At Tim Cook’s Apple, Steve Jobs is long gone, and so is the ‘it just works’ ethos

“‘It just works,'” Adrian Kingsley-Hughes writes for ZDNet. “This is the phrase that Steve Jobs trotted out year after year to describe products or services that he was unveiling. The phrase expressed what Apple was all about — selling technology that solved problems with a minimum of fuss and effort on the part of the owner. Well, Steve is now long gone, and so it the ethos of ‘it just works.'”

“2017 was a petty bad year for Apple software quality. Just over the past few weeks we seen both macOS and iOS hit by several high profile bugs. And what’s worse is that the fixes that Apple pushed out — in a rushed manner — themselves caused problems,” Kingsley-Hughes writes. “It’s not just been limited to the past few weeks. I’ve written at length about how it feels like the quality of software coming out of Apple has deteriorated significantly in recent years.”

“Apple isn’t some budget hardware maker pushing stuff out on a shoestring and scrabbling for a razor-thin profit margin. Apple’s gross profit margin is in the region of 38 percent, a figure [about which] other manufacturers can only dream,” Kingsley-Hughes writes. “Apple owes a lot of its current success to its dedicated fanbase, the people who would respond to Windows or Android issues with “you should buy Apple, because that stuff just works.” Shattering that illusion for those people won’t be good in the long term…”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hey, can we interest you in a beautiful, hardcover $299 coffee table book printed on specially milled German paper with gilded matte silver edges, using eight color separations and low-ghost inks which took Apple more than eight years to create?

Not only that, but it’s the 2016 winner of the highly coveted Misplaced Priorities Trophy, too!

The Misplaced Priorities Trophy
The Misplaced Priorities Trophy

Luckily for Tim Cook, Steve Jobs left him a perpetual profit machine that can absorb pretty much any lackadaisical fsckatude that can be thrown into the spokes.MacDailyNews, November 17, 2017

Nobody’s perfect, but Apple is lately a lot more imperfect than we expect them to be.

We pay for “it just works,” Apple. When you stop providing that, the gravy train will stop, too. Get your act together, Apple! — MacDailyNews, December 2, 2017

Exit question: Isn’t a caretaker CEO’s No.1 priority, you know, to take care?

Apple’s macOS High Sierra bug fix arrives with a new bug – here’s the fix – November 30, 2017
Apple on Mac flaw: ‘We apologize to all Mac users. Our customers deserve better. We are auditing our development processes.’ – November 29, 2017
Apple releases fix for macOS High Sierra administrator authentication bypass flaw – November 29, 2017
Tim Cook’s sloppy, unfocused Apple rushes to fix a major Mac security bug – November 29, 2017
What to do about Apple’s shameful Mac security flaw in macOS High Sierra – November 29, 2017
Apple’s late, delayed, limited HomePod is looking more and more like something I don’t want – November 27, 2017
Why Apple’s HomePod is three years behind Amazon’s Echo – November 21, 2017
Under ‘operations genius’ Tim Cook, product delays and other problems are no longer unusual for Apple – November 20, 2017
Apple delays HomePod release to early 2018 – November 17, 2017
Apple CEO Tim Cook: The ‘operations genius’ who never has enough products to sell at launch – October 23, 2017
Apple reveals HomePod smart home music speaker – June 5, 2017
Apple’s desperate Mac Pro damage control message hints at a confused, divided company – April 6, 2017
Apple is misplaying the hand Steve Jobs left them – November 30, 2016
Apple delays AirPod rollout – October 26, 2016
Apple delays release of watchOS 2 due to bug – September 16, 2015
Apple delays HomeKit launch until autumn – May 14, 2015
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015
Apple delays production of 12.9-inch ‘iPad Pro’ in face of overwhelming iPhone 6/Plus demand – October 9, 2014
Tim Cook’s mea culpa: iMac launch should have been postponed – April 24, 2013


  1. Time affects memory … I’ve had apple products from Day 1 … and they’ve always had their hiccups – they’ve just had fewer hiccups then their competitors.
    In retrospect those Apple creations have taken on an air of perfection…
    Today’s iPhones, iPads, iMacs, etc., still last forever and continue to just work – because of Apple’s ability to service and update it’s creations quickly and efficiently … and that ability has always been and continues to be unequaled….

