Apple After Steve Jobs

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by IPadNParadise, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. IPadNParadise macrumors 6502

    IPadNParadise

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    #1
    Not sure where my comment belongs but I put it under the iPad section since I am focused on Apple updating their iPad Pro line. Lately I have read several books about the life, decline in health and death of Steve Jobs. It brings me to this belief.....I think Steve Jobs was a remarkable, One of a Kind man, but I wonder if Apple would have come out with so many outstanding products, so closely together, if not for his pushing through his declining health.

    So now, we are left dealing with two issues, among others, regarding the current Apple....1) We got used to the fast pace of the One More Thing, both from new products or awesome updates and 2) Tim Cook is no Steve Jobs, Tim's focus is revenue and a lean running company. Hence the large cash drawer and the sloooow release of anything new or exciting. I am now wondering when Apple is going to start their decline in revenue!
     
  2. daflake macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    #2
    This evolution is nothing new and most tech companies have gone through it at some point. Apple will peak and then decline, the real salt will come from their ability to sustain even after they lose the throne they are holding on to. Time will tell
     
  3. DaveOP macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #3
    Look at other companies, the smartphone and computer markets are stagnating. Got a new Galaxy S8, it feels very similar to the S7. Laptops are getting lighter and lighter, but not speeding up vastly, or adding many new features. Current tech is very mature, and makes it hard for each new product to feel super innovative. VR/AR has a lot of room to grow, as does autonomous cars. These things take time. I feel like the Steve Jobs mourners need to take a step back, and look at the industry as a whole.
     
  4. jonnyb098 macrumors 68020

    jonnyb098

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    Location:
    Michigan
    #4
    I think we can (mostly) all agree that there will never be anyone like Steve. But as he himself said "death is the single best invention. It clears out the old to make room for the new".

    This is Tim's Apple now. Apple still makes amazing products and people are holding them them to a high standard, rightfully so. Sure the Watch is not a game changer. Sure, Apple Music got off to a rocky start. Sure, the Mac has been neglected a bit.

    But one thing is still certain for me and I'm sure many others. Theres no other phone, tablet or computer that I'd rather use than one made by Apple.

    Apple is bound to change EVEN MORE in the next decade or two. Many on the executive team have been there for 20+ years now. Thats a long haul by any standard today. In the next 10-15 years there will be an entirely new executive team at Apple and who knows what they'll come up (or not come up with).

    TL;DR

    Enjoy life, Apple isnt that bad.
     
  5. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Location:
    SF Bay area
    #5
    No question Steve was unique and Apple is different without him. But it is difficult to say precisely how it is different. If you look back at the historical timeline you will see there were years long gaps between major products under Steve.
     
  6. IPadNParadise thread starter macrumors 6502

    IPadNParadise

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    #6
    I agree, that's why I said he pushed more than he always did to make sure his last projects got out to the customers. And we got used to that and continue to expect it still.
     
  7. JMacHack macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2017
    #7
    Apple is different since Steve's been gone, this is a fact. Tim Cook is no Steve Jobs either, also true.

    After reading Walter Issacson's biography of Steve, from what I can tell, Apple without Steve is a double-edged sword.
    Some stuff that I think Steve made integral to Apple:
    1. The "Walled Garden" environment.
    2. The concept of a system that should "Just work"
    3. A product that was not just beautiful on the outside, but beautiful on the inside as well
    4. A "Product-focused" company. i.e. not deliberately trying to make the most profit, have the best workers environment, etc. But to make the best product
    5. The "try to be counter-culture" philosophy.

    All of which, in Steve's absence, Apple has strived to continue (even when met with mixed success and harsh criticism).

    But lest we forget, Steve was hardly the "technological messiah" that a lot of people make him out to be. A passage in the above biography I always like to bring up when people talk about how "Apple was better when Steve Jobs was at the helm" was a story about how he wanted to name the Macintosh "The Bicycle". Or how his employees had to go behind his back to procure tray-loading disc drives since he stubbornly insisted on slot-loading for the iMac.

    The best qualities of Steve (that he put into Apple) was his insistence on attention-to-detail, his vision of a future "digital lifestyle", and his constant charisma that inspired everyone in a room. (And of course, his ability to spot a niche market and target it)

    I doubt Apple would be significantly different today even if Steve Jobs were still alive however. A lot of criticisms thrown at Apple currently have roots even in the "return to Apple" Steve Jobs era.
     
  8. darksithpro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2016
    #8
    If you look at Apples product lineup, they're almost all products that have strong competition in a very saturated market.

    1. Traditional Computers: Completely saturated, not much growth.

    2. Smartphones: Same thing. Everyone and their grandma now has one.

    3. Tablets: Again, already saturated.

    4. Wearables: Still kinda untapped, but not as desired and needed as the other product lineups.

    4. Apple TV: Strong competition from cheaper devices for basically same content.

    Apple needs to find another untapped market like they did with the iPod and the original iPhone. A market that hasn't really progressed in the last 5-10 years, or so.
     
  9. Channan macrumors 68030

    Channan

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #9
    Is there a reason tray loading discs is better than slot loading? To me, that seems like the much better choice as there's no flimsy part that pops out and can break off and if Steve insisted on that, I'd say he was right.
     
  10. JMacHack macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2017
    #10
    At the time, there was no slot-loading drives with a burn capability, only tray-loading drives had that. I dunno if it was Steve who insisted on having a writeable drive in the iMac, but it was an essential part of it, and there was going to be no compromise on that capability.

    Apple had a deal to use Sony drives in the iMac, but Steve hated the look of the tray-loading drives and wanted to wait for Sony to release slot drives before the iMac was released. Long story short, the deadline was looming, and the Mac team went behind Steve's back to procure some tray drives without him knowing (he probably would've fired them if they asked). When the deadline came up, and Sony still didn't have slot-loading r/w drives the team told him what they did and he seemed appreciative.

