Apple simply can’t be the one-stop shop for technology companies, said two of its top executives during a recent interview.
Speaking to Fast Company in an extensive interview published on Wednesday, Apple senior vice presidents Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi said that while they admire some of the things other technology companies might be doing, they realize that Apple needs to stay within its lane and not try to be too many things and satisfy too many needs.
“I love Facebook. We can’t be everything. One of the reasons we’ve been highly successful is that we focus,” reflected Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet software and services. “We can’t be great at everything; nobody’s great at everything. I mean, come on. So, if you want to be great at something, you have to focus and do a few things. We’ve been lucky.”
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Federighi, who leads Apple’s software engineering, tacked on, remarking that Apple isn’t the “Everything Company.” He added that the company’s focus is to “take on a very small number of things,” which he posited Apple does very well.
Cue said Apple isn’t interested in being Amazon (AMZN), Facebook (FB), or Instagram—indicating it has no interest in e-commerce, social networking, or photo-sharing.
However, Apple (AAPL) has broadened its focus in recent years, and one could argue that the tech giant is doing far more than it has in the past. Apple isn’t just a company that makes iPhones and Macs; it’s a company that also offers a mobile-payment solution to replace credit cards, provides mapping software, hopes to replace in-car infotainment systems, and one that is keenly focused on healthcare.
Apple has even jumped into the social media space through its Apple Music and iTunes services—though that hasn’t turned out so well. Although it doesn’t have a full-fledged Instagram competitor, its Photos app aims to make it easy to share images with others.
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Meanwhile, Apple CEO Tim Cook has indicated this year that he’s at least considering making larger acquisitions, and there have been rumors that Apple’s work on a car is still ongoing.
But scale is what matters here. It’s true that Apple has nothing of scale that could match Facebook or Amazon. But with each new software, product launch, or acquisition, Apple is expanding its focus a bit.
Yet that might be a good thing. Several analysts have noted that Apple’s iPad business is in trouble, that its iPhone division is down, and argued that the company needs a new, big thing. Some analysts say that could be virtual reality, while others say it might just be a car.
Regardless, Apple appears to be broadening its horizons—even if it’s still staying in its zone.