Does Apple ever send out thank-you notes to the many pundits that take the time out of their day to explain their business to them? They really should.

Writing for Wired, Molly Wood tells us about the time “Apple, the iPhone, and The Innovator’s Dilemma” walked into a bar. (Tip o’ the antlers to Bill.)

Apple is a company on the verge of being disrupted…

Since 1976.

The Innovator’s Dilemma, of course, is about the trap that successful companies fall into time and time again.

It is very possible that Apple could fall into this trap. However, it’s also proven to be exceptionally good at being the one that replaces its own products. You could point to declining iPhone sales as a sign the company is ripe for a fall, but no one has come up with anything better, the market is simply saturated.

According to Clayton Christensen, the author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, companies can fall into a response loop with customers, providing them updates to an existing product that only have to do with how the product is currently designed. In this way, they miss ways to disrupt entire markets.

Then think about the iPhone, which, despite some consumer-unfriendly advances like the lost headphone jack and ever-changing charging ports…

There have been two (2) over the entire 11-year history of the iPhone. Also, Apple got rid of Touch ID in favor of Face ID which upset some people. But go ahead.

…has also been adjusted and tweaked and frozen by what customers want: bigger screens, great cameras, ease of use, and a consistent interface.

Apple did make some big changes that people screamed about but if you forget about those all it did was respond to user requests. OK.

Let’s just note, however, that updates to existing feature sets are not de facto proof that Apple has fallen into an upgrade spiral. It’s also a little hilarious that Apple is, at the same time, roundly criticized for not chasing feature upgrades at the same rate as its Android competitors. See, for example, 5G.