Color me somewhat jaded, but I’ve been around enough of humankind to know all about “Lies, damned lies, and statistics.” I know about truthiness and perception is reality and truth is in the ears of the beholders.
I am not suggesting that Apple’s executives are liars or work diligently to pull the wool over CEO Tim Cook’s ears or attempt wherever possible to sucker the public, but there are times when it appears Apple is less than truthful.
The difference between a lie and a misspoken moment often lies within the motive. For example, Apple said HomePod would ship by the end of 2017. It did not. For whatever the reasons, HomePod wasn’t ready. Hardware? Software? Lie? Or, simply a misspoken guesstimate as to shipping date? You be the judge, but no harm, so no foul.
About a year ago Apple introduced an iOS update which would throttle older iPhones whose batteries could no longer handle a spike in power requirements. I don’t know if that was a major issue with iPhone customers but I do not recall a massive campaign from users to tell Apple to fix all the iPhone crashes.
Apple may not have done a bald-faced lie about Batterygate, but the company’s initial response was anemic and anything but forthcoming– far more Facebook-like than we expect from our favorite iPhone maker.
Do Apple’s designers tell Tim Cook that the MacBook and MacBook keyboards are the best of breed? Customers don’t think so as both are highly criticized by longtime Mac notebook users. Whoever is in charge of Mac hardware surely has run out of excuses as to why both Mac mini and MacBook Air are using ancient technology– by 21st century standards– in CPU and screen technology. Maybe Cook only looks at sales, and if sales are OK, customer complaints about the aging Mac line should be ignored.
Mihir Patkar explains Apple post-Steve Jobs:
Apple founder Steve Jobs employed the infamous “Reality Distortion Field” to good effect, making some people believe the cons. But not everyone took a bite out of the poisonous apple. With Jobs gone, people are now willing to be more critical of the company than ever before.
Has the ability to spin a reality distortion field been extended to Apple executives?
Here’s another example or two or three.
Why did it take Apple so long to compete against Spotify? Even a couple of years after launch, the company with a billion customers cannot catch a music streaming service that is losing money hand over fist. Who told Tim Cook not to compete with Spotify? Who told Cook the company was ready to compete with Apple Music?
Apple’s misdeeds with Siri are growing in number. While Amazon was racing ahead with a stalking speaker, Apple sat around and updated Siri on a somewhat annual basis. When Cook asked Siri’s lead about why Amazon was eating Siri’s proverbial lunch, what was the response? Truth? Fiction? Truthiness?
Remember MobileMe? That was iCloud before iCloud and it was something of a colossal failure and public embarrassment for Apple. It was not ready to launch and apparently the MobileMe team’s leaders were too afraid of Jobs to say so. It launched. It failed. Somebody somewhere should have been able to tell the truth instead of what executives may have expected or wanted.
Add to this another fear I have about Apple, Inc.
Do executives at the top ask questions? For example, HomePod received its first firmware update last week. Sharp-eared HomePod owners cried foul– Apple changed the sound quality of the little speaker that could. Mine included. The sound seems stronger in the mid-range, less so at lower frequencies, and, since I’m aging faster than I prefer, I can’t tell a difference at higher frequencies. It all changed with the firmware update.
Could Tim Cook not tell the difference? Did whoever is in charge of HomePod not notice the difference? Did others on Apple’s HomePod team not know of the change? Apple has suffered through a number of obvious quality control issues the past year. Did executives tell Tim Cook all was well when it was not? Or, did they tell the truth about what they thought– truthiness that quickly became a public outcry?
I know. I’m asking plenty of questions for which I do not have answers, and I only ask because technology giants these days have a growing tendency to obfuscate the truth, then leak bits and pieces around the tip of the iceberg, only to have a Titanic-like public relations disaster grow disproportionate to the actual problem. Facebook, I’m looking at you.
Either Tim Cook doesn’t ask enough questions about product updates and releases, or some of his executives are not telling the real story behind all of Apple’s recent misdeeds and problems.