Much has been talked about on what Apple ‘needs to do’. And of course all us armchair CEOs know exactly what will help the company enter the next phase of their growth.

Most, all! of us have no experience running a company of that scale. But most of us have great ideas on what Apple must do next.

Hardware, stock manipulation, management changes are all floating around and have been much discussed.

Apple, the only company that has to innovate or die.
Most other tech companies are measured by how well they emulate Apple or how well the follow their path and feed off their crumbs under the table.

But Apple must innovate. Release a ‘killer new product’ so others can follow.

Okay, let’s say for a moment that this is what Apple must do.

Here is the issue:
As Apple’s ecosystem grows innovation on their current line is incredibly hard to do and costly. Release a new iOS and hundreds of millions of user will download, use and judge the product. You can’t please that many people all the time.

And iOS devices are still a hugely growing business. Apple must feed that monster and foster it’s growth.
This takes a lot of energy out of the leadership team that’s been task to innovate.

Where should Jony Ive and his team put their time and priority?
Building the next iPhone that no doubt will sell hundreds of millions of units or a ‘killer’ new device that will or will not take off?

Ive is spread thin, his focus must be on the growing and increasingly demanding market of products that are already selling well.

The demand on Apple to release a new product and said product is a huge hit is bigger than on any other company.
Apple TV was for years considered a ‘hobby’ to deflect expectations from it.

Anything that will come out of Cupertino will be burdened with this over-expectation.

But, what if it wouldn’t come out of Cupertino?

What if Apple would start an ‘innovation lab’?
Bankrolled by Apple, but a separate company, a different brand, a different approach, a different vision. Staffed by different people.
Apple might have the chance to reset expectation, release products in a different cycle. Experiment more.

Perhaps in a similar vain as Google Ventures, or the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy model or even better the Volkswagen Group.

The expectation that just a handful of products are the save-all for billions of people all over the world, is a huge stretch, but spreading thin and releasing many products to many people would dilute the core Apple brand too much.

Apple is so big now that perhaps it’s time to introduce the next phase of the enterprise:

Apple went from Apple computers to Apple Inc., It might be time to become the Apple Group.

A products and services company with a global reach that builds products under different brands for various demands.