Playing The Long Game at Apple

Posted August 8th 2016


via Fast Company

Under Cook’s leadership, Apple has come to seem quite fallible to many people. Its recent products have seemed far less than perfect, at least compared to the collective memory of its astonishing iPod–iPhone–iPad run from 2001 to 2010. There are the public embarrassments, like its 2012 introduction of Maps, or those 2014 videos of reviewers bending, and breaking, an iPhone 6 Plus. Apple Pay hasn’t become the standard for a cashless society, and the Apple Watch “is not the watch we expect from Apple,” according to John Gruber, editor of Daring Fireball, the preeminent Apple-centric website. Then there are the design flaws: Apple Music has been saddled with too many features, as if it were something designed by, God forbid, Microsoft; the lens on the back of the iPhone 6 extrudes; the new Apple TV has an illogical interface and confusing remote control.

…The criticism crescendoed last April, after Cook announced that, for the first time in 13 years, Apple’s revenue had decreased by 13%, from the corresponding quarter a year earlier. Sales of iPhones had slowed even more, off 16%, an alarming development given that the smartphone accounts for 65% of the company’s total revenue.

According to Fast Company’s Rick Tetzeli, Apple may be moving away from its founder’s vision, suggesting it’s undergoing a “subtle, evolutionary change.” And to Tim Cook, that’s the Apple way. “What tends to happen with Apple, not just today but in the 18 years I’ve been here,” he told Fast Company, “is that invariably some people compare what we’re doing now to a vision or a product that somebody says they will create in the future.”