Apple has to start addressing these problems in 2017

“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

59 Comments

    1. There is logic to their madness. Why is it so hard for people to see. They do these things, yet they get bigger and bigger. They follow the exact same pattern year after year and achieve record sales numbers. They all but ignore the Mac yet people keep buying them, as they “Milk them for all they’re worth.” Next year there will be a boring ho hum iPhone 7s and people will buy millions of them and we will see pictures of the new emojis in the bumped up OS.

      The logic is they have to do very little to succeed wildly now. This is fine. It works for them. They are a fashion statement now, not a computer company.

      If you want cutting edge tech… it looks like Windows is the way to go.

      1. Hahahaha…Apple may have their problems but Windows is definitely not the way to go.

        Their much ballyhooed Surface Studio is overpriced and underpowered, And it’s still a Windows machine with an OS built on antiquated tech.

        1. I can tell you first hand that even though your opinion of the Surface is true, dumbass students are picking it up instead of a MB pro because you can write on the screen Yes, something simple like writing on the screen is a great idea, but SJ said NO! to pencils a long time ago.

  1. Cook can get a jump on fixing a bunch of problem simply by jettisoning Eddy Cue immediately.

    Eddy must have some inside dirt that’s protecting his job, because everything he touches is subpar or worse.

    1. Eddy Cue he does seem to be a guy caught up in lifestyles of the rich and famous.

      To be fair to Eddy, though, he may do a lot behind the scenes…and a lot of his value may be in the relationships he has built with major players in the entertainment industry.

        1. Having an attitude during negotiations can be a good or bad thing, depending on what the attitude is and how it is used.

          Look at our incoming President: he certainly has an attitude, claims he is great at negotiating…he would tell you that negotiating is not for sissies who are too nice.

  2. Good God, Yes! You are right on the money, MacDaily!

    Come on, APPLE! Put down that latte, stop dreaming about your new office in the mother ship and start holding yourself or someone responsible for the growing mess. Someone be put in charge! Crack heads!

  3. You have to wonder if they fired the wrong person. Should Jony Ive be head of everything or Scott Forestall? Skeuomorphism aside, is the company really better since he was “let go?”

      1. But since we have no way of running an alternate history to know what would have happened with having kept Scott Forestall, it’s a moot point.

        Scott Forestall would not necessarily have been the savior. Steve didn’t think so; that’s why he gave the company to Cook.

          1. By that reasoning Steve’s judgement should never have been trusted again. I’m glad Apple trusted him again.

            We all know the Steve that rejoined Apple in the late 1990s was a far more mature man than the one that left in the 1980’s. Steve himself said that.

            1. You have no argument, so you hurl a childish insult. Perhaps you need to reconsider your position.

              You used Steve’s choosing of Sculley as a reason to disqualify his pick of Cook. My point is that one mistake doesn’t mean you will necessarily make another. If that were true, then no one’s judgement should ever be trusted again.

              My other point is that we know the Steve that rejoined Apple in the 90’s was a far better more mature version of himself, capable of far better judgement. Steve admitted this.

              So I don’t see the reason for your insult, other than the fact that you are embarrassed to have lost the argument.

            2. Wade’s not an idiot, just misguided and unaware.

              Steve Jobs’ great talent was two fold: 1) when someone showed him a piece of equipment or showed off a new interface or described a new implementation of software he could, better than anyone before or since, tell whether that was going to be the future or not (yes, there were missteps, e.g., the hockey puck mouse, but overall he was better than anyone with whom you can compare him) and 2) he could get people to follow him either through pure charisma (that “Reality Distortion Filed”) or through extremely hard nosed (and sometimes brutal) pushing of people to do their very best, often pushing them to do better than they thought they could do.

              What Steve Jobs was NEVER good at up through his last days: picking other leaders to lead in his stead. You can name numerous cases, not just Sculley, Forestall, or Cook. That is a simple fact that has played out time and time again over the past 35 years.

            3. Forstall was able to help bring OS X along, and ran/put together the team that brought us iOS, THE SOFTWARE SCREW UP’S OVER THE LAST 4 YEARS IS TIM COOK, MAPS WASN’T READY WHO DO THINK WANTED IT RELEASED NO MATTER WHAT? After seeing the last 4 years.

            4. Thank you for an honest and civil reply. Very though provoking.

              I think that what we all need to realize is that Steve Jobs was never going to be able to find another Steve Jobs to lead the company. There is and will always be only 1 Steve Jobs.

              Just like with Walt Disney, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, etc.

              You cannot recreate Steve’s genius. It’s one of a kind. Now certainly there are other visionaries out there, but they have their own interests, are all like Steve: too headstrong to work for anyone else. Think Musk, Bezos, etc…all visionaries, but they are not the type of people looking to get hired in as CEO of another company.

              At this point you have to realize the company is run differently, not relying on Steve’s unique skill sets. They have to find a way to survive and thrive differently.

