Are Apple’s best days behind it?

“Things are happening at Apple, no question,” Adam Lashinsky writes for Fortune. “Will it be enough?”

“Even among Apple veterans opinions are split, with some believing the excellence of the organization will enable to win again and others seeing too many signs of decay to keep the faith,” Lashinsky writes. “But you can’t really have it both ways in life. So what do I think?”

Lashinsky writes, “The preponderance of the evidence, common sense and gut instinct all suggest the Apple-has-peaked argument is the stronger of the two. It is jarring to see Apple as a follower, but that’s what it looks like with its iTunes Radio service, with its flat mobile software design, with its still sub-optimal online maps. Apple isn’t supposed to follow anyone on anything. If Apple makes a cheaper phone, it will boost revenues. But a premium brand that attacks the low end does so at its peril. If moves into wearable computers, it will do so only after Google, Jawbone, its own partner Nike already have shown the way.”

MacDailyNews Take: When Apple moved into MP3 players, it did so only after Audible, Diamond Rio, Archos and a host of others supposedly showed the way. How’d that turn out Adam?

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Sorry, Adam, but we’re gonna go with the proven visionary instead:

I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it.Steve Jobs, August 24, 2011

Related articles:
The idea that Apple’s best days are behind it is absurd – December 29, 2012
WSJ hack: Apple shares’ best days are surely behind them – July 22, 2009

35 Comments

  1. Apple’s never really been first with anything and never cared that they weren’t. Apple’s all about making great products people will want to buy. They could care less if someone else does it first, so long as they do it best in the end.

    1. Apple doesn’t rush products/services out to market in an attempt to grab market share from early adopters.. Apple simply makes great products and doesn’t release them until they are to the point of being nearly flawless.

      To me being innovative isn’t simply coming up with something new. More so, it involves coming up with something great.

      There are plenty of Apple fans (like myself) that are willing to wait years for Apple to release a product, because they know when Apple does so, it will be done right.

  2. Apple didn’t invent the MP3 player, the “smart” phone or the tablet computer. But if they had not turn their vision of these devices into reality that everyone seems happy to copy, I for one would have a lot more money to spend. I can’t wait to see the new marvels they have in the pipeline that will cause me to spend even more.

    1. They made the first MP3 player that was actually worth owning.

      They made the first actual smartphones, what came before can hardly be called smart.

      They invented the App Store which is how all apps are distributed now, and the modern method of digital distribution of music. They invented the iPad. Nothing that came before the iPad was worth owning or using and the only things since have been rip offs of the iPad poorly executed without software rendering them useless.

        1. I have a very functional Power PC Mac 7500 alive and ticking.

          Regarding this article- Fortune really has it out for Apple, doesn’t it? it’s blatant… almost hateful. And so wrong…

  3. This is just the typical Apple hate in advance of the (now) annual product announcement. In about 90 days, the media will move from “Apple does not innovate,” to “Apple does not innovate enough, but look at the long lines around their retail stores.”

  4. No, Apples best days are yet to come, they’re charging into the post PC era with the best and most innovative products on the market. The last 30 years of computing are all 100% thanks to Apple, no one else contributed anything. The next 30 years will be no different.

    Because Apple is about making great things that make peoples lives better, not profit.

    1. Oh god no, online search basically means you HAVE to steal user private data to make money on a large scale, so they would have to be google.

      Steve jobs said that you need to partner with people who are good at something you aren’t as ( paraphrasing ), so they dumped data stealing google.

      And sided with Bing for search. Bing is just as good as google and despite the microsuck part of it. They don’t scan you eMails, or save your personal data, they just do the basic cookie thing which can’t be tracked and is easily disabled. So Apple did the right thing by going with that. I’ll take Bing over google any day.

      And now they’re going with Yahoo for more web based services.

      Anything to cut google out of the picture and force them into bankruptcy is a good thing.

