“Apple had some real problems in 2016 and, if the company wants to stay at the peak of relevancy, they’ll have to start addressing them in 2017,” Rene Ritchie writes for iMore.

“Apple, like any big company, has real problems,” Ritchie writes. “Some of them are similar to those from year’s past. Others are new or, in my mind, newly important. None of them are spell immediate doom for a company with billions in the back, of course, but any or all of them could become critical to Apple’s sustained relevance over the next decade.”

Shipping: “Great artists ship” was a favorite saying of Apple’s late co-founder, Steve Jobs… Apple has been plagued by supply problems… Whatever the cause, it means Apple can’t sell as many of the products as they otherwise would, which is bad for Apple. Worse, people can’t buy them in a timely fashion, which makes for a terrible customer experience.

MacDailyNews Take: iPad Unit SalesExactly how rich and big does Apple have to be before the company runs like it has more than five guys working 18-hour days trying to do everything? The world’s most valuable company is incapable of updating the Mac Pro for two and a half fscking years? Seriously? “Mismanagement” is not too strong a word to apply to the ongoing Mac Pro fiasco.

Just like every other human, there are things Tim Cook does very well and there are other things about which he seems painfully inept.

Hint: Make new Macs and update them with regularity while advertising them strongly. Obviously, as you might have noted by perusing iPad unit sales reports, not everyone has fallen for your “iPad is the next PC” meme, yet, Tim.

We only say that as those who were already Mac users for over 13 years at the point Cook was still over at Compaq trying to get his Windows PC to work.MacDailyNews, July 12, 2016

The horn effect: Apple is still making Magic keyboards, mouses, and trackpads, at least for now, but they’ve gotten out of the display business and, rumor has it, they’re getting out of the router business next… The halo effect helped build out from iPod and iPhone to full-on ecosystem that provides far more value than the sum of its parts. The horn effect could do the opposite. It could begin to break apart a lot of hard-won gains Apple’s made over the last decade.

MacDailyNews Take: Goodbye, Airport. Hello, Eero!

As with displays, there’s one less thing binding users to / reminding users of Apple. If Apple management thinks that’s a good thing, they’ve got a collective pentalobe screw loose.MacDailyNews, December 21, 2016

Services experience: None of the complaints made by major news outlets about silly Siri omissions this year should have been discovered by journalists. No Apple Music edge-cases should have curled Dalrymple’s beard. All of it should have been found and fixed first by a team lead by a services VP whose only job is to make sure exactly that stuff is found and fixed first. In 2016, Apple finally gave us a dedicated VP of App Store, something I’ve been wishing for for years. In 2017, I’m hoping we get a VP of services experience as well. And one smart and powerful enough that it’s near-instantly apparent.

MacDailyNews Take: If Apple, the world’s most valuable company, can’t figure out cloud services by now, there is something wrong with Apple’s management. There is something wrong with Apple’s priorities. The cloud is the future. It needs to be a top priority, not an afterthought. It needs to work. Not be a running joke that fouls up people’s lives. An iPhone with a wonky cloud is a wonky smartphone. A Mac with a faulty cloud is a faulty personal computer. The same goes for iPad, iPod, Apple Watch, and Apple TV.

The success of Apple’s hardware products depends on iCloud (and all that it entails) just working.

Time’s up. What’s it going to take to finally get your iCloud act together, Mr. Cook? Who’s responsible (Eddy Cue is Apple’s Senior Vice President, Internet Software and Services) and what’s the price, if any, that they pay for repeated failure?

Maybe it’s time for Cue to button up his shirt, park the Ferrari, and get to work? Or perhaps it’s time you threw some cash at some Google and Amazon employees in order to get some people in there who can perform competently since your in-house staff obviously can’t handle it?MacDailyNews Take, July 23, 2015

One more time: Which Apple VP is in charge of Apple TV among other chronically glitch-prone services that are uniformly saddled with Microsoftian UIs?

Therein Apple’s problem lies.

A jovial, fun-loving nature wrapped in unbuttoned shirts is no substitute for execution, quality, taste, and signed contracts, Tim.

Beloved by all, yet failing the company. It’s a conundrum that needs to be solved.MacDailyNews, November 3, 2016

It’s quite possible that without Steve Jobs’ help, Eddy Cue couldn’t get ink in a stationery store.MacDailyNews, November 5, 2015

What’s NeXT: NeXT and a few other key technologies and insights perfectly positioned Apple to ride the mobile revolution into unprecedented success. Another revolution will come, not just in AI or AR but in the core technologies that power them. And Apple will need [to find or create] the next NeXT, and the the next big insight, to ride that next wave.

MacDailyNews Take: Here’s hoping that Apple’s massive R&D spend of late will produce tremendous fruit (even though Steve changed the world multiple times with a fraction of the money)!

Read more in the full article here.

SEE ALSO:
Apple’s skyrocketing R&D investments explained – November 2, 2016
What does Apple get for $10 billion of R&D? – October 28, 2016
Analysts: Apple’s innovation will pay off… eventually – October 26, 2016
A radically different Apple looms; R&D reveals the company’s largest pivot yet is coming – May 11, 2016
Apple’s massive R&D expenditure indicates myriad projects in the pipeline – April 27, 2016
Apple gets much more bang for its R&D buck than Google and other tech companies – November 30, 2015
Massive R&D increase suggests Apple is working on something huge – May 4, 2015