Originally Posted by WillysJeepMan
Technology changes more quickly and unpredictably than anyone realizes, yes even than Jobs thought. If there was a 5 year product plan, Apple would be foolish to carry it out for more than 6 months. Any further than that and Apple would most likely find itself in the weeds.
It depends upon the nature of the plans. Plans that are very rigid and specify detailed product plans are bound to fail for the exact reasons that you mentioned. On the other hand, each division should have a direction laid out for them for the years to come. Part of the reason is that product development takes years (rather than months) Part of the reason is that technology doesn't move as quickly and unpredictably as you suggested over the short term. That is to say that companies should know what tablets and phones will look like in five years assuming that there isn't a major shift in the market.