  5. Guys, MDN, we don’t know what will happen. Jobs also brought in Scully and he ruined Apple.

    The red flag is right from Jobs’ mouth: “He’s not a product guy.” Referring to Tim Cook.

    I will say that I’m excited about the future. But, Apple’s product management seems lacking.

    No Retina on the iMac.
    No Retina on the Air.
    No Mini iPad Retina: this product is NOT selling well
    Heavier and thicker iPad 3 over 2
    Maps
    Spec bumping iPad
    And others.

    Then the shitty ads. I’m on the fence here.

    1. No Retina on iMac? Do you have any idea how many pixels that requires? A true “retina” screen is at least 200 dpi (or 300 dpi according to some people). This would require approximately 2600 x 4700 dpi to get there! There is no screen out there today (or even in the near future) that does that. No manufacturers are making this and none are expected to for *at least* a couple of years.

      No Retina on the Air? That’s not its purpose. The MacBook Pro with Retina is for that market. The Air excels at what it needs to: extreme portability in a laptop form factor. The latest edition is a great next step in that direction.

      The iPad mini is not selling well? Says who? Every report I’ve read is that it is selling well. Even the usual naysayers are saying it is selling well enough that it is stealing sales away from the iPad 4.

      etc.

      1. Shadowself:

        Do you realize what you’re doing? You’re making excuses.

        “Do you know how hard, blah, blah”. Nobody cares. Apple’s jobs is to solve problems and innovate.

        But this “problem” is just manufactured by fanboys like you who don’t know any better.

        Your argument falls apart. Look at the iPad. Do you realize how many pixels are on that tiny screen? And the thing runs off of a battery and low power chip/GPU. This battery powered device has 264 DPI. The iMac would need less because the user won’t have the screen as close to their face. 250 DPI would be more than enough for it to qualify as Retina using Apple’s baseline calculations for example. Yes, that’s right. A huge, hulking machine like the iMac with a massively powered GPU/CPU… something that DOESN’T run off of battery power… that would have LESS DPI than a battery powered toy.

        Second. The iPad Minis are NOT selling that well. It’s not that they’re selling that badly, but out of the 20 million odd iPads Apple sells every quarter, the last check was that the Mini made up 4 million of those.

        Here’s what speaks volumes: Apple doesn’t report sales numbers of iPad Minis, you have to extrapolate them. And the reason is pretty clear: sales aren’t hot. These things aren’t flying off the shelves. I spoke with some retailers a few weeks back and they told me that they never flew off the shelves and sales are “slow”.

        I’m not trolling. I’m being factual.

        1. Don’t you mean the problem is manufactured by trolls like you?

          Because the market doesn’t really seem to care that the Air, iMac, and iPad Mini don’t have retina displays.

          Also, I think you need to look up the meaning of the word factual. Because saying the iPad Mini isn’t selling well without using any facts to back it up is the opposite of factual.

    2. Slimon, you are generally unrealistically negative on this forum, but you improved a bit with your last post and I would like to respond.

      No retina on the iMac — that seems like an unfair complaint given the size of the iMac display and its consumer price point.

      No retina on the MBA — that is a bit more reasonable critique. After all, Apple has released retina MBPs. However, the MBA represents a careful balance between specs, performance, battery life, and weight with an emphasis on mobility. The next MBA redesign with Haswell CPUs, etc. might include a retina option.

      No iPad mini retina — a reasonable critique if you disregard your “NOT selling well” statement. I admit that I have not checked the numbers recently, but the iPad mini sold very well initially and I have not heard any warnings that iPad mini sales have significantly dropped in recent months. There will be an iPad mini retina, but it will come when Apple can provide the performance, battery life, size, and weight that define a quality Apple product.

      Heavier and thicker iPad 3 — this is probably your worst complaint. The iPad 3 was a transition design that introduced a retina display on a large iOS device. I have one and it is terrific. The iPad 4 is a bit sleeker and includes Thunderbolt. The iPad 5 will likely trim size and weight a little lower and provide increased battery life. Regardless, you missed the boat on this one.

