The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has quietly increased its PR to assure everyone that all is well in the land that Steve Jobs built. One example given by the paper is the recent announcement about iOS upgrading to 6.1. The company reportedly hasn't announced the launch of a non-major mobile software release unrelated to a hardware launch since 2010.
In Apple's defense, the company distributed six press releases in January alone, not uncommon for the iPhone maker. Yet the paper points out that Apple is also sending along favorable third-party reports, one of which said that by 2014, Apple will be accepted in the enterprise as Microsoft is today. This also isn't uncommon for Apple (or any other company for that matter), but the paper insists that they've increased since the start of the year, most of which are related to mobile market share.
According to the paper, an unnamed source said Apple is finally recognizing that competition is heating up, especially when it comes to Google and Samsung's domination in the smartphone sector. Growth has slowed and profits have flattened, the paper said, with shares falling around 35-percent since a record high close of $702.10 per share in September 2012. Meanwhile, Samsung is swimming in money, dumping loads of cash into advertising including the recent Super Bowl ad.
Still, despite the increase in PR, Apple remains secretive as always, believing that less is more, a torch passed on to Apple CEO Tim Cook after the death of Steve Jobs in 2011. iPhone sales are still reportedly strong, which pushed Apple into becoming the top mobile vendor here in the States for the very first time in 4Q12. But an increasing perception that something is going wrong still exists, and perhaps it's because Apple hasn't introduced any groundbreaking products since the iPad.
Business Insider blames the uncertainty on Tim Cook. The site points out that Steve Jobs had the ability to "craft and deliver a message that people believed regardless of its credibility was an incredible asset," Tim Cook does not have that ability – his words aren't quite as "insightful" and "interesting". Apple has seemingly lost its flare since the passing of Steve Jobs, and perhaps the company is now realizing that.
Apple changed the way we listened to music-on-the-go with the launch of its first iPod in 2001. Then in 2007, it changed the mobile (and gaming) scene with the introduction of the iPhone, and later the notebook sector with the MacBook Air in 2008. After that, the company destabilized the PC industry with the launch of the iPad in 2010. Now two months into 2013, the company hasn't launched anything new, just upgrades and form factor revisions to its current products.
The rumored Siri-powered Apple iTV HDTV, slated to change the living room, is nowhere to be found. Horror stories surrounding the device describe a force that wants what it wants, thus scaring away those that fear Apple's possible dominance in the living room. Hollywood is stingy enough as it is with its content.
But perhaps this is one of the reasons why Apple seemingly looks a little stale – it hasn't produced anything new in a while. Throw in the fact that rivals are producing smartphones with larger screens and high-performance tablets at a lesser price, and it's easy to see why stockholders are a little antsy, thus wanting a little extra PR push so that we can see that Apple is far from doomed.