What Apple got right – and wrong – in 2015

“I’ve been a user and fan of Apple products since the first Macintosh in 1984,” Terry White blogs eponymously. “However, as fan I also recognize that one of my favorite companies in the tech world doesn’t get everything right every time. It’s a company of humans!”

“Anytime you praise or criticize anything Apple, people come out of the woodwork to either chime in in agreement or tell you how much of an idiot you are,” White writes. “It’s also hard to criticize the richest company in the world. After all, they are a business that continues to make billions of a dollars every year, so who am I to judge? I’m a customer.”

“When Steve Jobs passed on in 2011, many wondered, would it be the end of Apple’s innovation? We were assured by CEO Tim Cook that Apple had a lot of great products in the pipeline,” White writes. “However, looking back on the past year there have definitely been some hits and misses.”

5 Things Apple Got Right in 2015
• iPhone 6s and 6s Plus
• Apple Pencil
• iPad Pro
• Apple Watch
• Apple TV

5 Things Apple Got Wrong in 2015
• El Capitan Mac OS X 10.11
• MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015)
• tvOS 1.0
• Apple Smart Battery Case (for iPhone 6/6s)
• watchOS 1.0

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: White makes an oft-made mistake: Criticizing products as if he’s the target audience for all of them.

Move the 12-inch MacBook firmly into the category of things Apple got right in 2015. The 12-inch MacBook is for people who do certain kinds of work on-the-go. It’s a triumph! It’s Apple at its very best!

It’s not for editing feature films. It’s not for decoding the human genome. It’s a general personal computing device for road warriors. Apple makes other portable Macs for other market segments. Criticizing the MacBook for having “one port” is like criticizing the MacBook Pro for having too many. The only thing for which we use our MacBooks’ single USB-C port is charging. If MacBook only had a single MagSafe port on it, it would actually be an even better device for us! Imagine that.

You can decide where the rest of the “hits and misses” belong for yourselves.


  1. Terry Whwite knows a lot about Adobe products.

    He doesn’t kn ow that much re: Apple hits and misses.

    Citing Watch OS 1.0 as a miss shows Mr. White capable of capturing low hanging fruit.

    The erest of his picks are opinions and nothing more.

    El Capitan runs much better and more efficiently than Yosemite did.
    Macbook is a success. Remember, it’s not a machine for everyone. But there are many people who adore this machine. I’m one of them. I wouldn’t own it myself, but there are many p[eople in my world who praise its simplicity and find that the so-called lack of connectivity with only one port easy to overcome.
    AppleTV is a breakthrough product, even though its lack of Bluetooth keyboard support is puzzling.
    Apple’s battery case solves a specific problem for many people. The hump is inconsequential except for complainers with hipster taste.

    1. You’ve gotta have some sort of taste, be it hipster or otherwise, to buy Apple products. Apple has a design reputation to uphold and generally don’t put out ugly products.

    2. The Apple TV in its present state is not a breakthrough product.(imho) Is a rushed , half backed product in every aspect .. Yet years and years in the making. No excuse!
      But please take not.. I said at its present state… I believe it has huge potential… If Apple polishes it up quite a bit both in OS , hardware design and remote functionality .

  2. For me:

    iPhone 6s/plus
    Apple watch for the most part.
    Apple Pencil.
    New Macbook

    Apple music and UI. WTF
    AppleTv and tvOs and remote.. Increadibly half baked!
    Applewatch launch.
    Apple watch os . Somewhat.
    Ipad pro Launch.
    The Igor battery case
    And the biggest issue of all., imho……….PR and narrative !!!!!!!

    Lingering issues that did not get resolved :
    iTunes… Jurassic and problematic still !
    Icloud .. Abstraction galore .
    Ios … Still Complete lack of file organizational tools
    Apple AI, contextual understanding, spellcheck and functionality issues specially in ios and when interacting with the web.

    The rest .. Well kind of Mehhhh neither here or there.

