One of my objectives with this article was to point out that Apple’s success with iPhone SE– they’re mostly sold out, and supply is not anywhere near demand– indicates something of an ongoing problem with the iPhone and Mac maker.
For iPhone SE, Apple used pretty much off-the-shelf technology to create what I’ll call the company’s value phone. iPhone SE is about as cheap as Apple is likely to get. It’s as if someone in Apple marketing said, ‘We need a value phone‘ and they grabbed a shopping cart and simply walked down the engineering halls of One Infinite Loop in Cupertino, gathering off-the-shelf technology. My fear with that approach is that Apple is engaged in ‘phoning it in.’
Tim Cook, Meet Lazy Reporter
The phrase ‘off-the-shelf‘ refers to something that is readily available from merchandise in stock, or made according to a somewhat standardized format, as in ‘almost ready-made.’ That’s iPhone SE.
It pains me to say this, but recently it seems as if Apple is just phoning it in. The phrase means to do something in a perfunctory way, with seemingly little interest, going through the motions; a word picture probably based on a newspaper reporter who phoned in a story to his editor rather than taking the time to write and edit the story himself.
Is that what Apple is doing as of late? Phoning it in?
For now, Apple’s once pristine line of products that were growing beyond belief, quarter after quarter, has stalled. Not only are iPad sales down (again), but so Mac and iPhone sales. Apple won’t say anything about Watch, because compared to iPhone sales, Watch sales– even if they number a million or two million a month, will appear anemic, therefore, unsuccessful, despite profitability.
What’s going on?
Mediocrity? Or, Calm Before Storm?
Up and down the ever limited line of Apple products we see growing signs of mediocrity personified. Why is the MacBook Air still on the shelves? People are buying them, obviously, but they’re so 1999 I feel bad whenever I see someone looking at a MacBook Air while talking to an Apple associate. Today’s best iPhone’s look exactly like last year’s iPhones and while the new kit has new features, it’s much the same old same old. Worse is iPhone SE, again, nice kit for the money, Apple-wise, but certainly not a product that blazes any new ground except price.
Technology products need a compelling reason to buy– people need a phone, and having a Mac built in, makes it more valuable than a mere cell phone– but people also need a compelling reason to upgrade, and as I look around the digital landscape, I’m hard pressed to find a reason why anyone should ditch what they have if it’s a few years old and upgrade to something new.
Will the new MacBook help you work better, more efficiently, and with greater productivity than an aging MacBook Air? They run the same apps. See the problem here? Historically, Apple has always been a company about change; both disruptive and incremental change and innovation, which wowed their respective industries.
When was the last time Apple wowed anyone?
To be fair, Apple’s financials, though considered horrible by last quarter’s comparison, brought in more profits than Microsoft, Google, and Facebook. Combined. So, even when things are bad– and it appears as if the technology industry just met up with a financial rift in the space time continuum– Apple makes money hand over fist. Second place Samsung’s profits were just over 20-percent of Apple’s recent horrible numbers.
What worries me is Apple’s seeming nonchalance with the product line; as if the company is waiting for the next great thing to come along instead of pounding rock to make it happen. Maybe Apple has plenty going on behind the scenes. After all, secrets don’t leak too often from Cupertino. But with all those riches and a billion users, why does Apple need to phone it in with off-the-shelf technology to make a new product?