  4. Well, Apple missed some great opportunites and Microsoft is headed in the right direction. Touchscreen is the future but Apple gave us the touch bar… wrong choice.

    1. Nope. It’s been shown over and over again that touchscreen on a PC is not the way to go. Have you ever tried one?

      The menu operation is not good as menu’s are not optimized for you finger but for a precision mouse pointing device.

      Also if I have a mouse closer to me than the screen, studies show I always reach for the input that is closest. So I can use less effort to reach my mouse and navigate with precision on my computer, or I can work harder to reach the screen and not have as much precision. I also put fingerprints on the screen, and trust me that that would bug a lot of people.

      I guarantee you that if Apple were to release a touch screen Mac, all of a sudden you would see all of these articles surface on the shortcomings of putting a touchscreen on a personal computer. The same people pounding their fists for a touchscreen Mac would then become the critics of a touchscreen on a Mac.

      1. well…. it doesn’t have to be the main feature, but i see no reason not to incorporate it as a capability, those who want it can use it and those who don’t, don’t have to, trackpads are pretty damn effective, but… why limit yourself.

        expand capability and usability.

        beside having the capability might even increase sales attracting people from windows who might actually choose to buy mac – as long as they advertise the damn things

        1. Problem with putting touch screen in Mac…if it’s not the most usable feature…then you still increase price for customer, and use developer/engineering resources to do that.

          And you put in a feature that many may eventually question, subtracting from the brand.

        2. Wrong!! Have you used Windows Ribbons? The worse UI in history, Acad with three different types of UI’s, because the App designers can’t make up their minds on what is best.

      2. Sorry Wade, but college students are buying Surface’s just for the writing on the screen. It may not be the best in the world, but they want it because Apple doesn’t offer it. Hell HP in their new College series laptops offer pens for half the price of MBpro’s, why not? Kids are being given HP’s in high school with an option to purchase when they graduate for $100 and it will be good for at least four years. Apple has lost the school market, particularly the High and grade schools. They still have the iPad market for schools, but schools are looking for a cheaper alternative and hello Android.

  5. Some of these criticism are valid, but some are not. My takes:

    Getting rid of the Cinema displays is no big deal. Niche market, many people were already buying LG and other displays anyway. I think this is an instance where Steve would have approved of this as a way of simplifying and focusing.
    No one who bought an Apple display saw that as in any way tying them into the Apple ecosystem.

    I do agree that cloud based services needs to be given a very high priority. Yet for me iCloud has functioned flawlessly. And which services do it better? Google? I haven’t experienced that. Talking to a lot of people I get the idea that that one problem is that people do not understand the concept of a cloud based system and what it does. Plus people through the years have acquired a lot of different “clouds” without realizing it: iCloud, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.

    I don’t see iCloud as really falling short, or other services like Gmail cloud as being any better. They both sync what I want them to. iCloud will back up my entire iPhone, Google will not.
    The one area where I wish Apple would change would be to give people more iCloud storage for free. But I realize that they don’t have the economics of Google, where they can get away with giving away a lot of storage because they mine your data and sell it to advertisers.

    As for Amazon, they are great at what they do, but they don’t offer me solutions for syncing and backing up the data on my phone. They use the cloud for different things.

    1. Wade, I agree with much of what you say, and like you find so much to love about APPLE, its products and services, and its fundamental philosophy about the importance of privacy. They have that right. The others, like Google and Facebook, don’t.

      But we all worry that APPLE products are showing signs of fraying at the edges, and some products not even showing up at all, like the Mac Pro. And because of these indications I get the sense that many at APPLE are resting on their laurels, drinking the kool-aid and believing their own press which says “they are ‘Apple’ and there is no one better or stronger.” Well, Microsoft knows all about where that leads. APPLE has to be tough, nimble, always on the edge and worried about tomorrow.

      My sense is APPLE is too fat and happy.

      1. We really don’t know what their internal attitude is, because we are not inside of their corporate offices. All we have is loose conjecture which can and usually is wrong.

        We don’t know the sales figures, we don’t see where demand is and is not, we don’t know the hidden problems in the complex supply chain. For instance, let’s take the AirPods. A big miss to not ship them on time. But we really don’t know why…there are so many complexities in the supply chain. It’s easy to criticize when we don’t know the facts. All we have to do is point out the inevitable shortcomings.

  6. I do think the biggest problem lately has been shipping some products late or in more limited quantities, like the AirPods.

    Apple Watch 2 seems to be in short supply as well.

  7. Honestly, all you fussy people need to stop moaning and groaning so much. Take a look at the latest pictures of the new Apple headquarters building. Isn’t it wonderful? Don’t you feel good knowing that Apple people work in such an wonderful, modern building? Isn’t it better that having an up-to-date modern Airport Router, or a very competent replacement for the 11 inch MacBook Air? Aging iMac with not good replacement on the horizon? Heck think of all the features in the new headquarters bundling and your iMac problems will be forgotten.

    It’s all about a fancy new headquarters. Get over your mo

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