12 things Apple needs to do next

Everyone knows what Apple must do next. Who's right?

Tim Cook called the lawsuit a "silly sideshow". He explained: "Apple makes bold and ambitious bets on products and we're conservative financially... deliver it thoughtful is our mantra. Cash is not burning a hole in our pocket."

We say: Wall Street. They crazy!

Apple needs to make sure the iWatch is good

12 things Apple absolutely needs to do
An iWatch needs to be more than an iPod on a strap if it's going to change the world

If the iWatch is going to sell, Ashley Norris of Tech Digest says, it'll need to be good. Because if it isn't, then that will be bad.

It'll need a "really smart innovative design", "a clever way of operating the watch" and needs to "replicate a lot of features its rivals offer". Rivals in this context include Nike's FuelBand, which isn't a watch.

We say: Well, yes.

Apple needs to get into the TV business

Legendary journalist Hunter S Thompson called the TV business a "cruel and shallow money trench" where "thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs". Why would Apple want to play there? The reason, says Robert D Hof of MIT Technology Review, is growth; "it needs something very big to keep growth humming after the next year or two of the iPad boom."

Apple would enter this low margin business and find a way to make high margins by selling an ecosystem of iPads, iPhones and Apple TVs rather than just enormous and enormously expensive TVs. "Don't just think of an Apple TV as the big screen in the living room, or else you might miss where Apple really envisions the 75-year-old medium going next: everywhere."

We say: The ecosystem argument makes sense. For many of us the iPad is the first screen, not the second one.

Apple needs to fire Tim Cook

12 things Apple absolutely needs to do
Is Tim Cook a liability? Some financial pundits certainly think so

Oh yes it does, says Jeff Macke on Yahoo Finance. "Since Cook arrived Apple has missed Street estimates about half the time and released no earth-shaking new products, despite endless hints that a TV revolution was imminent."

Not only has Cook failed to meet other people's made-up figures, but demand for Apple products outstrips supply. "It's Cook's job to make sure Apple is has the products it hypes," Macke says.

We say: Wall Street. They crazy! Again!

Apple needs to start innovating again

"Apple has stopped innovating and Microsoft is doing a better job," says eWeek's Wayne Rash, but it turns out that the problem is the same old G-word: growth. "What's the point [of] buying Apple stock if it's not going up in value consistently, and the company isn't paying dividends despite its huge profit margins?"

Rash also makes the strange claim that "Macintosh computers went for years without an upgrade and when the upgrade was delivered the primary difference was a better display". He's talking about the MacBook Pro with Retina display.

He's right that Siri could be better and Maps was crap, but while Apple is clearly in the refinement stage of many products - it's shipped the iPhone 5, iPad 4, MacBook Air 2012 and MacBook Pro with Retina display, and now it's refining those products - it's a bit of a stretch to argue that Apple must now "actually invent something, anything, that shows that the company hasn't lost its innovative edge".

We say: We'd like it a lot more if experts explained what exactly Apple needs to invent. "Something awesome!" isn't really enough.

Apple needs to accept that it has peaked

12 things Apple absolutely needs to do

"Apple has reached its long-term peak... and it will not regain its glory," says David Dines of ACG Research. "Not only did the iPhone 5 force everyone to a different charger, but it also broke Bluetooth connections with many devices." Er, what? Let's not get distracted: "Since the company no longer has a one-of-a-kind product visionary, Apple needs to either replace the visionary or transition to a different business model."

Dines is right that "competitors Samsung and Google are formidable if you do not keep changing the rules of the game or the categories", but we think he's being rather dismissive of Jonathan Ive.

We say: Peak Apple? Quite possibly. But we'd like to see iOS 7 before calling this one.

Apple needs to keep setting the standard

You can always count on Steve Wozniak to say something vague that'll be reported as 'OMG WOZ SAYS APPLE IS DOOMED'. This month he told Bloomberg that "Apple must keep setting standards or lose its cool". Apple should let "buyers of mobile devices running Microsoft Corp or Google Android to use the iTunes media management software" - presumably because they haven't suffered enough - and an iWatch would be good if Siri was better.

Did Woz actually say that Apple had stopped setting the standard? Er, nope: his actual words were "Apple is really good at setting a standard with a new device. Apple still has its halo in that regard."

We say: The message here is really "Hey, Apple! Don't screw up!" We can get behind that.