Brad Down

Is this the beginning of the end for Apple?

I read an article this morning blaming "designing ultra-sleek products that are difficult to manufacture" as the reason for Apples poor share performance recently. Analysts are blaming the power of people like Jony Ive. If Apples past comes back to haunt it, where control of the company is moved from strong leadership (Steve Jobs) and replaced by panicky sheep (The Apple Board), this is the end.

Apple is in trouble

I was one of the original Apple Fanbois when Steve Jobs was in control before he was ousted in 1985. The computers such as the LC were mind bogglingly revolutionary at the time when we were moving from bromide camera reproduction to the desktop.

I was addicted to the Apple OS and took an interest in what was going on at the company. On learning about Steve Jobs it was immediately obvious that he was designing and having these amazing computers built for himself to benefit his own life. It was this foundation that would lead Apples products to have a safe haven in the creative industry and be written off in the enterprise market.

They were great for moving images and type, but they were expensive and didn't run legacy corporate software systems. During the next years more powerful new amazing machines would come, to the point where we could actually manipulate large images via programs like Photoshop and Quark Xpress. 

While great, you could still see the "home user" legacy of the personal needs of Steve. The Mac would never get taken seriousely by the enterprise market, but what I guess really surprised people was that it was never priced to get into the home market either, so with the creative and publishing sector it stayed.

When Steve Jobs was outed, there was a huge cry for Apple to allow cloning of the hardware to make low cost machines available to the home, but Steve was against it completely, for reasons which we can see today. However none-the-less, the Apple board took over control of Apple along with its Puppet CEO's and started on the road to create cheaper, low cost machines that would attempt to compete in the home and corporate sectors. They also began the cloning program which led to a plethora of low grade, ugly computers that were bad performers and badly integrated with the Apple OS software.

As a result the Apple share price dove from a a very healthy share price down to almost nothing and almost breaking the company. "How was this possible?" the board asked itself, we have cheapened components, made cheaper computers, allowed cloning, why aren't people buying the product?

In the meantime Windows 95 had gone on to secure global domination while Apple sat on the brink of bankruptcy. 

When Steve returned he quickly and ruthlessly the outlawed cloning (hopefully forever), he returned the company to innovation lead and showed us that people will pay for quality. When the first iPods were introduced, people laughed at the price tag, but Apple could barely keep up with demand. By mid 1998 Apple was back to profitablity.

It is this innovation and quality that is at the heart of Apple, it drives other companies to do better. It creates better products for everybody. Who is the next person to stand up at Apple and say, "This is the product that I want, for my life?". Certainly not Tim Cook, this puppet probably uses Windows. Jony Ive, are you our man? Your design skills say yes, can you project a reality distortion field like Steve? It is this distortion field that led companies to do things they didn't thing could be done. It is the foundation of Apple and its success.

Stand up Jony, be the man. We know can do it.

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Brad Down Burst SMS Brad Down
Company: Burst SMS
Position: Head of Innovation
17 years experience in web design and usability, advertising, marketing and graphic design. Morphing into mobile marketing and SMS expert. Multi skilled, creative and passionate. My goal is to make the web easier to use and more useful for everybody. Specialties: Mobile Marketing, SMS Marketing, Enterprise SMS Solutions Read Brad's full bio

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