“The story of Apple Incorporated is far from over. It is the most valuable company in the world, by a large margin. Apple produces a range of exceptional and much loved products. It employs many of the most talented designers and engineers on the planet. But I think Apple has peaked and the story of the next few years will be one of a slow but real decline,” Dan Crow opines for The Guardian.

“Some background: I worked at Apple for four years in the late 1990s, as a software engineer and engineering manager. I joined during the disastrous reign of Gil Amelio, the desolate end of a desolate decade for the company,” Crow explains. “I was there when Steve Jobs returned and executed the most spectacular business turnaround of our lifetimes. I got to know Steve quite well and Apple really well. I’ve been rooting for them ever since. I’m an avid Mac user, though for mobile devices I prefer Android – I also worked at Google for five years.”

MacDailyNews Take: He prefers an inferior, insecure knockoff of Apple’s work? Google must have paid him well.

Crow writes, “Why do I think Apple has passed its peak? There are a number of signs. The most visible recent one is the Maps debacle. Replacing Google Maps with an obviously inferior experience shows how much Apple has changed.”

MacDailyNews Take: Every single one of our experience with Apple’s Maps have been superior to Google’s Maps, from faster redraws to better visuals. Anyone who calls Apple’s Maps “obviously inferior” to Google’s has either never really used both or has an agenda.

Crow writes, “Maps is the most obvious recent sign of changes at Apple, but there are other, more subtle, signs of a creative slowdown. The iPad 4 launched just six months after the iPad 3 with Retina Display. It doesn’t improve substantially over the previous version, yet has managed to annoy users who just bought an iPad 3. This insipid update is not the sort of magical product launch on which Apple has built its reputation.”

MacDailyNews Take: Oh, puleeze. Reality does not mesh with your tripe, Danny:
iPad 4 graphics upgrade a serious horsepower increase; Apple’s A6X is one massive processing machine – November 2, 2012
Benchmarks: Apple iPad 4′s A6X beats all comers in GPU performance – November 2, 2012
iPad 4 has processing power to spare; benchmarks show plenty of speed; beats Google Nexus 7, Microsoft Surface
– November 6, 2012

Crow writes, “It’s not just on the product side where there are signs of Apple slipping. While the recent departure of Scott Forstall has, rightly, garnered a lot of headlines, it’s important not to overlook the fate of John Browett. He was in charge of Apple’s retail stores – a vital component of Apple’s success over the last decade. Browett was in position for just seven months and by all accounts he presided over a significant and ill-advised change in strategy, focussing on profit over customer care – another example of Apple putting its corporate needs ahead of its customers.”

MacDailyNews Take: Browett was a mistake that has been corrected. The average Apple customer was not impacted. Cook needs to field a better candidate.

Crow writes, “Apple has serious structural faults. The loss of Steve was devastating – the entire company was built around him and the mistakes we have seen since he left are entirely consistent with a very hierarchical organisation trying to find its way without its leader. I think in hindsight, we will see that Apple’s peak of creativity, innovation and leadership was early 2012.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We shall see.