      Maps — Apple has been raked over the coals on this one. In my opinion, the pundits and tech writers piled on the critiques to an unreasonable level. Maps worked well for many people from the outset and, by all accounts, has improved significantly over the past year. This is one of the hazards of going up against an incumbent who has had a lot of time to refine their product. Apple could and should have handled this better, but I give them credit for breaking critical technology ties with Google (and Samsung) and I recognize that such a shift typically includes some growing pains. But you got your easy shot on Apple, so fine.

      Spec bumping iPad — this is a common approach for product evolution. Everyone does it, and it is not necessarily a bad thing. You take a solid, refined product and make it even better in terms of performance and value. What is wrong with that?

      And others — lame ending. If you had any examples that were better than the ones that you listed, then you should have included them.

      I have to agree that the recent Apple ads are not as engaging or inspiring as past efforts. But Apple is attempting to target its ads at specific demographics and concepts, such as the recent emphasis on “Designed in California by Apple.” I believe that Apple can and will do better in the future. Fortunately, Apple does not really need to do much advertising. Apple gets free advertising from a number of sources including the most important one – word-of-mouth references from satisfied and loyal customers.

      1. 1. Retina iMac. See my post above. It would need less DPI than a battery powered toy. Not buying any excuses on this.
        2. Retina MacBook Air. More excuses. Reality is, they have Retina on battery powered toys like the iPhone. They need to get the Air Retina.
        3. iPad Mini sales. See my post above. Apple doesn’t report them. And the reason is because they’re not great.
        4. Heavier and thicker, or thinner and lighter? Which way would Jobs have gone? Which way would he have pushed? Sorry, but a lot of people have chimed in on this online not liking the heavier, thicker iPad. This represents a failure in engineering and product management.
        5. Maps. I like Maps, but I have had some horrendous experiences with it, so the media isn’t too off the mark for me on this one. But I agree, they overdid it.
        6. Spec bumping. You can’t be serious? You’re actually making an excuse for Apple spec bumping an iOS device HALF WAY through its product cycle and calling it a full generation higher? You know that lull that’s been going on of no real new products launched? That’s because we never got the March iPad event. PC makers spec bump, Apple innovates with clearly defined product cycles on its idevices.
        7. Ads. Demographics? Are you serious? Nobody gives a shit about that anymore. Apple appeals to all ages. There are no borders. Everybody sees these ads online. TV is yesterday’s news. If they’re targeting the US, they do so at their own peril, because to people like me who don’t live in the US, I could give a flying shit that Apple’s stuff is designed in California.

    3. Your post borders on trolling.

      KingMel did a pretty good job responding to your complaints about products. I completely disagree with the shitty ad comment. Apples ads are extraordinary. Apple has consistently had some of the best ads produced by anyone ever. They did have a few that did a horrible job comparing Apple to an off brand that were pulled quickly.

      The recent iPhone ads with pictures being taken everywhere and music listened to everywhere, and designed by Apple in California are amazing and far above the din of burping beer joke commercials and horrendous android commercials that make me want to turn off my TV completely.

  6. What the heck is an “Apple veteran”? Since Pundit Lashinsky seems to assign himself to that group, apparently it It’s those who make their living writing articles designed to draw clicks, with no accountability as the their accuracy.

  7. I think the best thing Steve ever did was to challenge and inspire people to do their best. That legacy will always be part of apple. Someone does not need to still be alive to provide inspiration. Even when Steve was at the helm there were missteps, antenna gate, the hockey puck mouse, the bluetooth headset, the cube, and that big speaker thing to name a few. There will be more strikeouts too, no doubt, but with smart folks like Ive, Cook. Schiller, Oppenheimer etc., they will keep swinging of the fences, and I thing the batting average will continue to be exceptional.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.