“Apple is misplaying the hand Steve Jobs left them, making themselves vulnerable to competition for the first time since iPod,” Chrys Bader writes for TechCrunch. “The company has always been at least one step ahead of the competition in hardware advancements and software experience. We were more willing to tolerate buying new adapters for their Apple devices because the upside was worth it. This year, they doubled down on the ‘f*ck you’ playbook instead of making major leaps in technology to bolster the position that allowed them to use the playbook in the first place. Now, they’re making power moves from a weak position.”

“It used to be that to switch to Android or Windows, you’d have to give up functionality, user experience and access to the latest and greatest apps. The switching cost to move to a competitor was very high,” Bader writes. “In 2016, Android phones have surpassed iPhone with higher-resolution displays, better cameras, cloud features, waterproofing and early VR/AR — reducing the switching cost to Android.”

“Apple Watch, the first product launch without Steve, was also the first not to move the needle. Since then, Apple events have become less exciting and more incremental, filled with unprecedentedly long and boring software demonstrations and underwhelming technology like TouchBar, HomeKit and HealthKit. Apple TV isn’t even 4K yet, while Roku is. Siri, which was first-to-market, has fallen behind Google Home and Amazon Alexa,” Bader writes. “There has also been speculation that Jony Ive is checked out and there’s going to be a big shake-up at the company. These are clear signs of leadership and organizational issues… To make a comeback, Apple needs a visionary CEO.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This article is overwrought and, in places confused (lamenting iPhone market share while ignoring that iPhone takes 106% of smartphone profits, for one example). That said, while we wait for the visionary CEO, it’d be nice to at least have a caretaker CEO who can manage to have up-to-date wares from all product families on the shelves that delighted customers want to buy.

As we just wrote half an hour ago: “If the Apple Watch, from launch to today, doesn’t starkly illustrate an Apple without Steve Jobs at the helm, nothing does – well, except for the Maps debacle, “Mac Genius” ads, iMacs missing Christmas 2012, rudderless Apple TV, pervasive Mac malaise, Apple Music and iTunes UI disasters, Siri Remote “design,” no new iPads for Christmas, MIA AirPods, etc., etc., etc. Forget about the Vision Thing™ with Tim Cook, we’re not even seeing the Operations Genius™ thing.”

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