The Strategist

Life After Jobs

07/23/2015 - 16:50

In October 2011, when Steve Jobs was gone, internet boiled up with analytics about the company’s immediate future. Most often it sounded like ‘This is the end’. Only lazy did not write and did not repeat a dumb phrases like: "In 2013, when all the ideas of Jobs end up, the company will be engaged in purely cosmetic innovations and fade" and "the Accountant" (that is, Tim Cook) will not be able to manage such a company. Apple is all about creativity, not numbers".

matt buchanan via flickr
matt buchanan via flickr
No one disputed the business abilities of Tim Cook. The Chief Operating Officer had shown yourself on this position very well. However, his success as head of the entire company had been questioned.

2011-2013: the bad, the good… the bad again

Cook himself strengthened decadent mood, began his letter to employees, sent on the day of the death of Steve Jobs, with the phrase: ‘Apple has lost a visionary creative genius’. So Apple was out of the far-sighted geniuses, who could continue the life work of one of the company’s co-founders?

Although Tim Cook had occupied the position of the Acting Director General, Apple fans believed that Jobs took an active part in the development of new products even having gone from leading positions in August 2011. Now there’s no Jobs. What will happen?

2012th was relatively quiet for Apple. The audience reacted favorably to the iPhone 5, developed ‘with Jobs’ help’. Although in 2013, when the first ‘golden’ iPhone 5s was released, bloggers and journalists returned to the predictions of the autumn of 2011, remembering the notorious ‘cosmetics’. Wow, Apple has painted iPhone with a new unusual color!

The critics barely spoke about the fingerprint sensor, updated processor and improved battery life. Everyone paid attention only to the swanky gold model and considered it as the same iPhone 5 - the regular screen, almost the same camera, the same amount of memory. Apple embarked on a game with good looks! Even though just a few years before, iPhone 4 was replaced by the even more identical iPhone 4s. More earlier, there were iPhone 3G and 3Gs.

2014: Mac Pro cylinder, the new iPad, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

2014th was successful for Apple. The updated cylindrical Mac Pro, tentatively scheduled for the end of the 2013th, hit the stores.

In the fall, the company's position strengthened further with the launch of iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The four significantly updated products, launched in September and October at one go, led to an unprecedented rise of the important indicators for the shareholders. Once again, Apple was described as a company that ‘can’. Commentators stopped comparing 2012th, felt as though influenced by Jobs, with not so good (exclusively in terms of grocery) 2013th.

iOS 8 user version 8 got available together with the updated line of smartphones. Some of the system’s innovations made owners of Android devices start to talk about borrowing.

The first thing that annoyed them – ability to respond to incoming messages directly from the notification, that had been presented as something revolutionary. The implementation was very similar to Android version Jelly Bean 4.1 of 2012.

At the end of 2014, iOS 8 came out with widgets that were available in Android 2.0 Eclair as early as 2009. Voice assistant Siri was the start of the phrase Hey Siri - like OK Google in Motorola Moto X in 2013. Finally, the updated operating system allowed the installation of third-party keyboards. Finally, iPhone instantly got the long-awaited Swype-keyboard, which the owners of Android gadgets enjoyed almost from the very start of Android.

As for Apple’s hardware, it is certainly worth to mention NFC, that supported iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Particularly optimistic analysts promised that Apple would revolutionize payments off mobile devices. However, almost one year passed, yet things aren’t moving. Apple Pay, recently launched in the UK, caused a lot of questions. Smartphones have not yet replaced the cash, let alone the credit cards. And it does not seem that the situation is going to change.

2015: ‘Golden’ MacBook

12-inch MacBook is the first of the most controversial decisions in 2015. Light, incredibly sharp and bright screen capable of operating independently of the fully charged battery up to 10 hours. This ultrabook, it would seem to become the best choice for all those who need a nimble mobile computer. However, Apple managed to oversimplify almost everything.