      1. I believe that Casey is referring to their ability to continue functioning. Consider the original iPad. My 11-year-old uses it EVERY single day for games etc. Yes, some stuff is too old, but the device is still in service. That is a credit to Apple technology and engineering.

      2. We used our first Mac (an SE) for 14 years(!), and it was still running when we put it aside when we bought the Bondi Blue iMac.

        Since then, we’ve had multiple Mac’s – PowerMac G4, PowerMac G5, an iBook, 2007 MacBook Pro, and various Mac Pro’s, and they all continue to function just fine. I’m typing this on my 2008 Mac Pro, which is still my main desktop (updated it last year using OWC’s Mercury Extreme PCIe card, which was a massive upgrade speed wise).

        Granted, Apple products aren’t perfect, but we have decades of heavy use indicating they are high quality and reliable. Can’t imagine buying from anyone else.

    1. Still, there is no way in the world you should release a networking product and find out that it doesn’t work in a significant number of circumstances. There is no way an OS release should make root available for the taking. There is no way that a fix should be released and then an upgrade that undoes the patch without an explanation to people.

      That’s just mistakes. Then there is the fact that little or no attention seems to be paid to one entire market segment, and that the entire focus of the organization seems to be on iOS.

      The “ethos” of the company now has nothing to do with products. If it did, it wouldn’t be “It just works” it would be it works good enough, so you can STFU. No, the ethos is, as I’m sure people will point out, social justice. The company seems more concerned internally with guarding a political ideology and guarding the Jobs product ideology.

      Today’s iPhones, iPads, Macs, etc., are glitchier than ever.

      I often see lots of different, apparently discrete, quality assurance jobs at Apple listed. I wonder if there is a single management position responsible for quality assurance company-wide?

      1. Yes, there are problems, but let’s stick to facts:

        Apple did not release a fix for the root issue “and then an upgrade that undoes the patch.” It released the upgrade first and then the patch.The problem was created by people who subsequently installed the unpatched upgrade over the fixed version.

        Part of the problem is scale. Back when I bought my first Apple II or even my first Mac, a glitch that occurred on one in a million computers might not affect any actual consumers, or at least none who made a public fuss. Today, a problem no more serious might affect a thousand people, all of whom have access to social media.

        This is a nearly trillion dollar corporation. Just because they are focusing more attention on iOS than on MacOS devices (if they are) does not mean that they are not still devoting far more resources to hardware development than most of the Windows hardware companies.

        The situation isn’t good, but it is hardly a “sell the company and distribute its assets to the stockholders” situation.

        1. For New Years you two “kindred spirits” should get a room.

          Your KS: “This is a nearly trillion dollar corporation.”

          GoeB: No sh*t, so what is your point?

          Translation: They are so BIG they can do no wrong.

          Your KS: “Just because they are focusing more attention on iOS than on MacOS devices (if they are) …”

          GoeB: If they are?

          Translation: You just admitted you don’t know jack.

          Your KS: “… does not mean that they are not still devoting far more resources to hardware development than most of the Windows hardware companies.”

          GoeB: Does not mean they are not and does not mean ARE. King IF simply does NOT KNOW. Add another distraction by mentioning a Windows fantasy?

          Translation: Five years of neglecting the MacPro and MacMini; five years of dumbing down or discontinuing pro software; five years of closed Mac hardware and a serial Apple Apologist cannot figure it out on his own. Got it.

          Melvin: “Once again, I applaud your logic and rationality, TxUser.”

          That would be clueless deflective obfuscation and have it BOTH ways while knowing NOTHING at the same time. “Logic”? Guess I missed it. Apologist THEORY are the terms you are looking for.

          There, I fixed it for you …

        2. If you made the effort to read what I wrote, you would have seen that I wasn’t apologizing. There is plenty that Apple has done that needs correcting. I specifically said that the situation isn’t good.

          I also said that there is enough that is really wrong without inventing “facts” about things that aren’t wrong. The company wasn’t perfect when Jobs ran it, and it isn’t awful now. Apple is a thousand-fold larger than it once was, and is now operating in an environment where everybody with a gripe (or imagined gripe) can air it on social media. That would geometrically increase the number of complaints even if the software were no more buggy than it ever was.

          If neither of us SIMPLY DO NOT KNOW, as you put it, I have as solid a basis for my opinion as you do for yours. Remember the business about defending to the death the right to express even wrong opinions? Defending lies is another question, of course.

