Instead, these days Apple Inc. surprises more by disappointment than it does by surprising customers with products that change technology industry segments. Sure, everything Apple makes these days makes money, too; lots of money, but at every turn we see a company that plays it safe more than it challenges the status quo.
Watch, Not Withstanding
It wouldn’t take much to offer some quick and dirty critical analysis of Apple’s entire hardware line, so take this critical perspective the way it is meant; I care, I’m not a sheep, honest criticism is good for the soul.
iPhone – Yes, iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are state of the art but whatever lead Apple’s original iPhone had on the smartphone competition has evaporated completely; compare iPhone 7 with Google’s Pixel camera and its fast charging and superior camera.
Watch – This is my favorite new Apple product; probably because it’s the only new Apple product worth getting excited over, and even then it took almost two years after the original announcement to get it right. Watch Series 0 was underpowered, slow, anemic, and more beta than version 1. Watch Series 2 is what Watch Series 0 should have been.
Apple TV – Much digital ink has been spilled here. Apple claims ‘The future of television is here.‘ Either that’s just not true (my view), or the future of TV is as terrible as TV is today.
iPad – Steve Jobs thought the iPad would herald the end of the PC era and usher in a new age of handheld computing. Sure, nobody sells more tablets than Apple but tablets have become somewhat passé just a few years after entering the market. What does Apple do about dropping iPad sales? Make more expensive iPads.
Mac – You can’t see it or hear it but it’s not a pretty site. My hair is on fire. Supposedly Tim Cook was brought to Apple to make sure the ‘trains ran on time,’ a technology industry phrase for the one in charge of manufacturing who makes sure new products arrive when they are supposed to. The only new Apple product that arrives when it should is iPhone, the company’s cash cow.
What of the Mac?
The new MacBook Pro line is the best ever, but you can be sure they will show up against Microsoft Surface touchscreen hybrid PCs on television commercials in the near future. Touch Bar is cool, Touch ID is wonderful, but these new Macs show me that Apple is doubling down on the premium end of the spectrum, but doesn’t seem to know where the PC industry is going.
The Mac Pro has never been upgraded and runs Intel Inside CPUs that are a few generations behind Intel’s latest. The new MacBook has been ambushed by Windows PC notebooks that are lighter and faster and priced less. The MacBook Air feels more like 1999 but it’s more powerful than the new MacBook supposedly destined to replace it. iMac? Microsoft’s new competitor Surface Studio doubles as a big drawing tablet squarely aimed at the Mac’s graphic designer customer base.
Yes, Apple’s customer base is huge and growing, the products are as good as ever, there’s money in the bank, and everything looks exactly for Apple like it did for BlackBerry when that once industry leader began to shrivel and die. It took time, but BlackBerry never recovered from the glory days, and slowly settled into an also-ran niche of the industry.
It’s time for Apple to take a bite out of the future.