I tried to schedule an Apple Genius appointment but the online scheduler kept forcing me onto a support message board.
I listened to Beats 1 and got through two — 2! — acceptable songs before a DJ came on and told me REALLY REALLY LOUDLY that I was listening to BEATS ONE! He then played a shit song. Oof.
I searched for my crappy Apple TV remote only to remember I switched to the radically superior Roku months ago.
I fumbled with the annoying side button — on/off? — on my iPhone and cursed Jony Ive for lazily copying the Samsung Galaxy.
Dude showed me his Apple Watch. LOOK! SEE! APPLE WATCH! LOOK! ARE YOU LOOKING! APPLE WATCH! SEE! So I punched him.
I opened my trusty old Mac, bought in the Time Of Steve, fired up the new iTunes and was all OH MY GOD HOW COULD THEY HAVE POSSIBLY MADE THIS EVEN MORE CONFUSING AND SLOW THIS SHOULD NOT EVEN BE THEORETICALLY POSSIBLE.
And had a thought.
Apple used to be great.
Now it’s not.
And I think I know why: complete and utter lack of focus as Tim Cook and Crew chase MOAR CHINESE PROFITS on the backs of the golden goose that is iPhone. MOAR! MOAR! NOM! NOM! MONEY! NOM!
But first, let me take you back, back to a grand and glorious time when men roamed free and Apple products were awesome, and websites like Asymco and Daring Fireball lauded Apple for focus.
Tim Cook famously said “we can put all of our products on the table you’re sitting at.”
But the more interesting thought is that the table has not gotten bigger.
LOL now Apple’s table looks like the one from that old guy at the swap meet who sells Pepsi bottles and Pez dispensers.
But it’s Daring Fireball’s O Captain My Captain ode to Apple’s now-dead-and-buried focus that had me chuckling:
Oh, fuck, that’s precious.
I like this as a basic theory for understanding Apple’s exceptional success. Steve Jobs was famous for his pride in saying “no”.
Yes, by law you MUST MENTION STEVE and you MUST CONNECT TODAY’S APPLE TO STEVE JOBS YOU MUST! YOU MUST! DO NOT QUESTION THIS!
Tim Cook, at the 2010 Goldman Sachs technology conference: “We say no to good ideas every day; we say no to great ideas; to keep the number of things we focus on small in number.”
Ha, no. So wrong. Is there *anything* Tim Cook says no to? Anything at all?
Multiple iPhones, multiple iPads, multiple iPods, Apple Watch, gold bands, leather bands, plastic bands, iTunes, Radio, Apple TV, iCloud, GarageBand, iWork, Beats headphones, a Walmart-sized retail chain, so many Macs, all manner of accessories, live music, a music festival — WTF! –some news service — can I get a double WTF! — and on and on. Payments, media stores, CarPlay, maps, smarthome services, MOAR PROFITS NOW!
Is this why Apple products have gotten so much lesser these past few years? So many products, so little focus.
You know — don’t you lie to me, you know this — that back when product was king at Apple, not “ecosystem” and not profits, Apple’s products were not only better, but verifiably better and — and this is important — were a better value.
Better product and better value.
That’s damn hard to pull off. They once did.
Can they get it back? Can Apple ever get back to offering the best product and the best value?
Now comes the ironic part. It may not matter.
Tim Cook’s grand vision for Apple is painfully obvious. It’s not to sell as many iPhones and iPads and gold Watches as possible. No, it’s much much bigger than that. Tim Cook and Apple want to be the retailer, the gateway, to all things, literally all of the things, digital and physical, for the world’s 10%.
The gold Macs, the retail chain, the hired cool, the “monoculture” of Beats 1, the aggressive push to rid the world of ads wherever Apple users traverse — because ads are the tool that enables content and culture for the vast vast majority of the world.
Apple wants nothing to do with what the bottom 90% want, need, or must have to operate.
Apple is trying to be everything for the world’s 10%.
Only, they keep fucking it up. Just look at the range of meh-to-bad products, software, services and roll-outs over the past 3 years.
Tim Cook is the High Priest of the Church of Profit Share. The world’s richest 700 million are his flock — and, by God, they will tithe everything to Apple. But only if he can get everything to work. And only if those nagging questions would stop popping up, questions such as, but daddy, isn’t Beats 1 just like Sirius?
Well, son, it’s like this…
But, daddy, isn’t iPhone 6 Plus just like your brother’s Samsung?
God is in the details, my child.
But, daddy, Google Maps are better.
GET OUT OF MY HOUSE YOU HEATHEN!
I tip my hat to Tim Cook’s audacity. A 700-million-strong monoculture; the world’s richest people, Earth’s 10%. But there’s so much shit coming out of Apple these days, that I suspect that even the most faithful will soon turn away. Plunging Apple Watch sales are only the start.