        3. I am capable of both types of posts. When was the last time TXuser wrote a post of a sentence or two or even one paragraph? Answer: Never. So, PUHLEEZE.

          Also, I always strive for facts and to keep opinions to a minimum.

          Unlike the other guy drifting OFF TOPIC into the “tedious” weeds BURIED by words and one “IF” THEORY after another and another. I’ll spare readers the exhausting exercise as much as possible. The other guy, fat chance …

        4. GoeB, Please learn to STFU when you do not know what you are talking about. Which is most of the time. It is really irritating. Pleas say something apt and interesting, or don’t day anything at all.

        5. If you disagree with my post, cut and paste the passage and then tell me why you think I’m wrong.

          I won’t tell you in return to STFU because I believe in free speech. Still, you haven’t said anything meaningful, pity.

          Like the classic protestors said in the sixties, “up yours” pal … 😆

        6. But the classic protesters from the sixties were all leftists. Or so my Dad told me. He also told me that they had a point, but one that he disagreed with, and why. It came down to defence of liberty, he said. There were two different idealisations of liberty, and polite society could not sort them out, and neither could their elected representatives. In mathematics, we call this an unsolved problem. But mathematicians continue to work on them, and though it seems hopeless, breakthroughs are made even after five hundred years. Political problems have a much shorter, and less logical, trajectory.

        7. Yes, they were all leftists with long stringy hair, personal perfume and frayed bell bottoms.

          Your dad was absolutely right. I remember my dad saying about exactly the same.

          Back then remember vividly Dad took me to the barber on a sunny Saturday afternoon to cut off my long hair. I protested (begging really) and don’t tell anybody, I cried.

          Obviously, something I will never forget but simply a product of growing up.

          Geez, when I think of snowflake coddling today it makes me uneasy …

        8. Growing up, I shared a bedroom with my blind grandmother. Her bedtime stories were harrowing tales of survival in an inbelievably indifferent world, a world of infant mortality, famine and emigration, death from IRA bombings, the Bible and whisky the only rescue from thoughts of suicide. I assumed that she dramatically embellished her tales. But they all turned out to be true. Tody’s snowflakes can hardly imagine the hardships our forebears endured, and more’s the pity.

        9. What a wonderful story and thanks for sharing, Herself.

          I offer a parallel construction grandma story. My Nana grew up in the hard coal region of NEPA less than four miles from a miner patch town where the “Molly Maguires” movie starring Sean Connery was filmed in the late 1960s.

          She grew up in a small two bedroom half double built by the coal barons for their workers in the late 1800s. Life was a daily struggle for all 13 brothers and sisters. No running water and no indoor plumbing until the 1940s. Few went to school. The only entertainment back then was an old radio and television did arrive until the late 1950s. A classic “Warm Morning” stove powered by coal heated the house and also fuel for the kitchen stove.

          The first five years of my life I lived in grandmas house, her siblings all gone, along with my parents. I have few vivid memories at that young age but one stands above the rest.

          The day President JFK was shot remember my mother was curled up on a classic Cleopatra 1930s sofa, eyes glued to the television and … weeping.

          Bottom line: Allow me to expand your ending point that the iPhone carrying SNOWFLAKES of today have NO IDEA of what hardship or endurance MEANS in present day …

        10. I can’t believe I really have to explain this to an adult computer user, but…

          1. Apple released MacOS 10.13.0, which contained the root bug. I am not excusing that.

          2. Then Apple released 10.13.1, which also contained the bug. Likewise, the bug should have been discovered by then, but wasn’t.

          3. Finally, Apple released the Software Update that patched the bug. Users who had already upgraded to 10.13.1 had no further problems with the root bug. Users who stayed on 10.13.0 after installing the fix likewise had no problems.

          People who first patched 10.13.0, and then installed the unpatched 10.13.1 over it erased the patch at the same time the new OS overwrote the rest of the old one. Anytime you install software in the order 1, 3, 2, you get 2 at the end, rather than 3.

          Both groups have probably upgraded since to 10.13.2, which had the patch already installed.

    2. thank you for your voice of reason, MND is arrogant and overly harsh on these points, they sometimes sound like whiny crybabies about tim cook and forget the hugh growth and challenges, Apple is still the best by far.