      1. For me it comes down to hardware vs software. The hardware is excellent and I can recognize the quality available to a variety of users even if a number of the products don’t meet my needs. The software is very frustrating though.

        I gave both Apple Music and Photos a good try and I’ve abandoned both. Both Beats Music and iPhoto were superior products in my opinion, but Apple managed to make their successors worse. Photos may run faster, but what does it matter if My Photo Stream photos don’t all sync between devices?

        I for one don’t want Apple releasing any new product categories for a couple of years and focus on giving us solid software. I didn’t even mention the frustrating “not enough space for iCloud backups” messages when I’m only backing up contacts and calendars, specifically deselecting photos.

        1. Im with you on every point you made except one. ” apple not releasing any new products…..” as a solution for creating focus on perfection .
          As a major investor ( relitive to my resources and needs ) No new products for two years just wont cut it…

          I’d say:
          Creat a new department called “INSANELY GREAT ^2”
          Fill it with a bunch of “Wickedly Smart” AND “Massively Anal” individuals… ( does that sound like someone we knew?)
          Their job : not to create but to critique what the present “insanely great” departments and their heads finds satisfactory.

          There are some big judgment issues going on at Apple right now… Due to growing pains and/or too many loose unqualified ( relative to apple standards) inflated egos running around, calling shots…

          Steve was a genius in many areas (and not so good in others of course)
          His absanse and void of judgment on the product/advertising end must somehow be addressed.

          On operations and financial end It is my belief that Tim is the man and better than what Steve was . I’d go as far as saying much better .
          But Advertising and Products and overall creativity need scrutiny … In a big way .
          Ive is great in industrial design/vision but supervising software ui? Alan and Richard i dont know much about them …but i see issues where they supervise .
          Phil is great in marketing .. But creative impactful advertising???
          Angela.. Well no comment for now !
          Same holds for most other upper executives at Apple… I am Sure most are great .. But there are many disconnects ……all these brains have to somehow be harmonized.

          On the Charisma end.. Well i just dont believe there will be a substitute… ( maybe maybe Elon but thats a long shot… At least at the present .. But who knows ..life is full of surprises )

          Insanely great … Quoting Steve
          Wickedly smart … Quoting Tim

          Before I’m put in front of the firing squad .. Let me say: all of the above are absolute IMHOs

        1. Wow, Mike, you are right. Here are just the headlines from the last few days:
          “problem downloading”
          “F***ing SLOW”
          “Can I uninstall it?”
          “What’s the problem???”
          “Mail problems”
          “I don’t know what is going on at Apple”
          “WOW my review was so bad it was removed”

          Seriously, these are just reviews from Apple customers who own Macs and are clearly not happy about what Apple is offering.

          Something is rotting in Cupertino, and it needs to get fixed pronto.

  3. Can’t help but add some thoughts: MDN doesn’t have any sales data on which to base its assumption that the 2015 toy MacBook is a hit. Apple never tells people when its sales numbers are flops. But like the original MacBook Airs, Apple is going to have to go back to the drawing board to get this overpriced, underpowered MacBook to sell well. The only market it has is weaklings who are unable to pick up the more capable MacBooks, many of which are also cheaper and therefore a doubly better value. At least the much-maligned iPhone 5C had a ready market in China and India. In the USA, nobody wants below-average hardware.

    5 Things Apple Got Right in 2015
    • iPhone 6s and 6s Plus — mostly incremental improvements, so easy to look good there. But where’s the new 4″ model everyone expected? THAT is a miss.
    • Apple Pencil – okay
    • iPad Pro – okay
    • Apple Watch – when Apple breaks out sales, then we can judge. Right now it is too early to tell. Personal observation is that it’ll take a while longer to be profitable, and will only attract a fraction of current iOS users.
    • Apple TV – Not a hit! the 2015 ATV is completely outmatched by the Roku 4 and others. It is neither the jack of all trades nor a class leader in anything. It might be a hit in the future if it had unique features or content or apps, BUT IT DOESN’T. Only with significant GUI and hardware improvements would it be a better investment than the competitors. Sadly, past experience shows will not happen for ~3 years, as Apple will only trickle out minor software updates. If Apple couldn’t ink a major distribution deal with the content creators in the last 4+ years, what makes you think Apple will be able to do so tomorrow?

