FORTUNE -- It's not just that so many industry experts think they know Apple's (AAPL) business better than Apple does, Time's Harry McCracken writes. It's that they feel empowered to state it as an imperative, often right in the headline: "Apple must..."
To illustrate, McCracken has posted a fully linked and mordantly annotated version of the list below, with date of imperative, who made it, what Apple did or didn't do and how that turned out for them.
"Though Apple does frequently respond to industry trends," McCracken writes in his latest Technologizer column, "it's not in the company's nature to do so in precisely the way that everybody expects, and it often bides its time before doing anything at all... In some instances, the things people insist Apple must do — such as make a netbook — are not only not necessities, but terrible ideas."
A brief version of McCracken's brief history:
As it turns out, there's a long history of such lists. In 1997, just before Steve Jobs returned to the company, Wired's Jim Daly put together a list of "101 Ways to Save Apple." Some of his prescriptions were things Jobs would never do ("6. Apologize"). Some were prescient:
15. Dump (or outsource) the Newton, eMate, digital cameras, and scanners
Rare images surface in a home movie made by his Apple co-workers in 1985
Alerted of its existence by some early Apple (AAPL) employees, Technologizer's Harry McCracken has unearthed a five-minute home movie made by Steve Jobs' co-workers on the occasion of his 30th birthday: Feb. 24, 1985.
The video is a time-capsule from an era when IBM was enemy No. 1 and John Sculley was still his friend. It's filled with images MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 7, 2011 5:12 AM ET
With only hours to go before the truth is known, Apple watchers are placing their bets
I can't recall an Apple (AAPL) event surrounded by as many unanswered questions as the "Let's talk iPhone" press conference scheduled to begin today at 10 a.m. Pacific (1 p.m. Eastern).
Will there be one new iPhone or two? An iPhone 5 or 4S? Square edged or teardrop? Exclusive to Sprint (S) or available also through MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 4, 2011 8:17 AM ET
There are at least 32 in the works. Technologizer has the definitive round-up.
Nothing breeds imitation in high tech like a runaway Apple (AAPL) success. Even before the iPad was unveiled, Cupertino's competitors were scrambling to catch up. Now that Steve Jobs' latest invention is clearly a hit, the rush is on.
How many iPad wannabees are out there or in the works? Technologizer's Harry McCracken stopped counting at 32, but he MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 15, 2010 5:51 AM ET
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