      1. Excellence requires critical thinking…crybabies to those that don’t have the constitution to wade through the challenge of being critical.
        Company growth & rising stock price doesn’t go on forever and resting on laurels and presumption are the friends of companies that falter…so, please don’t offer advice to TC and clan. Saying Apple is still the best so far is endemic of thinking that kills excellence. For one, it’s again presumptuous, but more problematic, it based on relative quality. Of course Apple should be the best and Samsung, et al, isn’t to be the measure of quality. Steve lauded forgetting what you just made and moving on to the next thing which makes your last proclamation contrary to Apple’s path to excellence, as the past isn’t there to confirm/deny your position. Being critical isn’t being whiny, unless you think excellence comes out of nowhere.

    3. I don’t think the weakness is in the hardware. My Apple devices have always worked beyond “their time” (software obsolescence). I see the “not just working” pointing to the software and I’m not talking about obsolescence, or the natural aging of software in the tech environment.
      There are some strange, and I mean strange designer decisions that are inconsistent in format, weak when it comes to human logic and discrete/diffused as a result of the designing team’s pursuit of their “look”. The Team better have a look, and in Jony’s case it’s a clean minimalism, which is fine, but sometimes employing the “less is more” ethos, the baby goes out with the bath water and ease of use is lessened. There are many times I experience this “design cost” and it’s ongoing. as I experience it in iOS 11.
      Just one example is the podcast app. I find it to be a puzzle lacking intuitive directions. I wade through it because I can and b/c I want to hear the next podcast. During such experiences, I often ask what the experience would be like for my dad (or any newbie). It’s easy to conceive he’d give up. This is one example of many such software ambiguities and just one where the “it just works” phrase falls apart.

    4. Oh, we remember Macintosh System Software 3.0 and the fiasco it was. We remember the overheating problem of the Mac Plus. We remember the hardware glitches of the Mac IIfx. We remember the skin removal requirement to remove the motherboard of the Mac 9500 in order to add RAM. The list of hardware and software errors goes on and on.

      We also remember being derided for using NUBUS rather than ISA even though plugging cards into NUBUS 99.99% of the time did “just work” while ISA had a truly arcane system of setting all those damn DIP switches–which often did not work even when following the manufacturer’s directions. We also remember how once Macs went to PCI then PCI-X then PCIe, Apple’s implementations were much closer to the “it just works” than virtually any other manufacturer’s equipment.

      We old timers are not forgetting the bad stuff. We are remembering that in comparison with ALL the competitors (whether it has been HP, Dell, Compaq, Gateway, or any of the many, many Asian competitors) the Mac hardware and software used to noticeably better.

      Hell, even in the dark days, there was an internal Intel study that got leaked to the public — and this was LONG before Macs switched to Intel. That Intel study clearly showed that if a medium to large enterprise had a majority of Macs versus Wintel (a common appellation at the time) machines that the long term support and maintenance costs were *significantly* less for a Mac majority enterprise.

      Yes, all hardware and software of any significant complexity has bugs. That’s why back in the 90s a train system was set up in the Southeastern U.S. using only 8080 based systems. Why? Because the software and hardware had been out for well over a decade and the belief was that 99.999+% of the bugs in the hardware and software had been documented and workarounds had been implemented.

      What many of us are lamenting of late is that hardware is showing up late and still that hardware’s implementations are glitch enough to appear to have been rushed to the market. The same is true of critical software. Features that could have been implemented a generation or two earlier finally arrive buggy.

      Further, if the naming convention holds, the “High Sierra” version of macOS should have been the internal clean up and speed up version of Sierra with minimal feature enhancements. MAJOR glitches in such a version step should have been unconscionable. People should have been fired over some of the things that have come to pass in the last few months.

    5. I concur. Apple has never been perfect. There were plenty of issues at Apple under SJ’s leadership. People need to retain a sense of perspective. The Apple ideals are simplicity, reliability, and a seamless user experience – those ideals are what sets Apple apart from the rest, and the quest for design perfection should continue to drive Apple. But the reality is that Apple will never achieve perfection. The best that we can hope is that Apple avoids major snafus and quickly and effectively resolves the inevitable minor issues that manifest in highly complex, mass market retail products.