    5 Things Apple Got Wrong in 2015
    • El Capitan Mac OS X 10.11 – yes. absolute worst GUI of any OS X yet. Apple has made it harder to use and hidden useful features while adding no fundamental efficiency gains or much-overdue file system revamps. Apple isn’t using its own interface guides anymore for desktop operation, it seems to be designed only with trackpad users in mind, pushing touchscreen-like dependencies into an OS that does not support, and should never support, touchscreen operation.
    • MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015) – yes, a mess. Nothing about this toy makes sense to someone who truly needs a laptop for work. It’s Apple’s new netbook — overpriced for gullible fanboys who need a gold colored accessory.
    • tvOS 1.0 — i don’t see how this can be separated from ATV which was mistakenly ranked as a “hit” above. I predict that sales of the new Apple TV will not impress even the most faithful Apple zealots. Managing the tidal wave of pointless shitty apps that will become available, and managing all the many subscriptions and in-app purchases, will be more annoying than it is worth.
    • Apple Smart Battery Case (for iPhone 6/6s) – yes. anyone who prioritizes the style Apple claims to have will avoid buying this awkward brick. People who care about function only will compare it to competing battery cases and find that Apple just released an also-ran product with no unique value proposition.
    • watchOS 1.0 – Again, it’s integral to the Watch, so why break it out as a unique product? clearly not ready when launched, still more of a fashion device for many buyers. Clunky interface that merely miniaturizes the click wheel — an interface that Apple has been trying to kill off for many years with its cold shoulder to the iPod line.

    More misses:
    – flaky iOS updates with shitty Music changes and nagging update reminders.
    – iTunes 12 continues to suck.
    – Apple Music continues to suck, should be divorced from iTunes
    – Photos continues to suck, with no solution to current Aperture users available.
    – Apple Maps continues to suck with bad accuracy in many areas, limited features, and the worst interface of any map software out there – and worst, one can’t change the default map app on an iPhone (thanks MicroAppleSoft!)
    – Plastic Beats hardware is just not even worthy of Apple ownership. What an embarrassment to a company that once prided itself in product excellence. The fad is over.
    – the clunky iPad keyboards are just giving more credibility to MS Surface. What a waste of time to try to use iOS for typing anything of significance. But since all Cook does is read email on his new all-in-one iPad Pro workstation, you can be assured that Apple Stores will have them well stocked and prominently displayed.
    – iCloud and its half-baked features (handoff, photo sync, etc) continue to be flaky. Why can’t Apple allow users to easily host their own data? Apple used to make excellent class-leading Airports for home networking? Why isn’t there an Apple NAS or iHost? If Apple doesn’t datamine, then there is a huge missed opportunity for Apple users to have a secure home-based data hub that syncs MORE RELIABLY than iCloud. Then Apple can rent backup Time Machine from its servers — which is a service that users would accept to be slower and work only with a few devices, instead of the current iCloud which fails in part because Apple can’t manage the traffic. They never will be able to manage the world’s real-time syncing desires.

    – many hardware updates, including iPods, Airport, displays, Mac Pro, Mac Mini, and so forth. Apple has whiffed so many of these critical Mac ecosystem products, it’s clear that Timmy can only think about continuing to fragment iOS into as many portables as possible. All other users – like us old time OS X users just keep getting screwed. The MacBook linkup today is a confusing mess, and the huge holes in the Mac desktop lineup are glaring.

