Because Apple is renowned as one of the most secretive companies in technology, any small tidbit of information regarding future products, whether leaked or rumoured, is analyzsd in exhaustive detail. However, despite its culture of keeping its plans close to the vest, every once in a while an Apple executive lets something slip that offers a clear vision of what the company has up its sleeve.
Such appears to be the case thanks to testimony from the company's government liaison that hints that the late Steve Jobs's product road map may still be what's driving the company.
According to a report in the San Francisco Examiner, Apple's Michael Foulkes said during testimony about device kill switch technology that development of the next two generations of iPhone preceded current CEO Tim Cook.
The remark is a clear indication that the late Jobs oversaw the development of upcoming iPhone models, the first of which is rumoured to debut sometime this fall. This long product road map, extending nearly two years after Jobs's death, will come as no surprise to longtime Apple fans. Those familiar with Jobs's history are well acquainted with his penchant for being a bit of a control freak when it comes to nearly any detail concerning the company's image and product line.
However, for a market that has in recent months appeared all too ready to declare Apple's successful reign over, this revelation will likely cause some to reconsider the notion that the company has lost its magical lustre under the direction of Tim Cook. Fuelling those sentiments has been recent talk of an upcoming low-cost iPhone model. Modifying the iPhone to cater to the cost-conscious is a strategy that many believe Jobs — who historically favoured design and function over budget concerns — would have avoided, even in the face of mounting competition from cheaper Android smartphone alternatives. Cook, however, has not exactly endorsed a low-cost iPhone.
Whether Apple's upcoming plans represent a strict, multi-year plan directly from Jobs, or a blend of the founder's vision with Cook's reportedly more pragmatic approach, is unclear. What is clear, even through the opaque veil of Apple secrecy, is that the Jobs' direct influence will live on at the company.