The end of Apple’s reign

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” — Steve Jobs

. . . . . . . The bug men who program computers for Apple and the twink who runs the Steve Jobs Empire have been stumped. They are running on vaporware. For, aside from the smartwatch, there is nothing new coming out of Apple’s labs and hasn’t been for more than a decade now.

. . . . . . . Apple was founded as a computer company whose revolutions were done in regular intervals. These iterations resulted ultimately in the Mac and forced Apple into a dead-end ghetto as a minority computer company of choice. Steve Jobs broke out of the ghetto when he returned to Apple and got it into phones. One vital step along the way was the development of the iPod, its portable music player. That focused Apple’s attention and energies, and prepped it for the phone revolution to come.

. . . . . . . Tim Cook, the limp-wristed twink in question, is CEO of Apple, and was anointed heir by Jobs himself. Cook continues in the Jobs tradition, giving product demonstrations as if they were celebrity showoffs, but he is no Jobs. What Cook is is a very smart manager in the Sculley vein. Sculley, if you’ll remember, was brought in by Jobs the Apple founder over from PepsiCo to provide “adult guidance.” What he did was overthrow Jobs and plunge Apple into an anti-artistic and anti-technological depression from which it almost never recovered. It took the return of a more mature and seasoned Jobs to save Apple from itself, which he did.

. . . . . . . Now Tim Cook and the bug men at Apple are at the point where they need to demonstrate they can still innovate. But can they? The new ring headquarters looks pretty and Apple has plenty of cash, but to survive they need to demonstrate they are still relevant. The iPhone X is just a marginal improvement on the iPhone X-1. Pretty soon the global market for high-end, boutique cell phones is going to be saturated, and when it happens, Apple better have something in the bags ready for release.

. . . . . . . When the big crunch comes, it’s going to affect all the players, including Samsung. The Galaxy is an alright phone, but it is heavily derivative of Apple’s style and technology. The beauty of the smartphone market is that the number one Alpha manufacturer gets to stay number one for eternity. It’s like trying to challenge Porsche in the mid-to-high-end sports car niche — it just can’t be done. Lexus is a sedan corporation from Japan and the others are priced either below or above Porsche. Likewise, the iPhone is dominant at its price point, and not just because of its image. It really is a better phone. But Apple is going to have to make a lot more better “somethings” if it wants to keep on the wheel of technological-commercial change and not become a has-been. For the company, its culture, and those who work for it, there’s a lot at stake. We really could use a Steve Jobs 2.0 at about this juncture in time.

2 thoughts on “The end of Apple’s reign

    1. I would argue that Tim Cook is incapable of filling Steve Jobs’s big boots intrinsically. Cook is a capable manager, but not a visionary, and if any company ever needed a visionary constantly in charge it’s the rickety boat that is Apple.

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