Does Apple do Conceptual design? Sure, but we’ll never see it
The Apple rumor mill is filled with Photoshopped design concepts which are meant to convey what the next great secret project is that Cupertino will release to the faithful. But this article makes a compelling argument what while doing conceptual products may be a tempting way to innovate, they seldom reach the marketplace. Companies like Microsoft may reach headlines with tantalizing projects like Microsoft Surface, but if they never ship to the mainstream consumer what’s the point? Apple, on the other hand disciplines it’s design teams to keep focus on products that will be released and as such, create some killer and ground-breakingly cool gadgets and proving the old saying that while artists may design, real artists ship.
The argument goes on to suggest that working in secret until he’s ready to announce and ship, Steve Jobs can streamline a design and maintain an aura of anticipation with the audience, making them search the rumor mill for any news on new Mac products. Jobs has even gone so far as release disinformation in order to root out would be leakers and fire them. But any concepts that Apple creates are solely for internal use until the products either meet or exceed Mr. Jobs design requirements. And only then will it see the light of day. Which is probably why we see more rumors about a Mac Tablet that has simply never arrived.
But this kind of design philosophy also focuses the design team to work on practical issues pertaining to releasing a product and not “pie in the sky” brainstorms which take years to overcome and are often merely dropped in favor of the next design.
One thing is certain, you can’t argue with their track record since Jobs has returned to the Cupertino helm.