Has Apple lost its mind?
No one was entirely sure what would happen to Apple when its CEO, Steve Jobs, died in 2011. Would someone else take up the torch and carry on Jobs’s legacy or would Apple slowly devolve into a faceless money-grabbing corporation like its main competitor? Many believed that the latter would happen.
In a way, that’s exactly what happened. Apple’s new CEO, Tim Cook, isn’t quite as visible (and divisive) as his predecessor, but nowadays the company is also more valuable than it ever was under Jobs’s reign. Moreover, Cook’s Apple hasn’t released any groundbreaking new products like iTunes, iPhone, and iPad that literally change the world.
Their products are still good though (if a little pricey), and that’s what matters most to those who buy Apple products.
I’m not talking about the iPhone and iPad, which Apple can safely milk for profits by launching slightly improved versions every year – we’ve seen the introduction of completely new product lines too. While none of them are particularly groundbreaking or even innovative, they are generally quite good. Some notable “hits” from the past 8 years include:
The second generation “trash can” Mac Pro in 2013, with quite a daring designIts price tag was also quite daring D:. Sadly, “daring” doesn’t necessarily mean “well-thought-out”, as its thermal core design made it impossible to release updated versions with more powerful hardware…
The Apple Watch probably doesn’t sell as well as Apple might’ve hoped, but it does have the largest market share of any smartwatch nowadays. There isn’t much else to say about it. There haven’t been any major complaints or controversies – it just works and people are happy with it I guess.
2016 saw the introduction of the Airpods. They’re basically a wireless, ludicrously expensive version of the iconic EarPods. Oh, and a Pro versionWhatever that may mean… was announced earlier this week! I would totally buy them if I were willing to spend €279 on in-ear headphones.
And finally… HomePod, which was incredibly late to the smart speaker party. The HomePod makes up for this lateness with its sound quality, but is held back somewhat because it only likes to play nice with Apple’s other products and services.
Of course, there were also some really big “misses”:
- Apple Maps was so insanely bad when it was introduced that it instantly became the butt of jokes on the Internet;
- Apple works very hard to make its devices as thin as possible. But sometimes they become a bit too thin and you get things like Bendgate (2014) and Keyboardgate (2018). Apple’s way of handling such problems hasn’t changed much since 2011. It still starts with flat-out denial of the problem, followed by replacement programmes – but only after massive backlash from consumers.
But improvements have been made too!
The new Apple seems more willing to listen to consumers when things aren’t horribly broken, which gives us things like public betas, dark mode, proper file managers on iOS, and privacy-friendliness.
Moreover, the success of Apple Pay shows that Cook’s Apple is in a very good position to introduce new types of products and services that get noticed and thus adopted by the masses.
The only thing that’s still missing are the groundbreaking innovations that can change the world.
What do you think? Does Apple need a new Jobs?