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Questioning Apple's Direction

There are some big things I dislike about Apple's direction:

Tim Cook is a dumb leftist who has gotten Apple involved with leftist activism including hiring Lisa Jackson (former Obama EPA head) to head up their quite active environmentalism department

Apple sided with Hillary against Trump in the election instead of staying out of it. Apple refused regular tech help/support stuff to RNC over Trump. Cook did fundraisers for Hillary and Paul Ryan.

Tim Cook does some dumb celebrity stuff like selling charity fundraiser coffees. Apple itself also cares more about celebrity cameos at their events, celebrity endorsements, that kinda stuff.

the Mac is being neglected.

Tim has claimed they still care about Mac and updates will come. They have updated the software regularly but for power users like me it's basically gotten slightly worse, and mostly the same, since Snow Leopard in 2009. As to hardware updates, there just haven't been many lately. See e.g. http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/#Mac (MacBook is Neutral, the rest are Don't Buy. This evaluation is based on hardware update dates.)

Apple is apparently working a bunch on car stuff. This would be OK if the Mac wasn't being neglected, but I think it's bad for Apple to prioritize it ahead of Mac. Also there's rumors the car stuff is a mess, e.g. http://daringfireball.net/linked/2016/10/17/bloomberg-apple-car

I think Apple should be really careful about branching out and losing focus. I think the Apple Watch project was fine, but that's way more in their core competency area than cars are. (Apple also has some other distractions like being involved with making some TV shows. Seems pretty minor but still kinda concerning because they ought to limit distractions until they get the Mac doing better.)

Some good things about Apple's situation:

  • there are no high quality competitors to the iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple Watch or Mac for many, many use cases. (e.g. Macs have plenty of competition from linux for servers, but neither windows nor linux is of anywhere near comparable quality for general human computer use.)

  • Apple will have over a billion active, paying customers, who individually chose to be Apple customers, in the foreseeable future

  • Apple customers bring in lots of recurring revenue

  • the iOS Appstore is doing great. (the Mac appstore is neglected and not doing well.)

  • Apple has great branding, brand awareness. People have heard of Apple and know it means high quality. Apple products continue to live up to this reputation and achieve very high customer satisfaction survey results.

  • Apple is actually decent to contact about e.g. tech support.

  • Apple's physical stores continue to do great.

  • Apple basically doesn't actually have to innovate or grow in order to bring in a fuckton of money going forward (kinda like MS and Google have been very profitably coasting for ages). I'm not saying Apple is coasting – I don't think they are. I'm saying even if all their new stuff failed (e.g. whatever the car project is) and they just coasted, they'd still make a fuckton of money for a long time.

Elliot Temple on October 17, 2016


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