Apple isn’t a tech company

“Apple continues to be misunderstood,” Neil Cybart writes for Above Avalon.

“With the company’s cash cows showing signs of maturity, Apple’s interest in new industries is growing. Questions are swirling as to where Apple may be headed next,” Cybart writes. “The answer is found by assessing how Apple views itself and the role it has to play in the world. Apple isn’t a tech company, but rather it’s a design company betting that consumers want something more than just technology in their lives.”

Cybart writes, “Apple isn’t a tech company, but rather it’s a design company.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yup.

As we wrote in May 2015:

The fact is that Apple without Jony Ive is worse off than Apple without Tim Cook. Tim Cook is easier to replace than Jony Ive.

Steve Jobs called Jonathan Ive his ‘spiritual partner’ at Apple. He told his biographer Walter Isaacson that Ive had ‘more operation power’ at Apple than anyone besides Jobs himself — that there’s no one at the company who can tell Ive what to do. That, Jobs said, is “the way I set it up.”

Steve Jobs left design chief Jonathan Ive ‘more operational power’ than anyone else at Apple – October 21, 2011


  1. Well, maybe it’s not good that Apple is a design company because the P/E sucks compared to other tech companies.
    Apple, P/E 17.20
    Alphabet, P/E 30.30
    Facebook, P/E 42.19
    Microsoft, P/E 31.94
    Micron Tech, P/E 47.46
    Oracle, P/E 12.13

    Whatever type of company Apple is or becomes, I sure don’t expect the P/E to get much larger than it already is. In fact, I expect it will drop lower. I’m not sure why this is but I just have a gut feeling that Apple won’t be able to shake the zero growth opinion of Wall Street.

      1. what he is saying is that the valuation of Apple is very low compared to some of the other tech companies, low valuation shows that investors didn’t invest in the company so the ‘P’ price divided by earning is small. Low PE means investors don’t have faith in a company.

        Low PE though is sometimes good as an investment if you are buying in as it might go higher and also there is less to fall if the company goes south.

  2. you mean designs like the Apple TV REMOTE and the Cylinder Mac Pro, or the neutered Mac Mini ?

    Tech is the CORE of Apple not design.
    without proper TECH underpinnings and understanding of how people USE tech, ‘cut and shape’ design alone fails for TECH equipment

    The Apple coffee table book, Jony Ive’s baby is significant as it has practically NO TEXT, it only emphasizes ‘Cut and Shape’. Probably because Jony’s designer fashionista friends who he wants to impress don’t really care about how tech is USED or how tech impacts design but are just interested in ‘Shape and Cut’. But ‘shape and cut’ isn’t enough…

    AS I’ve quoted before form various articles Ive has had stormy meetings with Jobs. Jobs even threw out Ive’s INITIAL IPHONE designs saying that the shape dominates the FUNCTION (which is the screen ) too much. the emphasis should the APPLICATIONS shown on the screen (the design itself should fade away).

    i.e without Jobs the iPhone DESIGN might have failed !

    Today as we hear of Ive’s designers work one year and half on the door handles of the New Campus (as reported by Reuters), on fashion shows, Christmas trees etc. I wish there was a Steve Jobs to balance Ive out.

    1. Ive’s best pal Marc Newson’s (part time apple designer) Lockheed Lounge, reputed as the most expensive designer furniture piece ever made.

      As an artist I think it’s very interesting in ‘shape’ but practically it’s probably horrible to SIT ON. (is this what Ive is aspiring to for Apple products, form dominating function ?)

        1. Choosing between a Rube Goldberg machine that actually works and a Mac Pro that’ I can’t get enough GPUs in for machine learning work I would take the former.

          But their is a continent between those two unsatisfying extremes where Apple could do something greater.

      1. It’s cool, but let’s say the following year Newson painted it rose gold. Some might say it was the same lounge chair, while others might say it was genius. Let’s say the next year he screwed rollers into the legs and painted it jet black. Ten years later some might say it’s the best product ever created, but many others are not buying it.

        My grandfather was an artist. He began with oil and canvas, then he moved onto glass sculptures, and then to paper sculptures. He didn’t design the almost exact same thing year after year. He kept it fresh.