      I would also like to add one more thought for your consideration. The Apple of today is far different from the Apple of the early 1980s or the Apple from 1997-2007 when SJ was actively leading the company. When the CRT iMac rolled out, there was only one color. The iPod was released without iTunes or the iTunes Store or Windows PC support. Things were less complex and development could be pursued in a more relaxed, incremental pace. And unit sales were a fraction of what they are today, meaning that Apple could push the technology envelope without the pressure of ramping up to millions or even tens of millions of units per month. There was no App Store and no iCloud and no third party iOS apps. Apple devices did not include all of the sensors and security measures and encryption that modern devices contain. And the interactions and interfaces between Apple devices were typically very simple. For instance, you had to plug your iPod into your Mac to sync music.

      Apple is in a state of transition. iOS and macOS are gradually converging (from my perspective, anyway), as least in terms of integration and linked functions. And there is a growing focus on wearables and personalization of the Apple experience. In addition, Apple now engages many different groups/functions with its “kits” – ResearchKit, HomeKit, ARKit, etc., resulting in even more complex interactions and security concerns.

      On top of that, Apple is the target. Even software bugs which do not result in any actual harm to the public are sensationalized. In this article, for instance, “…macOS and iOS [were] hit by several high profile bugs.” Hit…as if something actually happened other than some bugs were discovered and fixed. Meanwhile, Windows and Android have been regularly patching zero-day bugs for years (or decades in the case of Windows), and no one even blinks because it happens on a regularly scheduled basis in most cases.

      I am *not* saying that we shouldn’t be critical of Apple or tough on Apple. Quite the opposite, in fact. I expect Apple to strive for perfection every day. The difference is that I do not wring my hands and agonize over “doom-and-gloom” scenarios every time Apple makes a public mistake.

      The second that an alternative arises that is superior to the Apple experience, please let me know. Until then, I intend to encourage Apple to be the very best that it can be, each and every day.

  2. Tim Cook’s concept of leadership unfortunately is more to be SJW then leader of Apple and getting things right, done on time, and ship with quality in quantity.. He gets more fawning press as an SJW, and when he gets knocked for his Apple leadership, he just does more SJW

    1. Tim Cook is overcompensating for his feelings of shame after being raised a Baptist in Alabama, but being a homosexual. It’s a low self worth issue, most likely subconscious.

      This feeling of shame compels Cook to publicly signal his virtue whenever and wherever possible.

      He’s a classic virtue-signalling social justice warrior. Cook is perpetually trying to fill a hole in his soul.

        1. It’s probably fuels a lot of SJW’s action/mindset. It probably also fuels the belief that “the issue is so important that I’m permitted to make you see it as important as well.

        2. “Sean” and “whine”. Sean you can’t post any comment without the ubiquitous “whine”. It must be your favorite word. What do you think this word means, Sean? Have you thought about expanding your vocabulary? Your incessant use of “whine” must be an inability of your’s to develop any rational and innovative thought. Just my observation, Sean.

      1. Wow, a psychoanalysis from an unqualified Brutal Truth who likely has never even met Tim Cook, much less a discussion.

        Since when did “virtue” become a derogatory term, anyway? I suppose that happened along the same time that paying taxes became “stealing by the U.S. government.” You are the people who need the psychological help. I think that Tim Cook’s psyche is in far better shape than yours.

        1. Lies of omission are just that: Lies.

          We’re talking about “virtue-signaling” here, not “virtue” alone.

          There is nothing wrong with the “virtue” part. The problem is in the “signaling.”

          Truly virtuous people are not sanctimonious narcissists serially spewing progressive pablum as a cover for silently screaming, “Look at me and look at how good I am!” Truly virtuous people do good things everyday and do not feel compelled to shout about it from the rooftops. Tim Cook is not such a person. Tim Cook either thinks he’s better, or wants/needs/is compelled to be seen as better than others and he desperately and quite pitifully wants everyone to know about it.

          Meanwhile, the company he’s supposed to be leading is selling a four-year-old Mac Pro as “new.”

        2. “We’re talking about “virtue-signaling” here, not “virtue” alone.
          There is nothing wrong with the “virtue” part. The problem is in the “signaling.”

          Core point.

