Getting some idea proven in a lab or delivered in a half-baked product is one thing. Putting a lot of polish behind it, and making it usable for anyone is a completely different.
I’m fully bought in on Apple products. I now have a 2019 16” Macbook, which was an upgrade from my 2015 MacBook. It’s night and day better. Even the audio sounds really dang good.
My airpod pros work seamlessly, switching between my iPhone and MacBook. The sound is great, there are no cables, and these have lasted me longer already than my previous Bose sport earbuds, despite daily use.
The biggest innovation from Apple is a set of products that just seem to work, they’re pleasant to look at and touch, and pretty dang reliable.
I’m actually on an iPhone 7 still. I haven’t upgraded in many years, and not because I don’t think the new phones aren’t great, but because I don’t need a new phone. This one is excellent.
Would he introduce any meaningful product categories we haven't seen?
Or maybe, because most innovations are an effect of opportunity due to foundational tech (battery, display, silicon, camera, wireless) Apple would end up in a similar place anyway?
One thing we know for sure - Apple would rent-seek and wall the hell out of the garden anyway. Jobs was a ruthless asshole, as evidenced by e-mail evidence unsealed by the courts.
It could be just me, but I'd imagine it's quite windy at the top and innovation is not top priority.
OTOH, the M1 CPU is very very impressive. So maybe not less innovative after all.