The journey of Apple

Posted on December 15, 2011

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Well I am on a train to Leeds and have just got the Apple wireless keyboard in the hope that I will be able to type a bit faster than when I use the on screen keyboard. At the moment this is proving a success albeit I occasionally drop a few letters as the trains juts from side to side.

The keyboard and connecting it up (pairing) with the iPad was effortless. And this is what Apple is all about. Making life for the user easier. And I have always accepted that there is a trade off in ‘upgradeability’ and compatibility with Apple products.

But for how long will this be? Since the sad passing of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, there has been very little – virtually non-existent – buzz around Apple and it’s products.

This could be a good thing. The focus and attention at the moment is off Apple and fully square on all the competition. They are loving it – they’re getting all the attention and are able to showcase their new products, which have all taken a lead from Apple – with touchscreen phones and tablets rife – spreading Google’s Android OS to increasing levels, surpassing iOS – though I bet there is more than just the OS spreading with Android, it’s only a bit of time before their popularity and open architecture is exploited with trojans, worms and viruses.

Apple have quietly carried on. And are no doubt looking to the future. Steve Jobs did a proper job on many of his senior employees, and if he was in any way as effective a boss as one of my earlier ones (Peter Duff) then he will have instilled in them the same vision and drive that he had. Sure, he was probably a pain in the arse – but I would rather have a super intelligent pain in the arse boss who cares 100% about what I produce than one who coasts along and encourages me to be average.

Just watching Jonathan Ive talk about the Apple products that he has designed and his relationship with Steve Jobs shows how much akin they were, and in-tune. Don’t forget – Jonathan Ive designed all the cool stuff since Job’s return to Apple in the 90’s – out with the black and beige, in with the transparent, multicoloured and metallic/aluminium. And though Steve will have no doubt pushed for perfection, I can imagine that Jonathan Ive didn’t need pushing too hard.

I have watched many keynotes from Apple and in recent years, one person has has come, in my view, close to emulating the persona, enthusiasm and dedication of Steve Jobs. That would be Scott Forstall. He comes across very genuine, relaxed and positive when talking about the iPhone and iOS – and I can see him being the future presenter for Apple. Tim Cook should really delegate to Tim, as he should realise that his style of delivery is doing Apple no favours.

But I guess neither Scott, nor Jonny or anyone else at Apple would feel comfortable trying to fill Steve’s boots – however, if they work as a team – dedicating themselves to challenging every decision they make every day and striving for perfection as they knew Steve would – then they may be able to hold the ship together.

In the end, for us long-standing Mac Gurus/Evangelists (that tells you how long we have been following Apple – we’re definitely not ‘fan-boys’) – we have an idea of where Apple could be heading… and it may not be a pretty place. Already there is erosion at the edges of the markets that Apple dominate, and Apple could end up shrinking and turning in on itself – getting stuck on a particular format.

Where will the vision come from now? Is there anyone there that can see what we need – even if we really didn’t need it.

Is the death of Steve a blessing? Could we look at all these devices and truly see how the negative impact of our throw-away culture could be effecting our planet and communities in the third world?

Who knows. But I can tell you one think. Apple will never be the same, and their journey may be coming to an end.

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Posted in: Apple