        Did God design every blade of grass the same, or every human? How about if the only animal on the planet was the same looking cat? Releasing the same looking lounge chair, artwork, or smartphone year after year is Godless, and there needs to be a change.

        I’m sure the designers aren’t going to like the sound of that because of their attention to detail and time they put into each year’s design, but groupthink and turned into groupmuck. Someone needs to pull them out of their mire.

  3. Apple is not a tech company just as much as Google is not a tech or an IT company..
    Or Ferrari is not a car company. …..
    or Rolex is not a watch company
    Or Ralph Lauran is not an Apparel company..

    U can call Apple whatever u like… at the end of the day the Core of what they do and deliver is tech and IT….
    (Actually…. Their design efforts have been quite mediocre to terrible lately….as in last couple years or so ……many of us have had big duscussions and objections about that, both here and at other forums …..)…

  4. If Apple is a design company then they deserve a failing grade because their designs look ancient compared to the competition. For example the front of the iPhone basically looks the same it has for ten years, while the competition has continued slimming down the bezels. Now the iPhone looks like a rotary phone compared to other brands.

    How could they have lost the plot? They invented the modern smartphone look, and they owned the premium market. Then they were at least two years late on a larger phone, and currently they are years late at decreasing the bezels. And don’t get my started on the atrocious antenna lines on the 6 series phones…

    And now some analysts claim that the iPhone 8 is going to be some magical design accomplishment which will usher in the next super cycle. Hog Wash. Apple lost the plot and momentum because of their ultra-conservative design choices. Consumers just don’t care anymore. They will keep their current devices until they fail, unless there is going to be an entirely new form factor like a foldable phone or something.

    Want proof? I can’t find the link right now, but some analyst recently stated this past quarter was AT&T’s worst phone upgrade quarter EVER. In searching for that report I came across this:

    “But those days are largely over, according to new information from Citigroup. Americans now take an average of 29 months to upgrade their cell phone, up from 28 months at the end of last year, and an increase of 24 to 26 months that was typical just a couple of years ago, as noted in a recent Wall Street Journal article. And just four years ago, the upgrade cycle was just 22 months.”

    Design company my ass. More like, similar design for the last ten years company.

    1. BS. If upgrades are as bad as you claim (doubt it) it’s because iPhones from the 5S forward are still excellent and usable devices. I own a 6+ and even though I’d LIKE an 8 or even a 7+, I don’t NEED one. There is NO evidence that design is any appreciable reason why people would choose other phones.

      We reached a point several years ago where hardware can keep up with software upgrades for 3+ years. Outside of some major advancements in functionality like the camera and battery life (NOT design), shelling out $700+ on upgrading a 2-year-old iPhone is a frivolous expense.

      1. You are right. I have an iPhone 6S and will wait for the 7S before upgrading. The “S” designs are really what I want. Features and other hardware elements not ready for initial release are put into the “S” models. So upgrading is a two plus year cycle at a minimum.

        1. I’d probably hang on to my 6 Plus even longer, but the lightning port is getting very finicky and I have to repeatedly reinsert the cable to get it to charge (even after cleaning the port).

          If the rumors are true the new iPhone will drop the S designation (at least for this year) because of the most significant redesign since the 6. An even larger screen than the current 5.5″ in a smaller overall package will be a huge enticement.

  5. Lots of companies struggle after the founder leaves and Apple is no exception. Apple is well on it’s way to becoming Microsoft- the Next Generation™.

    I can see the commercial on CNBC, Bloomberg and Fox Business
    Do your Stock suffer from these symptoms?
    Utility Like Dividends
    Financial Engineering over HW and SW Engineering
    Iteration over innovation
    Following the leads of others
    Little to no focus
    No fire in the Belly
    Believe their own PR
    Bloated Payroll
    More afraid of failure than desiring of success
    Dabbling in politics

    If your stock has these symptoms ask your Stock Broker about a Cookectomy. A Cookectomy can cure Creeping Ballmer Syndrome™ if diagnosed and performed in a timely manner.

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