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Walt Mossberg: Apple's Newest Products Are Mostly 'Derivative'

After an underwhelming press event, is it time to start worrying about creativity in Cupertino?

Vjeran Pavic for Re/code

A couple times a year, the tech journalist masses convene at a time and place of Apple’s choosing to receive the company’s latest product announcements. It used to be that these events were full of fun, surprising and sometimes groundbreaking announcements.

But this week, where the only surprise was a $50 price drop for the Apple Watch, it was hard not to feel a bit underwhelmed. On the latest episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask, Lauren Goode and special guest host Walt Mossberg — co-founder of Re/code and executive editor at The Verge — broke down the announcements and answered your questions about whether Cupertino is running dry on innovation.

(Regular host Kara Swisher is on vacation this week, but she’ll be back with Lauren next Friday).

So, with iPad upgrade sales flagging and official Apple Watch sales numbers conspicuously absent, what could Apple do to wow people again?

"I think holograms," Mossberg joked. "If Princess Leia came out of the iPad and said, ‘Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi,’ that would be pretty awesome. … These are high-quality devices, unlike a lot of the Android tablets. And if they do what you want them to do, whether it’s media consumption or light productivity, you aren’t necessary incented to replace them."

Vjeran Pavic for Re/code

Goode and Mossberg also discussed when an upgrade does make sense, and who should buy the iPhone SE — other than noted-person-with-tiny-hands Donald Trump.

Listen to or download the episode in the player above, or click here to subscribe on iTunes; you can also find Too Embarrassed to Ask on TuneIn and Stitcher.

Thank you to everyone who submitted questions about the Apple event — remember that you can always send in questions about any topic to us by tweeting @LaurenGoode, @KaraSwisher or @Recode with the hashtag #AskRecode.

We have lots more podcasts for your listening pleasure. For instance, Re/code Media with Peter Kafka features in-depth, no-BS interviews with the most interesting people in the media world every Thursday. Click here to subscribe to Re/code Media right now on iTunes.

Kara Swisher will be back on Monday with her podcast Re/code Decode. Click here to subscribe on iTunes. And on Re/code Replay, you can hear all the audio from our live events, including some don’t-miss sessions from Code/Media 2016. To subscribe to that, click right here.

Finally, you can hear Walt Mossberg every week on his podcast with The Verge editor-in-chief Nilay Patel, Ctrl-Walt-Delete.

You can follow @Recode on Twitter for the latest on upcoming guests.

If you like what we’re doing, please write a review on iTunes — and if you don’t, just tweet-strafe Kara and Lauren. Tune in next Friday for another episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask!

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