How services could sour Apple

“I have had a range of conversations with colleagues in the tech industry, and it has been interesting to hear the same observation brought up,” Ben Bajarin writes for Tech.pinions. “There seems to be a broad sense the narrative around Apple is particularly negative at the moment.”

“When people ask me what kind of a company Apple is I explain they aren’t really a tech company, nor are they hardware or a software company. At its core, Apple is a customer experience company. Apple’s focus is the customer and providing the best experience possible no matter the category of product,” Bajarin writes. ” But, for me, there are still questions about Apple’s execution on being a customer experience focused company when it comes to services.”

“The risk, in my opinion, of Apple’s evolving emphasis as a company on services, is the potential to not live up to the bar the company has when it comes to hardware, and software,” Bajarin writes. “In Apple’s case, and around their hardware, in particular, customers can easily justify the cost in their case and feel it is ‘worth it.’ The big question I have is whether or not Apple can convince customers their services are ‘worth it’ in light of a much more competitive services environment Apple will face than the competition they face in hardware.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Bajarin makes a great point that Apple’s services currently run entirely on someone else’s cloud platform and that a more vertical approach to the cloud (building and owning their own cloud infrastructure) might help Apple’s services become more consistent.

I’ve always wanted to own and control the primary technology in everything we do.Steve Jobs, October 12, 2004

• In order to build the best products, you have to own the primary technologies. Steve felt that if Apple could do that — make great products and great tools for people — they in turn would do great things. He felt strongly that this would be his contribution to the world at large. We still very much believe that. That’s still the core of this company.Apple CEO Tim Cook, March 18, 2015

19 Comments

  1. EveryCompany: You know, we should own our own cloud instead of depending on other companies!
    Followed by millions of dollars wasted discovering that they are not a cloud company.

  2. I think he’s wrong. Apple is a tech company, always has been.. To try and re-label them as something they are not is just more fake news and a way to generate click-bait.

    No one’s services are infallible, because no service is .. Every company, somewhere along the line has a tech fall, because of security, patching, or some other process that causes outages, I don’t care who you are or how many $$ you have.. Sometimes its not even their fault, its an external infrastructure. fail..

    If Apple is generating a negative opinion, it’s because they are over-promising and lately failing to deliver. In some cases the perception is skewed, because just like this article , it’s someone else’s fake news.

  3. Many years back every other week on here we heard about all these ‘data centres’ Apple were building here there and everywhere. I had delusions that they were building this vertical approach to the Cloud only perpetrated by those who speculated about their uses back then and that using others services was just a temporary approach in the main until they could build up their own facilities and took control of such matters. What is it now, 10 years, maybe longer since that all started and nothing is heard about such things anymore and no sign at all of this vertical ‘heaven’ coming to fruition just the limitations still imposed on iCloud. So was it always a myth or did Cook decide to cut costs and put his faith in competitors instead, once Jobs had gone?

    1. I too had the same inkling of their cloud services…only to be disappointed. I was hoping that Apple was going to be the company that was going to be the one to make cloud services work.

    2. Apple has data centers in Arizona, Calif., N. Carolina, Navada, Iowa, and Oregon. It’s also building in Denmark. It wants to power them with renewables such as solar and geothermal which may be the holdup. The last article I read about them was in late 2018. But, yes, no recent news on what they are for specifically. As far as I know, Apple is still heavily dependent on Boozer’s Amazonians.

      1. The impression I got from those articles was that user iCloud storage would continue to be outsourced to 3rd party cloud storage companies while the data centers Apple built was for storing all their digital content (video, audio, apps) and operating services like Messenger and Facetime.

    3. Apple probably found that their profit margin was higher just outsourcing cloud storage to Amazon, Microsoft and IBM and putting a security wrapper around iCloud-branded storage. When’s the last time you’ve heard of Apple investing in any non-office or research facility?

  4. There isn’t one single thing compelling about Apple’s services without Apple’s hardware. For me that means the Mac. As their attention to hardware has declined, and their emphasis has been on delivering marginally better iOS devices for significantly hire cost, I’ve Ben unchecking all the iCloud switches.

    You have to ask yourself, “Would I use this mess if I weren’t using a Mac or iOS device,” and the chances are no. ITunes and Apple Music are a confusing mess, still after all these years. TV and movies are just as unfriendly. Cloud storage should work at least as invisibly as Dropbox, but Apple has created an obscure system with stuff in some folders being on iCloud and duplicated on your hard drive and yet another mess.

    Apple Pay works, but it’s nothing the 99% of computer users are interested in. As far as the Apple Watch, I’ve bought my last one. A nice gShock will be my daily driver from here on out. M4L. “MECHANICAL FOR LIFE.”

    I like Shazam.

    The AppleID authentication system is crap for businesses.

    I just don’t get why everyone talks services so much.

    1. Come on, theloniusmac! You cannot be an effective opponent to everything Apple by tossing out BS like “Apple Pay works, but it’s nothing the 99% of computer users are interested in.”

      99%? Really? Get a clue…

    1. There’s an old sarcastic maxim which might apply here:

      “If you have to ask the price, you’re not the customer we’re looking for.”

      And increasingly to me, since the “cachet” aspect means little and “thin” means functionality compromises that grate on me (particularly the MacBook keyboard situation at present), I’m not compelled by the rest of what’s being offered as a value add.

  5. What is Apple to do? Are they now being criticized for trying to diversify their revenue streams. Why does everything Apple try to do is always met with doubt. I’m fairly certain that every company has to rely on some other company for at least some things. No company can do everything on its own. Netflix doesn’t have content on its own servers (it uses Amazon Web Services), so how come Netflix isn’t said to be turning “sour.”

    1. Perhaps Apple could demonstrate ability to maintain its existing high margin product lines before chasing after miniscule margin rental services years after other tech companies do.

    2. They’ve spent years making their brand practically synonymous with ‘luxury’, ‘fashion’ and ‘aspirational’. When is the last time you’ve seen any other luxury oriented product company diversify?

  6. “There seems to be a broad sense the narrative around Apple is particularly negative at the moment.”

    Oh yeh, such valuable insight has ALWAYS been gained by asking other (far less successful) companies what they think about Apple is doing!

    1. The thing is, Sean, when comparing business to business, the competition might very well be earning significantly more ROI. Apple doesn’t tell investors, all its screwups are nicely camouflaged by huge iOS app sales.

      What is clear is that Timmy has been scrambling to imitate the competition years too late. When not alternating between sucking Trumps weenie and playing SJW, he spends a lot of effort with complex financial games trying to please Wall Street. Mostly without any success to show for it. The money Cook blew instick buybacks could have heated every American home for decades.

      So Cook is really getting serious, now he’s simultaneously chasing Netflix and Comcast, selling digital “in app purchase “ news subscriptions, and rolling out what amounts to a Sears credit card for fashionistas to wave around if they are bored with using ApplePay with their current credit cards.

      It is really that exciting in Cupertino, wow. Cook makes IBM look like the poster child for exciting innovation for everyone.

      Don’t forget, Apple plays second fiddle to “beleaguered” Microsoft on Wall Street. Apple is nowhere to be found in school classroms and is waning in colleges now too. iPhone sales have plateaued while prices push more people away. The fashion fads are never sustainable. So Apple profits have totally plateaued and Cook thinks subscrptions will solve everything.

      Perhaps consumers turned off to the greedy new Apple know more than you do?

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