Apple felt like a totally different company yesterday

“While I sat inside the Steve Jobs Theater watching Big Bird talk to a hand puppet on the stage, I realized Apple was not the same company I knew not long ago,” Mark Sullivan writes for Fast Company.

“Yeah, yeah, I know: Apple, under CEO Tim Cook, is becoming a services company to account for flagging iPhone sales growth. What we saw [yesterday], at Apple’s ‘It’s Show Time’ event in Cupertino – maybe for the first time – is the public face of that new company,” Sullivan writes. “Part of the reason the presentation felt so different is because it was as much about other companies as it was about Apple. It was about Apple putting an App’ wrapper on a bunch of content and services made by third parties.”

“‘It was Apple not telling it’s own story, maybe for the first time,”’ says Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Creative Strategies,” Sullivan writes. “There’s nothing wrong with Apple being a services company. Not monetizing the 1.4 billion iDevices out in the wild is just leaving money on the table. It’s also a matter of survival. The question is the company’s identity.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Tim Cook has a thankless (besides the hundreds of millions of dollars Apple has and will pay him in gratitude) task in life: Follow the unfollowable.

Among other things, Steve Jobs was a visionary genius and a natural born showman. Obviously, Tim Cook is neither of those things. Still, Apple is full of creative geniuses and we keep hearing from little birds who chirp to us about truly magical things to come. Keep the faith! Apple is in transition, maybe a little confused, but Apple is still Apple.

Now, can you see how important services are for Apple? – March 26, 2019
At their ‘It’s Show Time’ event, Apple brought nothing to the table but its power – March 26, 2019
Apple just revolutionized another industry with Apple Card – March 26, 2019
Apple CEO Tim Cook’s ‘It’s Show Time’ event felt rushed and incomplete – March 26, 2019
Apple unveils Apple TV+ original video subscription service – March 25, 2019
Introducing Apple Card, a new kind of credit card created by Apple – March 25, 2019
Apple launches Apple News+ – March 25, 2019
Apple introduces Apple Arcade – world’s first game subscription service for mobile, desktop and the living room – March 25, 2019


  1. Cook was virtue signaling mainly to investors. This was him saying “see, we’re very serious about services, so buy more shares and don’t lose faith through this tricky period.” I own more AAPL shares than I should. So I believe In Apple long term. But I wish he’d shut up about services. What this sounds like to a European regulator is “excessive market power, unfair competition by a giant.” To an experienced investor, we simply want to see these things unfold competently. The event yesterday was the precise opposite of “under-promise, over-deliver.” This was “look how much money we’re gonna make leveraging our platform to win against banks, TV providers, Hollywood, and Journalism. And when a regulator or antitrust lawyer hears him brag about 60% margins in services, they think “competitive markets shouldn’t allow that much profit, we’ve got to do something.” So Tim, if you want to boost AAPL shares, raise the dividend by 20%. Everything else at this early stage is not only hot air, it’s helping the over-regulators and class-action lawyers make their case agAinst APPLE.

  2. Apple under Tim Cook is a very very boring company.

    The longest and most tedious Apple Event in history happened yesterday which put people asleep rather than get them excited. Then there’s the services themselves, other companies are way ahead.

    Trying to play catchup with SJW programming is going to be Cook’s biggest fail.

    1. Edit:
      (Voice of Ozzy Osbourne): mumble mumble Big Bird Mumble mumble Jennifer Anistom mumble mumble Sharon mumble mumble Oprah…mumble mumble Credit Card

  3. so everyone cheers the savvy of Bezos when Amazon runs at no profit for years and then monetizes the platform, but when Apple decides to monetize their platform something incredibly whiny comes out of tech journalists mouths’ like Apple should stop trying to make money?

  4. First time I ever logged out of an Apple event and did other things. First time EVER. Been with Apple since the //+. Pushed, promoted, bought tons for my company. Convinced others. I am quite worried right now about the future. We need some HARDWARE for serious users.

    1. Same here. First time I logged out EVER.

      Been working with, for, in Apple ever since ’86. Always promoting whenever I could. – Not any more.

      Timmy needs to peddle his SJW programming elsewhere.

    2. I thought it was a reasonably good keynote. There was never any expectation that new hardware would be announced. This was Apple branching out into new business.

  5. “…I realized Apple was not the same company I knew not long ago.”

    That is a potentially good thing. A company that remains the same is, by definition, stagnant. Evolution is the key to survival and success. History is littered with the remains of companies who failed to evolve. The question, of course, is whether the change – the evolution – is in a positive direction.

    I doubt that Mark Sullivan truly understands Apple’s origins or culture. And I certainly doubt that he considered that Apple may be changing along a path that it charted long ago.

