I’ll be blunt. I’m not a Mac guy. It’s not that I don’t see the benefits of Mac products, there are many, but I’m a hands on guy who likes to see how things work, and Macs are notoriously hands off. It’s also worth noting that while growing up Macs were the old boxes in the school computer lab from the early 80’s that could only play Oregon trail, and PCs had DOOM, so there was no contest for this early adopter.
But I was there during the Apple Renaissance; kicked off when they invaded the mobile music player market with the iPod. It landed a Vulcan Death grip on the mobile industry, and financed their line of Mac computers and research and development that led to them breaking into the mobile market with the iPhone. But the driving force of Apple’s success in the 2000’s was always the smart direction in R&D spearheaded by Jobs. There were many, many tech companies that grew out of the 90’s tech boom, and when the water became difficult to tread many of them juggled CEOs that dropped R&D to push profits in the short term, a death knell in a rapidly changing field that required innovation to compete.
If Apple was good at anything it was innovation, and with Jobs at the helm that was something that was never out on the wayside. It’s sad to express how rare it is for companies to spend money on innovation— it hurts quarterly profits, and gets CEOs fired. Jobs was immune to it, and kept his company soaring ahead of the competition. Sadly, he’s gone, and Apple may be in some trouble.
Apple has traditionally had a big product announcement in the first quarter, so around February news sources started to circulate rumors to rev up excitement for what they believed Apple would say. They reported we would have an Apple announcement in March, then April, then May, and then nothing. I’m not going to jump on the bandwagon of angry tech bloggers, many upset that Apple’s lack of initiative to confirm their assumptions has left them looking foolish, and start projecting the demise of the company. But it’s suspicious.
Cook, the current leader of Apple, is most likely scrambling to get his house in order. Profits have begun to plateau rather than skyrocket, and the company is in trouble for offshore cash reserves to the tune of $100 billion, even forcing a Senate hearing on the issue.
So, what do you think? When jobs stepped down he reassured us that he had a five year plan in place for Cook and the company, and many sighs of relief ringed out at the release of the iPhone 5 on schedule, but the company has stagnated since.
I’m trying very hard not to jump to conclusions, but in my humble opinion, Apple has lost a force that can’t be replaced, and just like other tech companies before it that couldn’t keep up with the risks that innovation required, Apple will begin to slow down. Not a good outlook for a company that has found success over the last decade by increasing its pace and setting new standards in technology.
Let’s hope that the announcement they’ve scheduled for early June is something big.