For years, Apple AAPL, led by the late Steve Jobs, was a worldwide innovator and a pioneer in the technology industry. The company blazed trails in the hardware and software business, and without it, personal computing would certainly not be what it is today.
Even with the advent of the iPhone and the massive shift in company focus, Apple continued to shine by consistently offering one of a kind products. The Cupertino-based tech giant had a special way of making customers feel that their desktops, laptops, and phones were irreplaceable.
In return, Apple was rewarded with consistent sales growth and reliable stock performance. Over the past decade, AAPL has outperformed its Consumer Electronics industry competitors in all but two years thanks to the dominance of the iPhone.
Before that, it was the Macintosh computer that helped Apple stay on top of the technology industry. Check out this early TV spot to see how Apple thought of itself when the Mac was running the show:
Unfortunately, the days of Apple’s unbridled dominance are long gone. In 2016, the company’s annual sales dipped year-over-year for the first time since 2001, it saw its first ever iPhone sales declines, and critics lamented over design choices made on its new phones and laptops.
As we know now, “does more” and “costs less” really don’t describe many of Apple’s products. The company has long-since held a reputation for being pricey, and we seem to no longer look at Apple for industrywide changes.
For example, the company was widely criticized for its decision to not include the standard 3.5mm headphone jack on the iPhone 7. Instead, users would have to plug new headphones or an adapter into the Lightning port, restricting the ability to charge and jam out at the same time.
The release of the new Apple Macbook Pro was also seen as a mess by some. While professional graphics artists and video editors desperately clamored for a new top of the line machine, Apple delivered a midrange laptop with a top-shelf price tag.
The company decided to use Intel’s INTC older Skylake architecture and capped the machine’s maximum RAM capacity at 16 GB, the same level it has been at for years. Apple also opted to make all of the Macbook Pro’s ports USB-C, requiring many users to rely on dongles.
And these are simply design choices. None of this says anything about how the price of Apple’s products has basically become a meme. I mean, let’s not forget that Apple introduced a $99 stylus for its latest iPad.
While I admit that I am much better at pointing out problems than solving them, I think it is clear that Apple has strayed too far from the mentality that made it one of the most successful companies in the world.
Here’s hoping Apple can get things back on track with some cool new products in 2017. If Tim Cook is reading this, remember: does more, costs less.
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