Five products Apple needs to lay to rest

“Throughout much of its early life, Apple made printers. They were pretty good! Hell, the original LaserWriter was a groundbreaking advancement in home desktop publishing,” Jason Cross writes for Macworld. “Eventually, third-party printers with razor-thin profit margins flooded the market, and they worked fine with Macs, so it became a fool’s errand for Apple to continue trying to make its own.”

“Apple simply shouldn’t hold on to everything it does forever, even if it’s capable of making a good product,” Cross writes. “There comes a time when the company should re-evaluate the changing technology landscape and cut the dead weight from its product lineup so it can focus on new opportunities and reinforce what really works, just as it did with printers and Xserve rack-mounted blade servers.”

Cross writes, “As Apple continues to grow into new areas (like headphones, streaming TV programming, and…cars maybe?), I humbly submit that it’s time to retire these five products.”

Covered in the full article:

• AirPort routers
• iPod touch
• Mac mini
• iPad mini
• iTunes

Much more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple sure is selling — or, more precisely, trying to sell — quite the coterie of aged, ignored products.

Either update your product lines properly and routinely or pull the plug on them so that you won’t be distracted from creating politically-correct emoji, holding beer bashes for employees who are all obviously not getting their jobs done well or at all, and doling out an endless stream of undeserved RSUs to fat, lazy, uninspired VPs who think their office door handles are more important than delighting customers with up-to-date, feature-complete, state-of-the-art products that ship on time and in quantity.

Some might say something about Apple brass being fat and happy after gorging on RSUs. Others might say that Apple has outgrown a management system from a time when they were much smaller with fewer product lines. Or that the company is distracted with moving into their spaceship or other issues that are, at best, exceedingly peripheral to where Apple’s focus should be: Delighting their customers and shipping high quality, dependable products.

Whatever the reason(s) for Apple’s seeming malaise, we’ve said it before, so we’ll say it again: From the outside, Apple, you look lazy and/or somewhat lost. Is that how you want to look to the world, Apple, much less to us “rabid fanboys?”

Excuse us while we go listen to our AirPods. Oops. Operations genius, our collective ass.MacDailyNews, December 9, 2016

Sometimes Apple, the world’s most profitable and most valuable company, still operates as if they only have five guys from NeXT working around the clock trying to do all the work on a shoestring budget.

Can’t manage to have a compatible Remote app or Apple Music-capable Siri for the Apple TV launch… Can’t have enough Pencils and Keyboards for the iPad Pro launch. Seriously? Can’t have any stock on hand for two months after the so-called the Apple Watch launch date. Can’t update their professional Mac for nearly two years and counting?

Why are these amateurish mistakes and lapses happening with startling regularity? You know, besides mismanagement?

Oh, you say, but Apple is making tons of money! Why, yes, they certainly are!

Listen, let’s be honest, Steve Ballmer could’ve generated the same kind of money “running” Apple Inc. given the massive momentum Steve Jobs handed over at his death. Sometimes, in fact, it looks like Steve Ballmer is running Apple. Although, no, it doesn’t really, because even Ballmer would have updated the Mac Pro by now, made sure he had enough Apple Watches ready so as not to pretty much totally kill launch momentum, and also had enough Pencils and Keyboards on hand for the iPad Pro launch…

We’re coming up on two years now (this December 19th) since the Mac Pro debuted with no updates which, along with the rest of the string of snafus (going back to John Browett, Apple Maps, no iMacs for Christmas 2012, no iPad 2 units for launch, etc.), is what understandably prompts this sort of “joke” and “failure” talk and the feeling that Apple is a bit sloppy in recent years.

We hold Apple to a high standard and we expect the company to execute better than they have of late. (read more) — MacDailyNews, November 27, 2015

