How Apple lost its way: Steve Jobs’ love of simplicity is gone

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by smacrumon, Jun 2, 2016.

  1. smacrumon, Jun 2, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016

    smacrumon Suspended

    smacrumon

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    #1
  2. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

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    #2
    Yep.
    I assume it's clear for all that Steve was Apple's leader (in every sense of the word) and Cook is simply leading Apple (as a COO / CEO).
     
  3. I7guy macrumors G5

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    #3
    It's not clear.
     
  4. Zirel Suspended

    Zirel

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    #4
    No, it's not Apple that lacks simplicity. It's that some costumers are just too dumb.
     
  5. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #5
    I think the author and the OP are over thinking things here. I have an iPhone 6s, my wife has an SE and still has a version 4 so that spans everything from Steve through Tim/Jony and I can pick up and use any with no issue. I'm 68. I also have a version one iPad and my wife has an Air and small model Pro. The Steve Pad is heavy, slow and crash prone (complicated) while the Tim/Jony Pads are sleek and quick (simple).

    Steve and Avie Trevanian rescued Apple from the brink of bankruptcy by killing the clone licenses and developing a solid UNIX based OS deployed in consumer machines. Steve and Woz - don't forget Woz - created a powerful company. Tim Cook took it and turned it into a global powerhouse. All did bang up jobs.

    Note on the link: Not to speak ill of the dead, but from what I have read Steve was a not-so benevolent dictator...

    Dale
     
  6. Fuchal macrumors 68020

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    #6
    The iMac is really what reinvigorated Apple, and the iMac was based on simplicity.

     
  7. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

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    True. That thought was in my mind, also. But I still believe that putting an end to licensing and returning the Mac experience to Apple saved the company financially. When Steve returned to the company, there were many machines running the Mac OS on the market that out performed and under cut the Power Macs of the time. Remember the multi processor Power Computing systems? 250 MHz smokers!

    The iMac was a ground breaker that brought many people who thought they would never own a computer into the fold. I recall lines of people with iMacs in shopping carts at the big box electronics stores.

    Dale
     
  8. riviera74 macrumors member

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    #8
    Yes, it all started with those candy-colored iMacs in 1998. Steve Jobs was right to get the financials right first, and then create and release a very simple and compelling product. Since then, Apple has gone from Strength to Strength. Now the only question is whether Apple can keep innovating and avoid stagnation.
     
  9. smacrumon thread starter Suspended

    smacrumon

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    #9
    These words really are the difference.
     
  10. Pakaku macrumors 68000

    Pakaku

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    #10
    I still think the $10,000 Watch is the perfect symbol of Post-Jobs Apple.
     
  11. theluggage macrumors 68030

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    #11
    FTFY: I still think the Watch is the perfect symbol of post-Jobs Apple.

    Its a solution looking for a problem - an expensive watch that you can't read in bright sunlight. IMHO a SmartWatch needs to do two things: (a) tell the time as well as a regular watch and (b) display the sender of incoming text/email so I can decide whether I need to take out my phone to read it. It also needs to survive at least one night of not being charged - or a 24 hour plane trip - otherwise its going to let you down just when you need it most. There seems to be a niche market amongst fitness enthusiasts, but who wants to do sport with a big, heavy lump of a Smartwatch when you could have something lighter and designed-for-purpose like a FitBit that only cost a fraction as much to replace when it ends up at the bottom of the sea or gets nicked from a changing room? Meanwhile, if you're serious about monitoring heart rate then you don't put the sensors on the back of your wrist...