          Fingers crossed an Apple Apologist will get religion …

  3. Apple has embraced planned obsolescence as a way to keep the sales pumped after tapping most of the worldwide market for their products. Wall Street wants growth, so that is where they are moving:

    1- Don’t buy your music- rent it every month.
    2- Don’t buy a phone and keep it for years, we’ll finance it for you and you can get a new one every year.
    3- Don’t buy an open cased Mac- here have one that is sealed shut and cannot be upgraded or repaired.

    Then you ship your overpriced product with less than the top line CPU/GPU sets so they quickly become less than stellar performers. Ask any people who use high end computers- most of Apple’s latest and greatest are dogs when it comes to performance.

    It does not have to be this way, Tim.

    1. While I disagree with your premise of “planned obsolescence” (nothing will ever again compare to the longevity of the Mac Plus or the Mac IIci), I do agree with your statement that recent Mac variants were not top performers. Even the iMac Pro has areas where the hardware is not top notch. For the price Apple is charging ($13,199 for the maxed out machine) it should have an Nvidia V100 chip as the co-processing “video” and number crunching and AI card.

      1. I understand the profit motive, but Apple is charging top drawer prices for some rather mundane stuff.

        I can order a workstation from H-P in a similar size and form factor as the mini with a Quad Core Xeon CPU an NVIDIA discrete GPU and 16GB of RAM in a case that can be opened without tools and can easily add hard drives, SSDs, wireless cards, memory, etc and a 3 year warranty with on site repair for less than a full spec Mac mini with Vampire Video and a dual core CPU. The bus is also faster on the H-P.

        Apple is not even trying to be competitive and the mark up on memory is just outrageous.

  4. Updated to iOS 11.2.1 this morning. Freaked out more than a little when it failed and told me to “Press Home button to recover”. Then spent about 15 minutes “Attempting to recover files”.

    Everything is good now, thankfully. Made me think of this very topic, though.

    1. Same happened to my girlfriend. I updated from iTunes like I always do so I know I have a recent backup, and didn’t have an issue. Apple software across the board has been getting more buggy with each release. High Sierra was supposed to be the “Snow Leopard” of the new macOS. Didn’t turn out that way. More in house and deep testing is needed with all of Apple’s software. I encounter so many glitches these days.

    2. I upgraded my iPhone to 11.2.1 this morning. Five minutes or so later, I resumed using it without a hint of a problem. It just worked for me, and likely the vast majority of others. The people who run into a problem tend to be a lot more vocal about it, though.

      I am not belittling your problem. But you did not lose anything despite the issue you encountered, which is the most important thing. And everything is “good now,” which is the desired outcome. It is human nature to attempt to link incidents to paint a larger picture that matches your viewpoint/opinion. But that does not make it valid. Sometimes an OS upgrade issue is just a simple upgrade issue and not symptomatic or indicative of a larger failing.

  5. Funny how anti success MDN is when they have an entitlement meme with no merit to grind.
    For once you could try to come up with an alternative instead of incessant whingeing.
    Temporary CEO? Factually ridiculous.
    Exit question? Get real.

        1. You should change your avatar to TXmisinformationminister.

          BT did not mention putting people into groups. YOU DID and dishonestly so.

          But it is easy to understand Libtard activists like yourself that endlessly troll to denigrate conservative voices in favor of Democractic identity groups.

          I will remind you again in the future …

        2. Did you look it up!?!

          I DID:


          1. HINDUISM
          a manifestation of a deity or released soul in bodily form on earth; an incarnate divine teacher.

          2. COMPUTING
          an icon or figure representing a particular person in video games, Internet forums, etc.

          Whose the MORON NOW? … 😆😆😆

        3. “Well, so far in this one thread you have managed to attack gay men …”

          Attack? Show me the quote and the absolute truth to prove your case. I’ll save you the trouble, it does not EXIST and snowflake PC extrapolations don’t count.

          “How do you feel about African-Americans and women?”

          Nice to see the self-described “straight white male conservative” is concerned about gays, intellectually challenged, blacks and women. Hmmm, what do they have in common? ALL Democratic Party voting identity groups.

          You never mention support for white males, heterosexuals, Christians, gun owners, Asians, conservative women, et al.

          Well, that’s OK. Just another post adding up against the dishonest FAKE conservative …

  6. Apple has certainly dropped there ball in the “it just works” category. I don’t know if it’s because Steve Jobs is no longer here to be critical down to the last pixel or that Apple’s vast platform made up of products and services has gotten so complex that achieving “it just works” is so much harder than the old days. Like someone else here has stated that Apple products have always had their quirks and that is true, but I think issues we see these days is something we’re not accustom for the most part.

