Steven Jobs became a religious like figure in the world of tech. Credited with changing the way consumers view technology. His imprint on modern culture has been written. Introducing products that changed the way humans interact with each other. With every new gadget release legions of followers waited outside in rain, sleet, snow, or sun to be the first to get their hands on what would become the “must have” device. Apple became the first $1 trillion company in value mainly because of the iPhone. The company set the standard for consumer electronics morphing from a corporation to cultural.
As a person who has covered tech the fear mixed with awe of this brand is like like seeing a lion in the wild. Any type of critique met with bewilderment or a stare of a person who is mentally handicapped. I would say “one day Apple will not be on top”, “Rome fell, so can the house Steve built.” The company was a one trick pony. The iPhone boosted 60% of the brand’s profit, a pretty dangerous act for a multi product corporation without a back up plan. Few bothered to look beyond that simple detail because like all faiths, if you examining too closely the belief does not hold up to scrutiny.
Not Always on Top
January 2019, 5 days before CES in Las Vegas, the faithful got hit back into reality. The company issued a profit warning, the first since 2002, along with a 10% stock drop. Blaming slowing sales in China, trade wars, hurricanes, snowstorms, and volcanos. A case of pride goes before the fall combined with hubris. The privilege of success comes with a downside. Tim Cook, while no Jobs, is a affable, but facts are facts, Apple has been cruising for a long time. They forgot what made people desire their products. Cook is a corporate head, Jobs was a visionary with many flaws.
How Many iPhones can they make?
Instead of innovating the iPhone, the X series just costs a lot. This shocked me. Even the marketing campaign seemed dated from 2012. Who waits out in the cold for minor upgrade? Judging by the line consisting of 5 people at the store on the first day of sales, not a lot. The Apple watch, need I say more. I considered this wearable waste of resources, an ugly design with the excitement level of buying a new refrigerator. A substandard flawed product for a brand that once made the iPod. When a products best feature is it maybe or could help you prevent a heart attack. A glorified pacemaker. Calling June Allyson! Why not call an over the hill out of work actor to peddle it like Depend Diapers for seniors?
What products are in the pipeline? So far nothing trailblazing. An Apple streaming service to compete with Netflix. Content production is a different culture from producing hardware, just ask Sony. How did to come to this? Has Apple become a normal tech company with overpriced gadgets?
Apple can get its groove back by doing what it does best, being risky, inspiring or maybe making something other than an iPhone.