In their latest earnings call, Tim Cook made a rather comforting comment:
“In terms of cannibalization, I think cannibalization is a huge opportunity for us,” Cook said. “Our base philosophy is to never fear cannibalization. If we do, somebody else will just cannibalize it. We never fear it. We know iPhone has cannibalized some iPod business, we know iPad has cannibalized some Macs, and that doesn’t worry us.”
Apple’s philosophy, growing from Steve’s early leadership, is to make products which they would be happy to own, not necessarily to make money. From Cook’s statement, we see Apple isn’t moving away from this idea; he knows that product lines aren’t immortal, and they won’t always be what people want. Even though they can be making plenty of money from a product, there is never any harm in sacrificing it, if in the long run, they’re going to end up with a better product line. The iPod is in decline, and from the numbers, so is the Mac. That wouldn’t be the case if we didn’t have the iPhone and iPad, but few can argue that it’d be better that way.