Originally Posted by alcimedes
I think that kind of summarizes Apple these days. Incremental small step upgrades to the product line to milk every penny out of them they can, instead of moving in leaps and bounds.
There was a reason people were excited to own the latest Apple crap in the past, and that was typically because it would do something great that previous products couldn't.
Instead it's a series of side show "let me tell you why this is cool, seriously" kind of crap with new releases. "Hey everyone, we totally fucked up our iWorks package, but it has CLOUD capabilities now, don't you all just LOVE that?"
Apple has been living in their own head space too long. They need to get out into the real world again, see how people are using their products, ask what people would be excited about and then make those things happen.
Their hardware is still fine, but I say that as I write this up on a 3 year old laptop that I have zero desire to 'upgrade' to their latest line. That never used to be the case. Before it was always work to justify why I don't need the latest gear. These days I'd have to make an effort to convince myself to upgrade.
I think you're right in that Apple has been conservative with hardware risks but I think the bigger factor in what you point out is that Apple is not a great software producer anymore. Apple hasn't released a killer app in a long time. The "doing something great that previous products couldn't" relies heavily upon software innovation and the software pushing the hardware.
For how old iPhoto/Photos is.... that piece of software should be absolutely incredible by now, and doing things with photo management and photo editing and compositing that we didn't think was possible. But really, minus finally figuring out cloud syncing, Apple's photo management software doesn't do much more than the earliest versions of iPhoto.... and in many ways it does less or does what it does less intuitively.