    If you listened to Steve Jobs over the years, you realized that the Mac, while important to Steve, was just a tool – a tool to enable everyone to be creative and do wonderful new things. While he took great pride in refining the functionality and aesthetics of the Mac and MacOS over the years, the computer was never his end goal. Neither was the iPod or the iPhone. They are all tools that assist in the creation and distribution of content and that enable communication and community across the Earth.

    Apple continues to evolve the Mac and to develop new hardware and software – AppleTV, Apple Watch, AirPods. And I sincerely believe that there are more great products to come. None of these may match the revolutionary impact of the iPhone, which occurred during a unique convergence of visionary leadership, technology, and market forces. But steady, long term development should not be disdained. Progress does not have to be made in leaps. Sometimes a dozen smaller steps is better in the end.

    There are many things that Apple could be doing better. We all recognize that. But it is ridiculous to agonize over the fact that the company is changing. Instead, celebrate the fact that Apple is still vibrant and evolving. At the very least, Apple has forced other companies to step up their games. That benefits everyone and pushes Apple to do the same.

    1. New hardware? what hardware? a 27″ iMac forever!, canceling wireless routers, or the utter lack of a in house Apple curated/branded monitor means there is a lack of focus on what really matters….This foray into low margin content will not go anywhere.

      1. I had seen a few articles claiming that Apple was definitely developing an Apple branded monitor along with the coming Mac Pro. Let’s hope it happens.

    2. KingMel is right. It’s Apple, Inc in case you forget and the future isn’t he “pro” machine you all lust after
      The Mac is the computer for the rest of us. It wasn’t introduced as a bad ass machine but as a tool for the rest of us. the Computer of the future will be a tool for the rest of us. The best computer of the future is the one you don’t see. Sorta like your iPhone and iPad.

  6. I thought it was painful to watch. I didn’t log out, but left it running on one device while I did other things using my other devices. I had hoped it was just me, just not being in the mood for this right now, but in reading others reviews I see that it wasn’t just me. Frankly, what I see happening to Apple makes me sad.

    1. Sadly bob, I am afraid there were a lot. I hope we see more of the Mac side of Apple soon. Not just a rehash of the wonderful iMac and Mini. But something wonderful.

  7. Oh come on a company becomes about as big as it can selling its traditional hardware products (if one can call the iPhone traditional) unless it goes market ‘cheap’.

    So what foes it for? It either invents new hardware products to compensate which isn’t as easy as it once was, it’s far more competitive after all and new product categories difficult to predict or guarantee success and increasingly different to its traditional product areas anyway. Or (preferably and) it expands services to exploit its hardware to re enthuse sales and exploit the existing and future base.

    Either way the Company changes its just how much and in which direction. We may long for the old days (even if half of them were about survival) but change is a necessity and those analysts who love to spout about plateauing hardware sales with glee just hate to imagine a new expanding Apple to compensate even when previously they argued its necessity for they miss the opportunity to report upon its demise for that pent up audience of haters out there. Shame when so many long term Apple supporters join them in their prospective misery over such required adaptions to thrive mind. Probably just the lack of a showman to enthuse them I suspect that links them, the analysts hated him where the supporters loved him but the loss makes them both miserable in their own way.

  8. Well if the future is services why not spin off the Macintosh as a separate company or just license the OS to people who actually give a shit about computers?

  9. It is quite obvious that continuing to sell more and more phones was going to see an end some day. Aren’t other phone makers having trouble pushing product. The benefits of having a new phone are getting smaller and smaller. Just like the desktop pc, the phone will have more power and features than is necessary for the average person. It is quite apparent that Apple knows this and is developing into other directions. Managing and servicing their base to get the most from a very connected product line is their current goal.
    The changes that Apple announced yesterday have been in the planning stage well before their phone sales dropped.
    KingMel is right in that the company needs to evolve and the direction is unknown. We still need a communication device and some sort of display. How that evolves will be quite interesting.

  10. Why, oh why does Apple insist on hold these events for unfinished products? Additionally, though I really appreciate their respect for their users, there is no way in Hades I am going to turn over every apect of my life to them. That’s insanity. If this is just tech in the 21st century, count me out. There are times that I honestly believe Silicon Valley simply died with Steve.

    1. Perhaps they feel more pressure these days from their competitors to announce product before it is ready. Or they’ve already booked the location and the talent making it too pricey to reschedule?

  11. I searched this whole thread first for two words, and neither appeared so I’ll post them: “diversity” and “fashion.”
    This was 100% the most diverse cast of presenters, with multiple woman VPs. It was not the same old (lovable) boy club. And everyone looked incredible. Clearly the stylists were at it full-tilt, and it made for a very hip presentation. When we’re talking about signals to investors, women, minorities, regulators, et al, these two things matter also.

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