Most observers have noted that the laptop has unusually low set keys with a strangely low speed. Just a little more, and it would be possible to simply replace the buttons with the touch screen. Of course, it is possible to get used to this – yet it will take precious time. The problem is that the MacBook is seen primarily as a working tool, and user just wants to pick up every new model and start to work with it just the way they get used to. Just continue to perform normal everyday tasks.

The second and perhaps the biggest drawback of 12-inch MacBook - its only connector for charging and external devices such as a monitor, wireless mouse, USB-drives and an external DVD-drive, if someone still remembers what it is. The problem is not even a single USB-C, but rather in its newness. At the time of the MacBook’s launch, it was impossible to connect the device with even some Apple’s products without any special tricks and special adapters, let alone the third-party peripherals.
2015: troublesome iOS 9

After users got acquainted with the first beta of iOS 9, talks about borrowing Android and some third-party applications started once again. Split View on the iPad was suddenly the realization of multitasking with simultaneous display of multiple windows, a long time ago available on LG and Samsung devices. Siri has got the support of pre-installed applications after a fashion of Google Now. Apple Maps app in some cities supports the combined navigation and tells you how to reach your destination by public transport - and this, too, we have already seen on maps Google.

However, the problem is not even about that, but in the opening of the early beta versions of iOS 9 to everyone. Previously, ‘raw’ operating systems were available only to developers that carefully read the user agreement before installing or at least understand the internal structure of new software product and the process of debugging. This implies a condescending attitude to the fact that some of the functionality is not available, an error occurs, the battery is discharged in a matter of hours or even minutes.

Ordinary citizens do not read or do not understand the provisions of the User Agreement, demonstrated before the coveted installing, eagerly every OK-buttons and face many problems. Apple, of course, blamed in all the troubles, and, for some time past, and even third-party developers who publish their ‘non-working’ applications in the App Store.

Not being aware of the principles of the new operating system, and not knowing that applications installed in 8.4, may not start or work correctly on the 9.0 device, owners are not shy to rate them low, complementing their with spiteful comments for developers and copyright owners. Applications will certainly be modified, error will be corrected, but not before the pre-release version of iOS Gold Master will be launched. The optimization of a program or a game for beta 2 and beta 3 does not guarantee the normal start-up and normal operation of the final iOS - adaptation of applications for each beta unreasonable demands a lot of resources.

With opening the beta to the public, Apple has substituted endanger not only themselves but also their partners.

2015: Apple Watch

It seems that there was a huge fuss about the watch even before the start of sales and the official confirmation of the development. Neither the first iPhone in 2006 and 2007, nor the iPad in 2009 and 2010th were sought that much.

Apple Watch’s presentation was a huge success. From the stage, the audience was showed how to use the gadget, take a call or read a message. Even the default text answer! Navigation, sports applications, health - all of this is also possible on the next ‘revolutionary’ platform, welcomed with a huge enthusiasm. One of the most interesting features - search your phone with your watch: ‘It will ring even if silent!’

The number of pre-orders several times exceeded the production capacity of Apple. An hour after the opening of the Watch’s online page online company store orders are taken only two months in advance.

However, a few weeks after the sales start, the euphoria has left even the most loyal fans of the company. It turned out that everything in the Apple Watch has long been available in the much more accessible Samsung. That Samsung, which battery operates three hours longer and water-resistant (at least in the shower). And Gear S model even works directly with sim cards.

Someone just bored at Apple Watch. Not enough of useful applications, and it is more convenient to use them on your phone. In general, expectations were not fulfilled. Demand fell, and numerous analysts have hastily changed its forecasts for Apple Watch sales.

From some points of view, 2015th cannot be called a good year for Apple. Fans of products designed in Cupertino and assembled mainly in China, again go on about how they got tired of that the company’s leadership reputable see them only as moneybags.

If Apple really got on Microsoft’s track, which produces not very well Windows every other time, this year we should not expect anything outstanding of Apple, yet 2016th should be the first to please.


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