  7. Yes, Steve Jobs is gone and isn’t coming back. But they should get their “it just works” ethos back if they want to maintain the brand loyalty they’ve had in the past and continue to build market share.

  8. All I know is that when I ungraded to iOS 11 and High Sierra I could not see all my photos in iCloud until I got to the x.2 release. I wasn’t the only one.

    Apple software is starting to really suck.

  9. Apple has reached an important inflection point. Apple is now a large enough force in culture that people no longer see Apple devices as gadgets. Apple products are now nearly essential parts of work and lifestyle.

    Intel reached this point several years ago with the Pentium chip math crises. Andrew Grove wrote about this extensively in his book “Only the Paranoid Survive”. Steve Job wrote a glowing review.

    Essentially, when products become essential to life, expectations for reliability rise. It happens in every industry. Apple has now reached this happy point.

    Apple now has two choices. Meet or disappoint reliability expectations. If Apple invests in meeting expectations, Apple will continue to grow and fortify their position in society. If they fail to do so, they company will fail to become a wider part of society.

    The challenge is threefold:

    – Continue to improve reliability
    – Improve the functionality of existing features
    – Add new innovative functionality.

    This is not easy to do, however, it is essential!

    Customers have placed great trust in Apple to provide innovation that simply works.

    Readers can read more about this challenge in Andrew Grove’s book:

    Only the Paranoid Survive by Andrew Grove former CEO Intel.

  10. Selective memory on the part of MDN. Steve was around for bend-gate and antenna-gate. Then there was MobileMe which many people complained about. OS X itself took about three years or so to come up to speed. How about the white iPhone 4 which was almost a year late? How about the MacBook Pros with bad hinges or failing graphics chips? Or the ones with peeling paint? Steve introduced Ping as part of iTunes. How did that work out?

    Apple has never been perfect. They do a really good job and when there is a problem they usually work hard to fix it.

    1. And to repeat: When Steve was in charge, a one-in-a-million problem might not affect more than a handful of people and get no publicity at all. A one-in-a-million glitch now could hit a thousand people, every one of which has access to social media.

    2. Let’s break your list down:

      Bend-gate — Hardware
      Antenna-gate — Hardware
      MobileMe — Ok I guess. I didn’t use it and don’t know the details.
      OS X itself took about three years or so to come up to speed — Software but OS X was a radical change in OS and each iteration got better and faster.
      White iPhone 4 — Hardware
      MacBook Pros with bad hinges or failing graphics chips? Or the ones with peeling paint? — Hardware
      Ping as part of iTunes. — Software that no one wanted but did the software function?

      Most of this list is hardware issues. This article and my complaints are about the buggy software and interfaces that are not consistent or intuitive.

    1. Yes, and two things about that replacement trouble my every waking hour. First, that Steve Jobs anointed a myopic beancounter as his successor. Had he become delusional, or sentimental, or conspiratorial in his waning moments? Second, that no other candidate was selected. Had he sized up Cook’s competition and found them wanting in focus, in humanity, in adherence to Apple shibboleths?

      This is subject matter for a Ph.D. dissertation, but my own view is that Steve Jobs erred on the side of Apple’s survival over mere principles.

      He’d been pushed out of Apple before, and had witnessed Apple standing before the guillotine. These visions change a person. Steve knew that Apple represented something good, something that deserved to live and prosper. Reliable sales, and little else, make you prosper.

      It was a desperate gamble, a roll of the dice in his dying moments of clarity. Steve’s greatest creation was Apple itself and the ideals it bore. Just keep it going, no matter what, his inner voice kept telling him.

      Because of Apple’s booming success in the face of uncountable obstacles and pronouncements of doom, it would appear that Jobs made the right call. Cook didn’t betray Jobs’s faith; he fulfilled it. The SJW part was part of the price.

      1. I’ve been meaning to add my two cents on your post.

        Your dissertation on the Cook pick by Steve, more importantly, the reasons and thinking based on Apple history and Steve’s karma at the time is nothing short of remarkable reading. Certainly, the best I have read thus far.

        Well done, and a keeper …

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