SEE ALSO:
Where is Apple’s AirPower? – April 25, 2018
Why can’t Apple keep their products up-to-date? – April 10, 2018
Why is it taking Apple so long to update the Mac Pro? – April 10, 2018
Apple’s latest announcements about the modular Mac Pro really ramp up expectations – April 6, 2018
Apple needs to stop promising new products and start delivering them – April 6, 2018
Apple: No new Mac Pro until 2019 – April 5, 2018
Apple reiterates they’re working on an all-new modular, upgradeable Mac Pro and a high-end pro display – December 14, 2017
Why Apple’s promise of a new ‘modular’ Mac Pro matters so much – April 6, 2017
Apple’s cheese grater Mac Pro was flexible, expandable, and powerful – imagine that – April 6, 2017
More about Apple’s Mac Pro – April 6, 2017
Apple’s desperate Mac Pro damage control message hints at a confused, divided company – April 6, 2017
Who has taken over at Apple? – April 5, 2017
Apple’s embarrassing Mac Pro mea culpa – April 4, 2017
Who’s going to buy a Mac Pro now? – April 4, 2017
Mac Pro: Why did it take Apple so long to wake up? – April 4, 2017
Apple sorry for what happened with the Mac Pro over the last 3+ years – namely, nothing – April 4, 2017
Apple to unveil ‘iMac Pro’ later this year; rethought, modular Mac Pro and Apple pro displays in the pipeline – April 4, 2017
Apple’s apparent antipathy towards the Mac prompts calls for macOS licensing – March 27, 2017
Why Apple’s new Mac Pro might never arrive – March 10, 2017
Dare we hold out hope for the Mac Pro? – March 1, 2017
Apple CEO Cook pledges support to pro users, says ‘we don’t like politics’ at Apple’s annual shareholders meeting – February 28, 2017
Yes, I just bought a ‘new’ Mac Pro (released on December 19, 2013 and never updated) – January 4, 2017
Attention, Tim Cook! Apple isn’t firing on all cylinders and you need to fix it – January 4, 2017
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

48 Comments

  1. Apple just needs to update is products. The mini fills a space and is incredibly reliable. I love my airport extreme router. I have had a couple of iPad minis – also great products. I would agree that the iPod touch is probably dead (most kids have phones) and iTunes is a bit of a disaster. iTunes gets more confusing to my with each update – it’s a mess.

  2. The “benefit of the doubt” honeymoon period is completely over for Tim Cook and the private (and the buying public) sector demands results. Time for a change of leadership.

  3. Some of those can go away and I’d never miss them, iPod Touch and the iPad Mini, the others on the other hand it would be nice if Apple actually updated them. I know they’ve already killed the Airports and Time Capsules, and I think they should come back. The Mac Mini clearly has a place on the market and should be updated to current processors and enhanced upgradability. iTunes, still needs work or separated into Audio and Video Apps.

    1. What you call “neglect” they call a roadmap.

      This enables Apple, after many years of stagnation, to declare interest in the product has disappeared thus they can drop it.

      The Mini interferes with the ever evolving AppleTV.
      (never-mind it is incredibly useful in so many more ways)

      The iPod Touch interferes with the iPhone.
      (never-mind that many parents don’t want their kids to have a full-fledged iPhone at such early ages)

      Airport routers lost to mesh routers
      (never-mind Apple could’ve securely adopted this method or the fact not everyone needs enough wifi for a 1/2 acre house)

      Apple: “Early adopters? We don’t need no stinking early adopters…”

      1. Sad but true. The mismanagement of what was a successful Mac platform is epic. If Apple could walk and chew bubble gum at the same time, the Mac business today would rake in more money than Microsoft and users would have all the best software to choose. All the peripherals that support a healthy ecosystem are being strategically killed so Apple can be a big brother subscription pusher. Sickening.

  4. Dell just had an entire refresh of all their computer products with all of the latest hardware. If Dell can do it, why can’t Apple? Apple just keeps sitting on all that cash when it comes to upgrading their computers. I’m not asking for a yearly refresh but three years seems like a relatively long time in such a fast-moving tech industry. Am I wrong about this? I don’t know why Apple abandoned their routers. They’ve always worked well for me and were quite reliable.

    1. Windows and Windows-powered PCs USED to the driver behind tech, with its biggest share bought by the enterprise (of which Dell was a major player). But tech has changed, desktops (even laptops) are no longer the darling of the tech world. The darling is mobile and that is where Apple is headed (actually took the lead and never relinquished it with the iPhone).

      Smart management puts its money in the future, not the past. Of course, reading the posts here it’s obvious there aren’t many smart (if any) managers among this august group.

      1. Unfortunately for many, this is absolutely the case. For those just getting into the Apple ecosystem, they’re seeing a torrent of updates, innovation, new features and more… but that’s because they have iOS devices. As a result, those things that feed into the iOS ecosystem are the things that get attention.