    Or at least that's what I read in Walter Issacson's book, I dunno how factual that is. Apparently it was a design thing that Jobs was hung up on, not a durability thing.
     
  11. masotime macrumors 68020

    masotime

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    Jun 24, 2012
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    San Jose, CA
    #11
    Which books exactly?
     
  12. IPadNParadise thread starter macrumors 6502

    IPadNParadise

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    #12
    Becoming Steve Jobs (best) and Steve Jobs, The Man Who Thought Different. I had read Walter Isaackson's book a few years ago.
     
  13. Tozovac, Feb 4, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018

    Tozovac macrumors 6502a

    Tozovac

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2014
    #13
    Many of us look at those two as possible areas where Apple will insert itself and emerge as an innovator again. My doubting Thomas viewpoint, however, looks at how “limiting” those two technologies are vs. prior homeruns like Apple computer UI, iPod, iPhone, iPad, ultra-portable powerful MBA, which let the customer not only engage fully in the doing of things important to the user, but also to use them quickly and easily (and FUN) anytime while in the real world, since the “real world” is the ultimate destination and/or thing none of us could ever do without. Real music, real musicians, real doctors, real trees and grass, real ice cream, real coffee and basketballs. Ahead of any application innovation way out of today’s understanding of VR/AR, using VR/AR is so tied to needing “prep work” to engage with it (hardware, headsets, a safe area to use it) while also potentially taking one further away from the real world, where, again, the real world is to me the must-have thing that no technology should ever take you fully out of other than maybe temporarily for recreation, or for bettering the world (medicine, exploration, etc), or for someone, say, with no eyesight, that there feels to be such a high barrier towards VR/AR ever having the same universally useful impact as the other consumer devices Apple has dreamed up. In other words, going more towards very specific applications vs. flexible. We could use our iPod, iPhone, MacBook, iPad, etc., virtually in part of every hour of the day as tools to better engage in the real world, while living in a VR situation nearly 24/7 for the average person would seem like a jail sentence eventually. As for autonomous cars, Once again, and conveniences aside, autonomous cars are destined to take the user further away from engaging in that very thing....further away from the driving in the real world. Sure, maybe it lets you use your iPad or iPhone while being commuted around, but at the heart of it, autonomous vehicles remove the user, essentially, from control of the thing they are using. In fact, we basically have autonomous vehicles now-they’re called buses and taxis and Uber/Lyft. They basically already exist. Very unlike the iPod, iPhone, iPad, MacBookAir at the time of their intro, etc. Pretend for a moment that for $40,000, you can have a taxi or bus at your disposal for the next four years; how does that change your world?

    I’m realizing as I write this how a divorcing away from the real world plays a large part in my critiques of iOS 7-11 UI and its flattened, over-simplified, minimalized and less contrasty representation. None of us, I think, would ever give up a lush, green grassy backyard where you can see blades of grass waving in the wind… richly honey/colored hardwood floors… a shiny, attractive and fun to press start button in our cars. I often critique iOS7-11 and OSX starting with Yosemite for their bland, artificially oversimplified UI's on devices intended for use in a rich, engaging world. So good luck to Apple if they next focus on trying to make VR/AR and autonomous cars have the wide-reaching, everyday-life-improving impact that their prior innovations did...They have a large task ahead of them in my opinion! Me, I’m afraid we’ll get too much focus in Apple stores on forced innovation (Apple Watch...) further separating ourselves from the real world, like Facebook has unfortunately done over the past 10 years -- I volunteer for a social club that brings in musicians from out of town and attendance has drastically decreased since around 2009: the only way to hear those musicians now is on Facebook or Youtube.... Not to sound too much like a science fiction book... Not in favor of more and more products that don't us enjoy the real world more directly and engagingly. :)
     
  14. mk313 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2012
    #14
    I completely agree with the fact that Apple is different without Steve, and in my opinion, worse off for it. However, I don't think you can really blame Tim Cook for it. Steve was truly one-of-a-kind, and there is literally no one who could replace him. Some might argue that Elon Musk is a similar type figure, but Elon claims to be driven by what interests him, and it doesn't sound like computers & electronics do that. No matter who took over Apple, it was going to change from how Steve ran it.

    Steve (from the books/articles I'e read) seemed to be a very tough boss who demanded perfection, and expected commitment to the company. I remember reading an article when Tim first took over about how the team liked him as a boss because he didn't ever call them in the middle of the night with issues he was thinking about. it was obvious at that point that Apple wouldn't be the same. And lots of things like that, like Tim allowing C-level execs to be on other company boards, Tim giving employees the day after Thanksgiving off, etc Tim (nor most people, Scott forestall maybe-but he sounded like he had other issues) doesn't have the same passion & drive that Steve had, and without that, the products won't change at the same rapid pace. Apple is probably a much more employee-friendly company, work-life balance wise, than it was during Steve's time, but you really can't have both that and the laser-like focus & demand for perfection that Steve had.

    All in all, I think Apple won't ever be the same company that it was, but I don't think anyone else (in the tech space at least) will become that company either. The only thing that worries me is that Steve was a visionary who could find the next niche and could also keep things simple. I'm not sure that Tim has that ability. The Apple Watch was a good start, but the Apple Car project seems to be (from the rumors we've heard) a failure. And there's no denying that Apple has lost some it's simplicity and the 'it just works' ethos that it had during Steve's time. (i know there were issues during Steve's time as well, but the stories of how he dealt with them, show how passionate he was about making things work).

    Even though he's no Steve Jobs, I think Tim Cook is doing a decent job running Apple. at least, I can't think of anyone who would be a better replacement.
     

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