    Then there's the UI - its got a force-sensitive touch screen that can distinguish between touch, tap and hard-press (more dimensions of input than the original iPhone) and its got voice recognition, so why on earth does it need a physical button and a "digital crown"? A watch crown is horrible ergonomically and is barely acceptable on a standard quartz watch where you use it a few times a year to set the time. In any case, unless you use valuable screen space to say what the wheel is going to do in any situation, its going to be 'mystery meat' navigation (but then modern UI "design" seems to love mystery meat). One of the key design decisions of the iPhone was to focus entirely on touch-screen input and avoid the mess of buttons, keyboards, jog wheels, joypads & toothpick styli on contemporary phones. At most, the Watch should have had the touch screen and a home button (with the familiar iPad functionality). If it did need another dimension of input, then pretty much anything but a watch crown (the bezel on Samsung watches seems better). A braver decision would have been to say "hey, it sucks to use two hands to operate your watch so lets make Siri the default UI".

    Then there's the target market. TLDNR: adopt a bit of enlightened self-interest, support Android and double (at least) the number of potential buyers. How hard can it be? Samsung are working on iPhone support for their Gear S2 watches. Remember, iPod didn't take off until it supported Windows - and then proceeded to sell a lot of Macs.

    Meanwhile, watches have a dual role as jewellery and, however nicely the corners are rounded, a square lump with a normally-black display doesn't really cut it. Face it - "function-over-form" is not a selling point for fashion. Heck, if I was going to spend more than $200 on a watch I'd probably buy a mechanical skeleton watch because clockwork is cool and I wouldn't be buying it for functionality.

    However, if you ignore all those issues and decide you are going to make the Watch anyway, there's nothing wrong with the $10,000 model, provided you understand that its an advert, not a product. If you're going to try to sell the Watch as a fashion item then you need something with an obscene notional price tag to give away to celebs (or even pay them to wear) to promote your product (no point giving a pop star a watch with a RRP less than her 2nd worst pair of shoes - which she didn't pay for either).

    Anyway, even if I do decide to get a smartwatch it will either be a Pebble (daylight-readable, always-on display, acceptable battery life - but looks cheap) or I'd give the Samsung G2 a closer look (looks like a watch & if you are going to have physical controls the rotating bezel makes sense). The Apple Watch leaves me cold.

    Also, if we're bashing Apple's recent attention to detail:

    The Magic Mouse that you can't use while charging. Logitech worked out the rocket science of "put the charging port where the wire would go on a wired mouse" years ago.

    The Apple Pencil: leave your pencil sticking out of the iPad like that to charge and it will get broken - maybe not today, but soon. Why doesn't it magnetically snap to the smart connector to store & charge? Or snap to the other edge and charge inductively? Either of those would let it charge alongside the iPad without needing a separate adapter and cable. Why is the M-to-F adapter a separate bit to lose and not built into the cap? Where's the Pencil loop on the Apple keyboard & cases?
     
  12. MH01 macrumors G4

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    #12
    How true.....how true indeed.....

    Maybe re read the article again ? Some irony here..

    The people who understand this article and what it means, are long term apple fans, and are far from dumb.
     
  13. grahamperrin macrumors 601

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    #13
    A 2014 topic wondered whether Apple had lost its way. I thought that the company was, amongst other things, not suitably mindful of customer requirements.

    This month's article in The Guardian is a rare treat. The words of someone who provided creative direction in the Think different years. In his words, with added emphasis:

    – and so, that's where I am. Almost exactly where I planned, in 2014, to be in 2016: elsewhere. No longer aligned with Apple products.
     
  14. I7guy macrumors G5

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    #14
    The irony is Apple seems to be catering to a new cadre of users, which long term Apple fans are not seeing this strategy.
     
  15. MH01 macrumors G4

    MH01

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    #15
    You missed the point of my comment. One should not call any users as dumb. Everyone deserves an opinion as a fan.

    Nor should one assume they know the strategy .
     
  16. grahamperrin macrumors 601

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    #16
    I heard that work on Apple Watch did not begin until after Steve's death.

    I found most of Yosemite potentially compelling. The very little that was bad was so bad that it drove me away from Apple.
     
  17. I7guy macrumors G5

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    #17
    I totally got your point and subtext. My comment was straightforward and the way I see it.
     
