FORTUNE — It’s not just that so many industry experts think they know Apple’s (AAPL) business better than Apple does, Time‘s Harry McCracken writes. It’s that they feel empowered to state it as an imperative, often right in the headline: “Apple must…”
To illustrate, McCracken has posted a fully linked and mordantly annotated version of the list below, with date of imperative, who made it, what Apple did or didn’t do and how that turned out for them.
A brief version of McCracken’s brief history:
- 1985: Apple must open the Mac architecture.
- 2005: Apple must release the iPhone.
- 2009: Apple must do a netbook now.
- 2009: Apple must embrace the online version of Google Voice.
- 2010: Apple must announce the Verizon iPhone.
- 2011: Apple must launch NFC in the iPhone 5.
- 2012: Apple must deliver the iPad Mini.
- 2013: Apple must make an iPhone with a bigger screen.
- 2013: Apple must buy Netflix.
- 2013: Apple must announce touchscreen Mac computers soon.
- 2013: Apple must fire Tim Cook.
As it turns out, there’s a long history of such lists. In 1997, just before Steve Jobs returned to the company, Wired‘s Jim Daly put together a list of “101 Ways to Save Apple.” Some of his prescriptions were things Jobs would never do (“6. Apologize”). Some were prescient: