Report: Jobs left behind four-year roadmap

Steve Jobs will likely be remembered for bringing us the next big thing time and again. From the sound of it, his creative flame may stay ablaze for a few years, even after his untimely passing. A Times story quoted by Develop says Jobs’ legacy at Apple includes a four-year product roadmap and a "new line of products to be rolled out over the next two to three years."

Word is that Jobs "already laid plans" for the next generation of iPhone, iPod, and iPad, as well. Develop says the Times refers to next year’s iPhone as a "legacy device," meaning it will be Jobs’ baby. Apple is also expected to roll out a line of TVs, although Develop’s talk of a "full touch-screen TV" doesn’t sound too plausible. (Who wants to get up from the couch and poke at their TV screen?) Some kind of successor to the Apple TV may be in the cards, though.

I don’t think Apple has confirmed the report (that would be very much unlike them), but it probably goes without saying that Jobs had some input on Apple’s future product cycles before he passed. The question, I suppose, is how extensive that input was. Either way, I hope Apple continues to upset the status quo for many years to come—the world of technology may get awfully boring otherwise.

Comments closed
    • blastdoor
    • 8 years ago

    I am sure that there are a ton of really smart people at Apple who are fully capable of making great products. However, I’m also sure that the same applies to Microsoft and Google. The difference with Jobs as CEO is that he had the moral authority within the company to make decisions without others trying to undermine those decisions (the opposite of Balmer). Sometimes movement in any direction, even if it’s not the best direction, is better than standing around bickering.

    The challenge for Apple as an organization will be to continue to direct the creative energies of all their employees towards a common purpose. I’m cautiously optimistic that they will be able to do it, at least for the next ten years. But it’s far from a sure thing.

    • JLW777
    • 8 years ago

    Respect for the fore-sight… Now if goverments put more SJalike around…

    • The Dark One
    • 8 years ago

    Jobs was clearly putting the finishing touches on his theory of Psychohistory…

    • blitzy
    • 8 years ago

    bahaha the RDF continues after death, I guess it wouldn’t really be a RDF if it didn’t.

    Of course Apple would love us to think he left behind a four year roadmap, maybe he did. The fact is a roadmap can only help you so far in such a rapidly changing market. That’s why usually they’re yearly roadmaps and even then they don’t always go to plan.

      • WaltC
      • 8 years ago

      All companies have roadmaps. What’s not being said is that lots and lots of stuff on roadmaps today never sees the light of day tomorrow. That’s because in the future market conditions change, competition changes, component availability and technology changes, demand changes, etc. I think in this case it’s being said in order to keep alive the illusion that “Jobs’ hand is still at the tiller” when in reality it isn’t, just to keep some people from dumping their stock because Jobs is gone.

      But the “TV” thing intrigues me, as years ago, when Apple removed the word “Computer” from its corporate logo, I predicted we might one day see an Apple-branded refrigerator, and Apple-branded televisions aren’t that far off the mark…;) I think increasingly Apple will continue to move away from the Mac. In a decade we may not even recognize the company by the products it sells. I hate to see that happen, but when you are chiefly a hardware company there’s likely nowhere else to go. Somehow, an Apple that becomes the Siemens or the Sony of the US doesn’t excite me at all.

    • Corrado
    • 8 years ago

    My buddy had the thought almost immediately after hearing of Steve’s death. “I wonder if he has a notebook he left behind labeled ‘things the market isn’t ready for yet'”. I’m beginning to think he did.

    • eitje
    • 8 years ago

    This news was greeted by a stock price bump. FFS, traders…!

      • Sahrin
      • 8 years ago

      So an Apple executive leaks that Steve left behind a treasure map, and the *traders* are to blame?

      I thought once Steve was gone (may he rest in peace) the messianic complex would start to die off.

        • khands
        • 8 years ago

        Traders are to blame for stock volitility based upon rumors of plans laid out by some one unable to alter them.

          • eitje
          • 8 years ago

          just so. TAKE THE WHEEL, STEVE.

          • Sahrin
          • 8 years ago

          >Traders are to blame for stock volitility based upon rumors of plans laid out by some one unable to alter them.

          I don’t even know what this means.

        • Noigel
        • 8 years ago

        This could spin out into posthumously epic (think 2Pac) proportions of new content.

          • destroy.all.monsters
          • 8 years ago

          There is no hyphen in posthumous.

    • ronch
    • 8 years ago

    I’m not an Apple fan, but I admire Steve Jobs for his vision and entrepreneural leadership. If true, this just shows how much Steve loves the company he started at the young age of 21.

    • calvindog717
    • 8 years ago

    Apple doesn’t need a roadmap, they just use the maps app on their Iphones

    • Anomymous Gerbil
    • 8 years ago

    Huh? This would only be news if there [b<]wasn't[/b<] a roadmap.

      • Anarchist
      • 8 years ago

      there is no road map …

      • destroy.all.monsters
      • 8 years ago

      Agreed.

      • codedivine
      • 8 years ago

      Agreed. A company of the size of Apple ought to have roadmap for a couple of years. Its not like they release a new product and think “now what?”

      • tanker27
      • 8 years ago

      Hell, I work at a Fortune 500 company and we have a roadmap that spans 5 years. This is not a shocking revelation as the media plays it to be.

    • pedro
    • 8 years ago

    I don’t imagine it’s that hard. New iPad, iPhone, MacBook. Do it every year. Have an event. Get lots of free press. Done.

    Am I missing something here?

      • ModernPrimitive
      • 8 years ago

      Especially the free RDF press part….

      • Farting Bob
      • 8 years ago

      Step 1: Make new iphone. Give it slightly better screen and internals. Increase integer by 1, or add S.
      Step 2: Make new ipad. Give it slightly better screen and internals. Increase integer by 1, or add S.

        • shaq_mobile
        • 8 years ago

        Step 3: Profit?

      • Noigel
      • 8 years ago

      “Am I missing something here?”

      Just the innovative part/risk where they come up with something completely different and out-of-left-field that goes on to either:

      1) be highly successful and creates a “new market” or restructures an existing market to their favor. (like the iPod, iPhone, iPad…)
      2) be purchased by the die-hard mac peeps only but not nationally adopted and sent back to the drawing board. (Apple TV)
      3) make their existing products more specialized and removed from the broad spectrum of competition. (Thunderbolt, Mac Air, Retina Display)

      If you think their only scope involves:

      “New iPad, iPhone, MacBook. Do it every year. Have an event. Get lots of free press. Done.”

      …then you’re thinking like a PC. 🙂

        • 5150
        • 8 years ago

        There is no risk because the Apple sheepmasses will snatch it up irregardless.

          • demani
          • 8 years ago

          Yeah, they are so obviously inferior that they pick and choose what they like (hint: irregardless isn’t a proper word, and as a double negative, doesn’t make you sound smart but rather makes you say something you never meant).

          Don’t care about your nonsensical point either way, but irregardless needs a world wide search and replace.

            • 5150
            • 8 years ago

            I am so smart! I am so smart! S-M-R-T

            Seriously, thanks for taking time out of your day to tell me what a waste of time I am.

          • End User
          • 8 years ago

          Are they related to the Microsoft sheepmasses?

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        yeah, I’m not sure I agree with you here. Thinking like a pc? Pc’s are in more form factors, and environments than apple could ever dream. I’m not saying that there isn’t more to it than that. but really, apple is not a great market creator, they’re a good refiner. ipods were refined mp3 players. the iphone was a refined smart phone. apple tv is a (crappy) refined tv box. Ipad? come on, it’s hardly the first. it is the BEST, but that’s because they refined the product. TBH, new ipad, iphone, and macbook, with some refinements sounds like what’s coming.

          • Noigel
          • 8 years ago

          Apple is definitely polarizing. I agree with the “refining” versus “creating” comment though I think the end-result is still the same. I think Microsoft is catching on that they need to throw their weight into risky-business… the W7 phone, Metro interface, Surface… it seemed like through the XP age they didn’t really take too many big risk/rewards. What other innovations have they come up with? Successful or no? Open for discussion.

          Post edit: Full disclosure, I forgot about the xbox and xbox360. Those are pretty big and successful.

            • sweatshopking
            • 8 years ago

            sure. i’m not saying they’re not hugely successful, or that their products are class leading. just that they are more of a refinement, much needed, than a new product.

        • lilbuddhaman
        • 8 years ago

        You’re really reaching here…there is nothing -good- about having specialized and removed product standards, especially when their specs are equal (or lesser) to the common format. Custom connection that oh-so-conveniently converts to USB? Why not just make it USB to USB ?

        The Retina display? So every company’s specific naming of their specific techs is “specialized and removed” from the “broad spectrum” ?

        The only thing new about the ipod was the click wheel. Nothing else was new tech.

        RDF lives on….

          • Malphas
          • 8 years ago

          Are you being deliberately obtuse? What is it with tech nerds and the inability to be objective about anything? He never said it was “good” – whatever context you’re using that in – he said it was part of their strategy, which it is, and which has contributed to their success, which you can measure objectively by sale figures, share price, etc. rather than just rabid fanboy BS.

        • Malphas
        • 8 years ago

        Dunno why this guy is being voted down, he’s right, Apple’s success since Jobs’ return has been by riding successive waves of new products. If all they did was rehash their existing product line each year and rely on fanboys to buy them up, then they’d only be selling Macs, and they wouldn’t have created their new affluent pretentious hipster fanbase in the first place, because that’s a recent (as in the last decade) phenomenon as a result of products like the iPod, iTunes etc. If Apple didn’t innovate then they’d still just be selling PowerPC powered computers to graphic designers and schools.

        Apple will be alright for a while just be pumping out slightly updated versions of their existing product line, but they will need to continue to come up with new products to maintain the kind of success they’ve been having. The iPod has bascially become obsolete and the iPad is arguably less groundbreaking that its predecessor the iPhone, so this could potentially be the start of a gradual decline, especially if they switch to more convential business strategies like relying more on market research and focus groups rather than dictating what the consumers’ needs are (which sounds flawed as hell, but has worked so far).

      • Corrado
      • 8 years ago

      If it was that easy, why have no other companies come CLOSE to replicating the success in marketshare/mindshare or financials that Apple has?

        • lilbuddhaman
        • 8 years ago

        **rips blinders off of posters eyes** Look Look there is this gigantic market beyond personal computing ! Look, there are hundreds of companies in various sectors doing similar things ! GASP !

      • End User
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]Am I missing something here?[/quote<] Unknown products in development.

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