As good as Apple can be at dazzling customers with elegantly designed and utterly useful products, our favorite Cupertino, CA Mac maker does a good job of hiding the ugly cousin under the rug (mixing metaphors is a MacKenzie holiday tradition).
Is This Really The Same Apple?
No one is arguing that Apple can do no wrong. The company’s products have solid customer satisfaction levels that are the envy of competitors in every industry.
Apple’s customers are a devoted bunch, willing to stand in to buy the latest, but they expect good treatment, and usually Apple delivers.
If under promise and over deliver were Apple’s company motto, most of us would agree they do a good job.
Except when they don’t. Here’s a quick look at a few areas where Apple really does not shine.
The most recent problem area is Apple Maps. Granted, it has garnered more negative press than it deserves, but maps are integrated into iOS 6, and many customers miss Google Maps.
Second, is Siri. The intelligent assistant works great in advertisements on television and web videos. In real life, Siri just doesn’t do as much as we want it to do. Opening apps and setting reminders are hardly worth the terms magical and amazing.
When it comes to OS X Mountain Lion, the reviews are in. Most of the technology press gives Mountain Lion high marks for security, performance, and ease of use. Apple has polished OS X through the years to a high gloss.
What of OS X’s ugly step child, OS X Server? Take a quick look at the latest reviews of OS X Server for Mountain Lion on the Mac App Store. How can one company do so well with a commercial OS, but fail so badly on a professional level OS?
Apple has the right idea, but sometimes fails on implementation. Remember MobileMe? It was a disastrous launch and it never fully recovered. iCloud is better, but it’s no Dropbox and very limited.
Can you say iTunes? This is what happens when a product grows to become so popular, and so used by the masses, that doing anything new, different, better, or improved is a major undertaking. Apple has attacked iTunes shortcoming by… drum roll, please… doing nothing but kicking the can down the road.
What else? Email. Don’t get me started down negative lane, but what’s with Apple and iCloud and email? Sure, they have many, many millions of customers, but iCloud email and iMessage seem to have connectivity problems every week. Why can’t Apple do services as well as hardware and software?
Compare those anemic efforts at competition with areas where Apple shines proudly. Who does keynote presentations better than Apple? Viewers hang on every word from CEO Tim Cook and he’s more boring that Steve Jobs.
Apple’s Stores are at the top of the game. The MacBook line of notebooks are what other manufacturers try to recreate. Ditto for the build quality of the iPhone and iPad, and the smoothness of using iOS 6 and OS X. In fact, the whole customer experience that Apple provides is unrivaled.
Apple, as a company is transaction based, and customer centric. Compare that to Google which gives away everything. It’s difficult to complain about being a Google customer because who complains about free?