedy quarter after another. Or maybe they could consider them crime movies because shareholders get murdered every quarter when Apple misses expectations. It’s almost become some big deal when Apple even releases a product. With most companies you take it for granted that you’ll see a few new products released every year. Tim Cook has made product releases a crapshoot. I know I have no information on what exactly is in Apple’s product pipeline or release dates of those products. I’m only saying that running a company in that manner is exasperating to potential investors and shareholders. Most tech companies will give product roadmaps to corporations so they can plan budgets or other details. Not Apple. Everything run at that company is a mystery. Apple seems to be causing potential investors to avoid the stock altogether and create dissension among current shareholders.

    There’s absolutely no hope for shareholders this quarter or the next. I’m concerned Apple will never meet expectations with Tim Cook running the company. The company will continue to make money but with zero growth, there will be no rise in share value.

    • Kieran Navickas - 9 years ago

      You are a fucking moron! Tim Cook is America’s greatest CEO, even Steve Jobs thought so. That is the flaw with society and wall street. Apple has become the most valuable company in the US, and it will probably be torn to shreds by dumb-ass greed shareholders and cocksuckers named Carl Icahn.

      Thank god for Tim Cook. He does not succumb to this crap. Tim Cook has the fortitude and knowledge not to rush things and to release them when they are ready.

      If shareholders do not see that as true shareholder value, they do not know what they are doing.

      • Chris Cooper (@clcooper) - 9 years ago

        I sure hope some hacked your account to make that comment. From your profile page here which appears to be pulled from Facebook, you appear to be a professional individual. It would be unusual to be a Senior Partner in a firm that would reply with such a vulgar, uncalled for comment in response to someone that made a well-thought out point.

      • Jarle Dahl Bergersen - 9 years ago

        OR, he could be someone that has stolen someone elses picture and probably isn’t who he says he is.

    • o0smoothies0o - 9 years ago

      Ohhhh no the shareholders!!! What ever will Apple do?! Omg omg the precious shareholders and investors!!! Lame.

      • OneOkami (@OneOkami) - 9 years ago

        Realize you’re “trying” to belittle the people who actually own the company.


Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.