“Last week we didn’t see Apple’s thinnest products ever, but its thinnest event ever,” Tom Goodwin writes for TechCrunch. “From a company obsessed with reductivism, we saw an event with little actual news and zero unexpected surprises — just simple linear iterations of devices we’ve seen countless time before.”

“And for a company that defined conventional marketing, we saw a lot of tricks like line filling and lifecycle marketing that used to only be used by lesser companies,” Goodwin writes. “Instead, we now have 77 SKU’s of iPad to chase ever dwindling sales.”

“Maybe the lesson is this: we shouldn’t be focusing on hardware anymore. Perhaps instead we need to focus on what happens when hardware and software come together,” Goodwin writes. “Traditionally, this is where Apple succeeded. Developing software and hardware together made Apple products ‘just work.'”

“Everything was simple, reliable, and easy. Yet from a totally nonsensical product like iTunes, to the unchangingly disastrous Apple Maps, to the bugs of botched iOS updates, to the clearly unfinished Apple TV software, that’s clearly no longer the case,” Goodwin writes. “In fact, it’s the failures of the Apple TV that shine a light into the future of products as a combination of hardware, software, and partnerships.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: And, after a detour fighting against U.S. government overreach, back we go, to the same old post-Steve issue about which we’ve been talking for years now: Attention to detail or lack thereof and accountability.

We are longtime Mac users. From Apple products and services we expect and demand excellence at the very least (excellence, not perfection). In fact, it was Apple themselves, under Steve Jobs, who conditioned us to expect the excellence of Apple-level quality. That is what we pay for. When it does not exist, we will complain vociferously.

Furthermore, something along the lines of Amazon Echo is what Apple should have done if run by competent, forward-thinking management. When Apple finally does do their version of Amazon Echo (and they will get around to doing such a product eventually) they will rightly be called a follower. The company had all of the ingredients to make their own Echo, before Amazon, except for the vision, it seems.

It’s one thing to be a social justice crusader, it’s quite another to be a visionary tech CEO. Tim Cook seems drawn to the former while, still, the jury remains out regarding the latter. Still, even a mere caretaker CEO should be capable of demanding excellence from his employees – or else.

Are those responsible for such things as botched iOS updates that brick devices or an Apple TV release where a “beta” tag would have been exceedingly generous being held accountable? Or are they just getting more and more RSUs, regardless of their failures to satisfactorily perform their jobs?

Can Apple get things back under control? – March 29, 2016
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015