Two years after Steve Jobs left us, Apple now wears Tim Cook’s imprint and seems to wear it well

“Last Friday, Tim Cook issued a sombre remembrance to Apple employees,” Jean-Louis Gassée writes for The Guardian.

“I am one of the many who are in Steve’s debt and I miss him greatly. I consider him the greatest creator and editor of products this industry has ever known, and am awed by how he managed the most successful transformation of a company – and of himself – we’ve ever seen,” Gassée writes. “I watched his career from its very beginning, I was fortunate to have worked with him, and I thoroughly enjoyed agreeing and disagreeing with him.”

“Two years later, we can look at Apple under Tim Cook’s leadership. These haven’t been an easy 24 months: company shares have gone on a wild ride, execs have been shown the door, there was the Maps embarrassment and apology, and there has been a product drought for most of the last fiscal year (ending in September),” Gassée writes. “Despite the braying of the visionary sheep, Tim Cook never lost his preternatural calm, he never took the kommentariat’s bait. Nor have his customers: They keep buying, enjoying, and recommending Apple’s products. And they do so in such numbers – 9m new iPhones sold in the launch weekend – that Apple had to file a Form 8-K with the security and exchanges commission (SEC) to ‘warn’ shareholders that revenue and profits would exceed the guidance they had provided just two months ago when management reviewed the results of the previous quarter.”

Much more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Today is the second anniversary of Steve Jobs’ death – October 5, 2013

19 Comments

  1. I do think that iOS 7 and the new Mac PRO are good breaks from Steve’s shadow.

    There is still too much in the system to remind people of Steve though. iMacs, iPhones and iPads need a cosmetic overhaul – they need to look different. And some new items need to hit the system – like an iWatch or UHDTV set. Apple still feels like Steve’s orphaned child, and will until everything starts looking different so it doesn’t remind us of Steve every time we look at it.

    1. Oh, yeah, let’s change the design of products that are thoughtful blends of form and function just to make them seem new and different. The design of the MacBook Pro hasn’t significantly changed (altho the engineering has) since the G4 Powerbook because the basic design works. And why on earth should I care if a product reminds me of Steve? Heck, in general, that’s a good thing.

      Thank god you don’t run Apple…

    2. There always will be product in Apple’s chain to remind people of Steve Jobs: the Mac, the iMac, OS X, the iPhone, the iPad, iOS, etc. etc. Until each and every one of those products is replaced with something completely different, all will still be linked to Steve Jobs.

      But that’s OK, just as long as people get a grip and stop scrutinizing every decision, every product, every stock price change with “What Would Steve Have Done?”

  2. I’m a huge apple fan but some of the recent moves make me nervous. Steve Jobs was all about telling the people what they wanted and I’m starting to think Cook is more interested in giving them what they want – which may be a mistake.

    The new IOS doesn’t do all that much for me – I like a few of the improvements but most of all for me it’s a meh. The color iphones also remind me of Apple of old, pre-Jobs. Hopefully he proves me wrong.

    1. The “meh” feeling is because iPhones (smartphones in general) are mature products.

      A new category remade in Apple’s image will do the trick. Whether that’s television or so-called wearable computing, we’ll see.

      But just as the Mac hasn’t really changed fundamentally, nor will the iPhone. How they interact will continue to improve. And then there’s that new category that will complement the ecosystem . . . be patient, whatever it is, it’s coming.

      1. I agree – it’s too soon to tell. I just think there are some warnings signs that Jobs’s simple, elegant form over features is being lost. The new iOS is trying too hard for me and loses some of its simple, elegant ease of use.

        1. It gets the interface largely out of the way. New mobile safari tabs are how they should have always been. The new calendar sucks but most of the other changes were awesome.

    2. Your answer completely contradicted itself: You claim Cook is giving people what they want, but then move right into complaining about iOS 7. If Cook was giving people “what they want”, he would have just upgraded iOS 7 under the hood and left the UI the same. It certainly would have been easier. Was anyone clamoring for iOS to take on a brighter, colorful look? No. Was anyone clamoring for a 64-bit chip? No. How about colored iPhones? Again, nope.

