Attention, Tim Cook! Apple isn’t firing on all cylinders and you need to fix it

“This has been the winter of our discontent. 2016 was the year the tone changed,” Chuq Von Rospach blogs. “There’s always been a lot of criticism and griping about anything Apple does (and doesn’t do — it can’t win) but in 2016 I feel like the tone of the chatter about Apple changed and got a lot more negative.”

“This is worrisome on a number of levels and I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I’m used to watching people kvetch about the company, but this seems — different. One reason: a lot of the criticisms are correct,” Von Rospach writes. “Apple, for the first time in over a decade, simply isn’t firing on all cylinders. Please don’t interpret that as ‘Apple is doomed’ because it’s not, but there are things it’s doing a lot less well than it could — and has. Apple’s out of sync with itself… Apple has gotten itself out of kilter and is in need of some course correction.”

“Back when I was running most of Apple’s e-mail systems for the marketing teams, I went to them and suggested that we should consider dumping the text-only part of the emails we were building, because only about 4% of users used them and it added a significant amount of work to the process of creation and testing each e-mail,” Von Rospach writes. “Their response? That it was a small group of people, but a strategic one, since it was highly biased towards developers and power users. So the two-part emails stayed — and they were right. It made no sense from a business standpoint to continue to develop these emails as both HTML at text, but it made significant strategic sense. It was an investment in keeping this key user base happy with Apple.”

“Apple, from all indications I’ve seen over the last year and with the configurations they’ve shipped with these new laptops, has forgotten this, and the product configurations seem designed by what will fit the biggest part of the user base with the fewest configuration options,” Von Rospach writes. “They’ve chopped off the edges of the bell curve — and big chunks of their key users with them.”

Tons more in the full article – very highly recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: As Chuq writes, Apple is a bit off kilter, but nowhere close to being broken. We agree with all of his points; as regular readers know, we’ve voiced many similar concerns over recent years (one example from last month is here.)

SEE ALSO:
No, Apple, do not simplify, get better – December 23, 2016
Rare video shows Steve Jobs warning Apple to focus less on profits and more on great products – December 23, 2016
Marco Arment: Apple’s Mac Pro is ‘very likely dead’ – December 20, 2016
How Tim Cook’s Apple alienated Mac loyalists – December 20, 2016
Apple’s not very good, really quite poor 2016 – December 19, 2016
Apple’s software has been anything but ‘magical’ lately – December 19, 2016
Lazy Apple. It’s not hard to imagine Steve Jobs asking, ‘What have you been doing for the last four years?’ – December 9, 2016
Rush Limbaugh: Is Apple losing their edge? – December 9, 2016
AirPods: MIA for the holidays; delayed product damages Apple’s credibility, stokes customer frustration – December 9, 2016
Apple may have finally gotten too big for its unusual corporate structure – November 28, 2016
Apple has no idea what they’re doing in the TV space, and it’s embarrassing – November 3, 2016
Apple’s disgracefully outdated, utterly mismanaged Mac lineup is killing sales – October 13, 2016
Apple takes its eye off the ball: Why users are complaining about Apple’s software – February 9, 2016
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015

40 Comments

  1. First of all, “Chuq” needs to go back to school and learn how to spell. Secondly, everyone’s now a product designer and sales genius at Apple and knows what needs to be done better than Apple itself. As I have said before, Apple is doing just fine, so quit complaining all you Android lemmings pretending to be Apple fans.

  2. My only complaint is with the Mac line of desktops (and Apple monitor). And not listening to their specific markets needs and not making frivolous and unneeded (& unasked for) design changes that work against future upgrading. When you pay a bunch of money for a pro machine you don’t want it completely stillborn and inert to the future.

  3. Apple, you’re making products for your new customers and not for me, STOP!

    There, I fixed it for him 🙂

    “They’ve chopped off the edges of the bell curve — and big chunks of their key users with them”
    This part is correct though, and you could add “and big chunks of the least profitable users.”

    1. But also big chunks of extremely profitable users. Power users, almost by definition, are the biggest spenders. Apple has shunned them and is catering primarily to the emoji teeny boppers who are not and never will be top spenders. Quick cash today from the iOS app store isn’t enough to provide stable growth for the future.

      1. If the Pro market (i.e. Desktops) was more profitable, Apple would still be catering to it. The money is just not there. Consumers and Businesses are all going mobile which is GREAT for those that are also interested in mobile, bad for those who are not.

        I figure there will be a few more years of folks trying to hang on hoping that things will change, but as I’ve said before, if you are a Pro and don’t like where Apple is now, you will NOT like where they’re headed. Start making your moves now.