        This is why the iMac Pro is so expensive. You don’t NEED all that hardware to create content for iOS devices, but if you’re willing to spend the money on it, they’ll sell it to you. A talented successful developer can make a decent living selling apps on the App Store using their MacBook Pro or iMac system for development.

      2. You can’t be trusted if you can’t support and maintain your products. That is a longstanding Apple problem, getting worse with Cook every year.

        You can trot out this narrative that personal computers are dead, but can you back it up with facts? The installed base is large and the needs for them are not going away among the elite, high margin, computing customer base. Sure, emerging markets are embracing the cheapest portables they can get, but it doesn’t take long before the limitations of ultraportable mobiles becomes clear. The most profitable customers at Apple aren’t the ones who buy $400 Homepods. They are the people who buy $3k + Macs.

        Dell, being private, does not disclose its profits. Microsoft, despite being left for dead by the peanut gallery at MDN after two decades of stumbling along, remains in the top 30 global corporations and will not be displaced by industry anytime soon. So while sales aren’t growing strongly, the software sales for PCs is huge. The ASP of personal computers remains well above the ultraportable thin clients, and infinitely more useful. The dream of having everyone on a subscription leash is reprehensible, so as Apple pushes that business model along with the rest of the tech industry, it will lose its edge. Apple today looks fat and lazy collecting profits from iOS games, but has squandered its advantage in all other areas. How does that bode well for Apple’s future?

        1. “can you back it up with facts?”
          We could look at how many mobile devices sold versus non-mobile. If you include all the devices running iOS, they outsell the entire PC market.

          “They are the people who buy $3k + Macs”
          When you consider that the profits from all non-Mac related things combined dwarfs the entire Mac market, and DESTROYS the $3k + Mac market, I’d say the profit numbers disagree with you.

          “that bode well for Apple’s future?”
          Apple is the undisputed leader of profits in the next wave of computing, and it’s not even really upon us yet!

          There’s really no sense left in attempting to justify or trying to rationalize what Apple’s doing as anything more than focusing on where they feel their future will be. The pendulum is not swinging in the other direction, and if the 2019… maybe… introduction of the “modular” Mac Pro isn’t proof of that, then I don’t know what is.

          1. Mac hardware alone, despite years of neglect, makes more than iPad and just as much as Apples subscriptions or its hodgepodge of Other stuff. Much of the services revenue is Applecare for Macs you know.

            If Apple bothered to refresh its Mac hardware annually and give app developers a reason to distribute through the macOS store, macs would be an equal size business compared to the easy money Apple makes distributing iOS games and overpriced accessories. It’s apple’s own fault that the Mac business doesn’t capture as great a share of the total app revenue that iOS does.

            1. If you carefully slice the data, you can support almost any point. BUT, the reality is that iOS and all the things that are tied to and enable iOS (Apple Pay, Apple Music, etc.) is driving the vast majority of their profits quarter after quarter.

              “It’s apple’s own fault”
              Yes, mainly because they’re actively working their way out of the Mac market. Just as they worked their way out of the Apple II market, the router market, the monitor market, etc.

    2. Because Tim does not give a shit about the Mac.

      They castrated the Mac mini with a sealed box model with poor CPUs and Vampire Video. They have done the same with much of the iMac line. They abandoned the workstation Mac Pro for the trash can and let it twist in the wind.

      The day Apple announces you can develop iOS software on an iPad you can count the Macintosh as dead. That could be as quick as WWDC. Not predicting, but it would not surprise me.

  5. I disagree with much of the article in so many ways. The iPad Mini has nothing to do with a large phone screen and everything to do with an iPad that’s just freaking smaller. Maybe, maybe the 9.7″ is small enough, but I love the size of my Mini and won’t buy a 9.7″ until I can’t buy another Mini. Speaking of Minis, the Mac Mini was/is and awesome concept if for no other reason that I’m the proud owner of 5 USB keyboards from previous iMacs. I liked my Time Capsule than finally changed it out to get newer, faster technology. And good as they are, NetGear routers and external hard drives SUCK compared to the simplicity of a Time Capsule (nothing I like better than being in the land of M: and P: drives). The Touch is everything the iPhone is without the phone; since no one actually talks about the phone in an iPhone, that part of the device is secondary. iTunes, on the other hand, is a bloated, ugly, horrible monster; on that, I agree. But don’t hold up iPhone apps as examples of replacements. The Music app on the iPhone, for one, is a piss poor interface and could be SO much better.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.