      Cook knows what he’s doing. He’s preparing iOS 7 and its hardware for the next leap forward past Android and Samsung. He’s positioning the hardware and software so it can’t be copied quickly, and he’s building in important capabilities for significant expansion of software and hardware possible uses.

  3. Please stop with the thin grey iOS 7 icons & fonts, Tim. Just stop it already. You’re destroying Steve’s legacy. iOS 6 represents the pinnacle of Apple’s mobile software design. iOS 7 reminds me of Egyptian wall paintings at a time when people did not know how to express themselves in three dimensional art. It does nothing to leverage on Apple’s uniqueness which is represented by gorgeous rich icons that mimic their real life counterparts.

    The fonts, colors, icons, symbols in iOS 7 are a step back in time and do not represent forward movement in OS development. It looks too much like the all white Android popularised by Google and takes its cues from Android and Windows Phone 8 and not from the rich tradition of gorgeous fonts and hyper realistic icons advocated by Steve Jobs. I think Steve knew more than you Tim about elegant art and design.

      1. Jony Ive may be providing the vision but as far as I know all the software guys report to Craig Federighi. I doubt Ive could make decisions without Federighi knowing about them and signing off on them. After all he’s the iOS boss.

        1. Ive and Federighi are working hand-in-hand on iOS 7. That much is obvious. I’m sure Ive has his design ideas, and Federighi implements them and discusses actual operational concerns such as processor usage, battery drain, etc. for each effect or look.

          In the end, they ALL report to Tim Cook, who has to approve it all, so it’s not like Ive is running free with his design ideas any more than the accountants are being given coding duties.

    1. Gloss, shadows, rich textures, faux linen, green felt and leather are not elegant design IMO. They remind me of Microsoft BOB. Maybe they were necessary when iPhone first came out but they’re not necessary 7 years later. Heck my mother who is 72 just upgraded to iOS 7 on her iPad mini and she loves it. And she’s using it exactly the same way she did when it was running iOS 6.

      1. Spurious argument. Mac OS X has looked essentially the same since 2001. That’s 12 years of constant development. It’s nonsensical to say that iOS 6 looks dated when iOS 7 looks even more dated since it harks back to the flat icons in Palm Garnet OS and Windows Mobile 6.

        1. I agree that iOS 6 looks dated now. It’s not just the icons in iOS 7, but also the movement in and out of folders and apps, slight motion, layers, transparency, etc. that give iOS 7 a feeling of more depth. In addition, I think iOS 7 works better than iOS 6, particularly some of the new gestures and shortcuts.

          Does that mean iOS 7 is perfect? Nope. I would prefer to see a little more differentiation between items in Calendar and Mail, for example. I think there will be changes before we get to iOS 8, but overall iOS 7 is a home run.

          1. Totaly agree Bizlaw. There is some things I don’t like about iOS 7 , gaudy colours in calendar etc but I didn’t like some things about iOS 6. The skewmorfisom of previous iterations of iOS has always annoyed me. Overall I’m impressed with iOS 7 it certainly ups the finesse and the usability for me.

            My first impression was ” err yuk” but I’ve gotten over the shock of the new, things a bit different blah blah.

            I wouldn’t go back to rev6 even if I could. Sure I had to fiddle a bit but had to do a fair bit of fiddling when I got my first iPhone ( iPhone 4 when it came out) so big whoop.

            Whenever a new iteration of a product comes out there will always be some who are pissed off that things aren’t the same.

  4. iOS 7 should have been code-named Nouveau Tic Tac. Operationally, it leaves alot to be desired compared to iOS 6. So much for change just for the sake of change. Apple will undoubtedly make mountains of cash selling shiny doodads to the masses, but Apple will never again be the company it was when Steve Jobs was running it.

Reader Feedback

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