  18. MH01 macrumors G4

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    #18
    Fair enough. And a valid opinion.
     
  19. sunapple macrumors 6502a

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  20. ssong macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Though just because it's targeting a new user base it doesn't mean it should lose its ways.

    In the article they mentioned how Steve would work closely with Chiat\Day to produce some award winning ads, instead of growing an in-house marketing team. Obviously that wouldn't work without Steve as he was the key holding the parts together in that scenario.

    Someone drew comparison between a 'Steve Pad' and a Cook/Ive Pad and said that its indicative of how Apple has become better. But the reality is that its merely advancement of technology that allowed Ive to design products like we see today and not necessarily some collaboration between Cook and Ive.

    One thing Apple has gotten extremely better at since Steve's passing is its fiscal efficiency in milking more out of its loyal consumers, while exponentially growing its actual customer base. No longer is Apple considered to be a 'cult' or a company that creates niche products for a niche market. But instead Apple is viewed as a dominant force in the world of technology that has seeped through every part of many people's lives.

    All in all though, I do think Apple have clearly lost its ways of customer first. This doesn't just mean great customer service (which for the most part they still do have), but it means keeping in mind the needs of the customers at the heart of product development. Steve was either good at predicting or good at selling the Apple mandated way of life to people and that is why even the most difficult product developments seemed ok over time.

    But I'm not too sure with Tim's Apple launching nerfed products like the Retina MacBook and the iPad Pro is necessarily a good thing. For their new market perhaps it works, but for the old target segment of professionals, surely these products are unsatisfactory to a degree.

    I think the March 'loop in' event sums modern day Apple quite nicely: A socially responsible global powerhouse whose executives lost a bit of touch but are more than happy to pat themselves on the back.

    [​IMG]

    And to note, Ive is taking a less hands on role since the reshuffling last year, and well he was the only key Apple exec missing from the March event.
     
  21. grahamperrin macrumors 601

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    #21
  22. ssong macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Well basically...

    Many expected/wanted a Mac refresh (take a look at the MacRumors buyers guide and you'll see why)

    Instead came...

    About 30min boasting about how socially responsible they are (green initiatives, LIAM recycling robot, health benefits)
    iPhone SE launch - basically iPhone 6S in a iPhone 5S (not hating on it, I switched to it and I love it)
    iPad Pro 9.7 inch launch - added a few nice features to it but it's not a replacement to the iPad Air 2, its an additional product line. (Apple still sells the Air 2, hence milking more out of consumers. And the features added in the Pro 9.7 should have been included in the Pro 12.9)

    and most importantly...

    Watch Bands! =D /s

    so yeah it was by far the most un-Apple-like event as it was boring, bland, nothing exciting as they always try to do. For me the symbolic moment was when they announced the iPhone SE (Which was heavily leaked btw so everyone knew it was coming) and all the execs just clapping on the front row as if they just launched the Apple Car.

    As I said in a different thread, watching paint dry would have been more interesting.
     
  23. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

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    #23
    He only appears when there is a newly designed product, spec updates don't require his input.
     
  24. ssong macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    But surely he could have attended since it was fairly symbolic?

    1. last event at the Town Hall
    2. either in person or through video an explanation of why they decided to leave the 5S design unchanged for the SE because it's a well loved classical design etc. or something of that sort
    3. and just solidarity?

    I mean even Angela was there and if I remember correctly she didn't have a speaking role. Also from a business perspective, having one of your key executives be present for support at what was expected to be a boring event surely made more sense.
     
  25. grahamperrin macrumors 601

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    #25
    @ssong after seeing those three points I was briefly tempted to listen to, and watch the event but then http://www.apple.com/apple-events/ "9.7-inch iPad Pro … bands for Apple Watch … iPhone SE" – nothing of interest to me.

    Instead, http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2016/ and a glance at March reminds me that I did read the release about ResearchKit. It's good to see open source.
     

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