Former Apple exec: The pipeline that Steve Jobs started is over, Apple has fundamentally changed

“Samsung Electronics Co.’s newest flagship smartphone… the Galaxy S8 grew longer, slimmer and dropped most of the frame surrounding the display, for a sleek design many in the tech industry contend has bested Apple Inc.’s iPhone—some would say for the first time,” Timothy W. Martin and Tripp Mickle report for The Wall Street Journal. “Ten years after Apple launched the first iPhone, the smartphone war is shifting to how a phone looks and feels.”

“How a smartphone looks now accounts for about half a consumer’s purchase decision, with the assessment formed in roughly one second, according to Charles L. Mauro, president of MauroNewMedia, a product-design research firm that has done consulting work for Apple and Samsung,” Martin and Mickle report. “Mr. Mauro says peer-reviewed research reveals aesthetics matter much more than previously believed, as older surveys pegged looks as influencing only 7% of a phone purchase.”

“Some design experts wonder if the Galaxy S8’s visual leap says more about Apple and its chief executive, Tim Cook, whose operational skills contrast with the visionary talents of his predecessor, Steve Jobs,” Martin and Mickle report. “‘It’s not so much that Samsung has gotten better, but Apple has fundamentally changed,’ said Hugh Dubberly, a former Apple creative director and former member of Samsung’s global design advisory board. ‘The pipeline that Steve [Jobs] started is over.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: By SteveJack

This “report” reads like a story planted by Samsung’s publicity propaganda department.

Samsung — and for that matter, Google, LG, Huawei, and the rest of the fake iPhone peddlers — want the ignorati to focus only on hardware, where they can seem to compete (even though Samsung and every other Android vendor are hopelessly outdone on custom silicon at every turn by Apple) and ignore the software (including how iOS is optimized to Apple’s custom silicon) like ARKit and services like Apple Pay, iMessage, etc. because they know they are screwed, that they simply cannot compete with Apple, and that the gulf is widening with each passing year.

The fake iPhone peddlers only hope is to get people to focus on the exterior and bullet-pointed spec sheets and hope that enough buyers fail to look any further lest they see clearly the inferior wares that Samsung, Google, LG et al. are trying to sell.

SteveJack is a long-time Macintosh user, iOS user, former web designer, multimedia producer and a regular contributor to the MacDailyNews Opinion section who also basically called the iPhone over five years before Steve Jobs unveiled it.

22 Comments

  1. “To me, Apple exists in the spirit of the people that work here, and the sort of philosophies and purpose by which they go about their business. If Apple just becomes a place where computers are a commodity item and where the romance is gone, and where people forget that computers are the most incredible invention that man has ever invented, then I’ll feel I have lost Apple. But if I’m a million miles away and all those people still feel those things and they’re still working to make the next great product, then I will feel that my genes are still in there.”

    Excerpt from: Steve Jobs: The Unauthorized Autobiography

  2. Well, the truth of it is that Apple has fundamentally changed. Tim Cook is not running Apple the same way Steve Jobs is. Now whether that’s a bad thing, or whether it’s hampered Apple and made it lose its competitive edge is a different question entirely.

  3. @MDN’s Take by SteveJack:

    Agreed. I often hear Android owners, some of whom work in IT and should know better, stating things like “My (Android phone model) has 8 cores so of course it blows away the iPhone”. They live in a delusional world.

    Coupled with Android’s vaunted security and data privacy (intense sarcasm intended), I cannot begin to understand why anyone with at least two brain cells would purchase anything but an iPhone.

    1. Consumers who buy Android smartphones are simply not concerned about security and data privacy. They only want an inexpensive smartphone and free services. You should realize this by now. It’s obvious since 90% of the smartphones on the planet are running Android and there are no major global outcries about poor security or lack of privacy. Apple seems to be protecting these things most consumers don’t even care about. What I usually hear is the reason Siri is so weak compared to what Google and Amazon offer in digital assistants is that Apple doesn’t harvest enough personal data. And they’re right. Apple’s quest for privacy helps make Siri dimwitted. No one is praising Apple for protecting privacy. Apple is being soundly criticized for doing that. Apple always ends up without a chair after the music stops and it’s downright annoying.

    2. I agree and have friends that take the same stance. They are ‘spec” driven and think that by comparing specs they know exactly how something functions. Perfect example is a buddy who buys speakers for his stereo based purely on specs and not the sound.
      When I ask him about it … he says the specs tell him all he needs to know and no way is another speaker any better if the specs are the same/similar …. nothing could be further from the truth.