    So to answer the question that MDN can’t stop asking: Why is AAPL stock faltering? Half because of the worldwide malaise, but at least half because Apple’s leadership team keeps firing so many blanks. It’s been 5 years of bad software and zero advancement of the Mac platform on which all other Apple products rely. Apple today looks, acts, and smells more than ever like Microsoft.

    1. With all due respect Mike…
      “Hits”and “getting it right” are not the same thing.
      Many things can be close to ideal and perfection and not be hits just due to the nature of their purpose.
      Ill give u an off the subject example..
      Citizan Kane
      Almost unanimously considered the best movie ever made by Scholars… ( it was done right..)
      But it was a complete failure at the box office. ( it was no where near a hit )

      By the same tocken… Is ipad pencil going to be hit? I doubt it… Masses dont really need one.. Its not ist purpose… But ist done so Right .. For those who have a use for it its awesome. ( minus less than ideal charging solutions… . Which can easly be solved with a short cabled adaptor dongle )


      1. Good points, yojombo007. High quality items seldom sell as many units as the cheap knockoff imitations. Mediocrity is an epidemic.

        I think you understand though that I have never advocated that Apple cheapen its quality in order to appeal to the masses. Quite the opposite — Apple needs to offer more VALUE than it does today. First, Apple can afford to do so. Second, the Mac platform will decay unless Apple makes it better. For the last 5 years, Mac software has been on a dramatic downhill slide in quality and function.

        So what about hardware? Some people on these forums will buy anything with an Apple on it. We don’t know yet, but I predict that the 2015 Apple MacBook will have poor sales, which Apple will attempt to fix with a drop in price and/or a rapid redesign. As it is today, it is simply a horrible value in a laptop. That won’t stop some well-heeled people from buying it, but it doesn’t deserve to be a hit. Customers who work for a living obviously want better performance, not less.

        Lately, Apple has been offering less and less substance in its products – especially in software, but in hardware too.

  4. I got a basic USB C adapter and used it to connect my 2TB USB 3.0 drive to my Retina Macbook. Also have a 256GB thumb drive to back up to that works fine with the 12$ adapter. The transfer rates are so fast, there is no need to keep it plugged into MB all the time. Just attach transfer and disconnect. This has been a perfect use for me. Everything else is as good or better than ANY mac I have had before. This was a home run IMO. I gave my wife the MBAir after using the new MB 1 day.

  5. i have iPhone 6s plus. iPad mini. iPad air, iPad pro. and Mac Air; magic keyboard and macic track pad., and Apple watch . I use the
    all and woulld love to have toe new Mac lao top . i wonder if rhe complainers really use the equipment they are complaining about. The Watch receives complaints, but i use mine and will deffinately buy the next model that comes along. Always ask the complainers have actually used the product they complain about. About Tim Cook: of course there will never be a replacement for Steve Jobs, but Tim has dona a marvelous job of increasing sales and profit. Some of the complainers of Tim Cook are doing it because they are closet Homo Phobes. I think making a management change ar Apple would be a disaster. I suppose most of you remember John Skully.

  6. Much of the hardware I don’t own so I won’t comment on them. I’ll limit my criticisms to two Mac software areas.

    1. Apple has locked down El Capitan that it makes power users scream in frustration when trying to tweak the GUI. That is tweak it more than Apple allows. Look I’m prepared to take the risk with the OS but increasingly Apple won’t allow me to do so.

    2. Now I’m far from unique on this on but iTunes is appalling. It’s become the software horribilis of music software. In Mavericks I’ve had to abandon iTunes to play music (and go over to a linked player) because of that damned spinning beach ball.

    I’ve got a brand new 27 inch iMac sitting in my lounge room and I keep making excuses to not replacing my 2007 iMac that’s running Mavericks because of point number one. And is point number two addressed in El Capitan…No!

    For crying out loud can’t they give Mac users a choice of locking down the OS or not and why can’t they split up iTunes? This is not rocket science. I just get the feeling that Apple is ignoring a lot of Mac users and that really worries me. Am I the only one that’s worried?

Reader Feedback

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