        1. Apple made more money the last several years on Macs than on any other product besides the iPhone and apps.

          Imagine if Apple kept its Macs up to date and advertised them.

  4. Yeah, we know, and it’s because of Tim Cook. The sooner they chuck this incompetent the better off Apple will be.

    I laugh at MDN these days. They are just starting to wake up, even though I’ve been telling them about worthless, sh*tty Cook for the past 6-years.

  5. ROFL. Ok Apple, aim everything! Go go go! Its a race!

    For the love of God, tell me who the fu** is doing better than Apple these days… Names please…

    They want, they want, they don’t know what they want but they want.

    BTW, did you know I still have my 2008 unibody MBP running MacOS Sierra? Who does support better than this…

    You are the one who needs a course correction.

    1. Define “doing better”.

      The fact that millions of hackintoshes are being built today should tell you something about Apple’s stupid hardware decisions.

      Apple’s loss of graphics, audio, and video professional markets should tell you something.

      The low sales of Watches, iCloud, and iPads should tell you something.

      Apple announced declining sales in 2016. If you think the ship is headed in the right direction, well fine. Bury your head back in the sand.

      1. “millions of hackintoshes are being built today”

        WHERE is that coming from?! Millions?! Highly doubtful. We’ve got a hardcore group that comes to this website, show of hands if you personally know 20 people (including yourself) that’s in the process of building a hackintosh. If you’re a Professional, you trust your business to it?

          1. …. estimates over 2 million hackintoshes based on registered users and build contributors.

            Also see:
            OSX86.net
            InsanelyMac
            Project OS X
            OSXLatitude
            myHack
            and Trump’s favorite, Russian site AppleLife.

            You honestly think this many sites would be active and vibrant if there were only a few kids playing with them?

            1. Wow, those are stats my friend. The hackintosh is alive and well on the web. No wonder with so many bugs.

              When you have an Apple product, you’ll stick to Apple. My production velocity is important. An hackintosh willl need servicing and tweaks and glitches fixe.

              I can’t afford being on hackintosh.

            2. I believe if you retead, he said “today”, not “everyday”. He’s right too. I know several guys who have hackintoshes. Don’t knock it til you try it

  6. Patience here is absolutely key ….. Apple inc. is not in the game of “good enough”, so my hunch is that 2017 will see the biggest shake up on the Mac front that nobody could see coming, namely moving to their own processors, off the back of their astounding success with their mobile chip business.

    Wait for it, because a lot of naysayers will state that “it’s impossible”, because of the innate challenges of moving away from the intel processors. Well guess what, nobody saw the following:

    1. iPod, that captured and maintained 70% of the music player market
    2. iPhone, that is 10 years old this year and so far ahead of the competition, it’s laughable
    3. iPad, created the tablet market, that everyone now refers to as the “iPad market”
    4. Apple Watch that created a meaningful wearable market, which as a consequence has put the whole Swiss Watch iindustry on notice
    5. App Store, enough said!
    6. Swift language, which absolutely nobody saw coming
    7. Introduction of their own SOC processors for mobile devices, that make a laughing stock of Intel et al
    8. Various huge migrations, coverng processor families and Operating System migrations.

    Apple inc. now has the bench strength and financial muscle to engineer their “own future to their own timetable”, keeping in mind the Steve Jobs mantra of “delighting the Customer”

    So, be patient!!

    1. You have a good point with plenty of examples to back it up.

      But patience has its limits – especially absent a publicly stated roadmap. If they’re working on a brand new Mac Pro right now, with the professional community full of well founded angst, then secrecy at the company has gone too far.

  7. I am agreeing that things are off kilter. When I upgrade system software, Sierra, and find that suddenly I can’t open any of my photos any longer without doing some conversion to a revised app that Apple thinks is better for me, things are not good. When I have to wait over three years to get an upgraded desktop computer because Apple has done nothing significant to existing product, things are not good. When I have to buy outside the brand in order to get a monitor or router, things are not good. When you can’t make Preview work properly with every pdf it had worked with in the past, things are not good. And the list goes on. More concentration on the customer and less on building a space ship would certainly be appreciated.

  8. When iMovie 10.1.0 came out, it changed the iMovie interface and introduced a very obvious interface bug. I reported it, it was all over the iMovie forums, I’m sure many others reported it. The bug is STILL in version 10.1.4. This is what Apple (and the Mac) has become. The software bugs and flakiness keep growing in everything they produce. Hardware is taking far too long for (mostly) minor updates, if you can even get that (*cough* Mac Pro *cough*). Steve’s attention to detail and drive to excite the customer has faded.

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