    1. MDN: to diminish the importance of the look of the object is “Samsung publicity propaganda” itself. Good design is the entirety of the object. Apple should differentiate itself in all respects. It is you that shows the (powerful) image of phones prior and after the iPh, for what reason? Copying what?

      1. because the shameless copiers tested the system in depseration and discovered that there was very little downside to doing so.

        In terms of the iPhone, Apple can leverage its custom silicon (A-series SoCs, secure enclave, W chip for bluetooth, etc.), its software (iOX, Metal, iTunes, iMessage, etc.), and its ecosystem (iCloud, App Store, Apple Music, etc.). Samsung and others have largely coopted Apple’s look-and-feel design style closely enough that casual consumers don’t notice a material difference when making a purchase. They would have to use an iPhone first to know that they have been settling for a copy.

        That’s life, and Apple has to find a way to thrive despite the inequities (as do we all).

  4. Clueless people look & buy “cute” and “cheap.”

    Once you have thrown away a couple phones, you look for a solid dependable high performance iPhone.

    Apple is obviously doing things right when it grabs the phone profit share % it is getting in the marketplace. Samsung simply is not getting the profit $s/phone Apple is.

    Steve Jobs had people assisting him as CEO and knew when he was gone new people would have to take over. CEOs are rarely “the tech guy”. Jobs was an exception. Apple is evolving, and Apple is going in the right direction.

  5. I’m getting sick of reading anything about Apple. There are far too many articles telling about how Apple is a failing company every freaking week. The anti-Apple contingent keeps growing by leaps and bounds. It goes like this… Sell Apple and buy Amazon… Sell Apple and buy Alphabet… Sell Apple and buy Netflix… Sell Apple and buy Tesla. You see the trend. You’ll never hear anyone saying to sell some FANG stock to buy Apple.

    Today, I have to wake up to, “Amazon poised to hit $1600 a share and passing Apple’s market cap in record time.” Where’s any positive news for Apple? The only promising news is a fancy iPhone X and even that’s tainted with news about missing features and delays. Apple has a bullseye painted right over the Apple logo. Any know-it-all jackass can open their mouths and disparage Apple while companies that are really failing seem to be ignored. Doesn’t Apple have any voice at all to put the negatives in check?

    1. The reasons Apple have been picked on because it has greatest market caps among the rest of the FANG. The endless of propaganda to bashing Apple, because Apple hoarding so much cash. Of course, there are someone out there wants Apple failing. Some days, their dreams come true, may be fifty years down the roads, but not at the near future.

    2. People speculate on stocks based on emotion, flawed analysis and projection techniques, and psychological ploys like momentum investing. Fundamentally, they are looking for movement in stock price – volatility that they hope to manipulate. And the insiders have both massively better information and much more effective means to spread rumors to move the market.

      So, stock price is not equivalent to the true value of a company. Don’t worry if Amazon passes Apple in terms of market cap. It cannot stay there for any length of time unless it finds a way to make decent, sustainable profits.

      Meanwhile, Apple is more stable and predictable. That results in a much lower P/E multiple than for the FANG stocks in which speculation on potential future profits is rampant. Apple is blasted for making most of its revenue and profit from the iPhone, Meanwhile, Google makes most of its revenue and profit from search and advertising, but that is somehow OK because…?

      To be fair, Apple also receives quite a bit of positive news, especially around its major events (e.g., WWDC) and product releases. There has always been a lot of negative news about Apple, as well. Remember when Apple appeared to be permanently “beleaguered”? Cease your worrying and let the analysts and pundits fruitlessly pontificate. In the end, I believe that Apple will continue to thrive.

      1. Decent, sustainable profits should be measured by how much those profits reflect the remainder of ‘loss’ or ‘re-investment’, the latter which seems to be the major factor for Amazon’s famously thin profit margin.

  6. The reason Apple never wins here is because the media is biased (shocker there eh) They treat Apple far differently than they treat Samsung or Google or anyone else that makes a Android phone, rarely is there a mainstream story about the lack of privacy and insecurity of Android, the poor spec comparison in reality of the iPhone vs any Android handset.

    The stories for Android phones that most people see if they see them at all are favorable. Plus, to many people are cheapskates, most rarely buy the higher cost Android handsets, but look for the cheap one’s and upgrading to a cheap one routinely may get them a little more speed and a touch more memory and a current or more current version of Android and another pile of crapware..

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