Monday, September 30, 2013

Apple and Steve Jobs

I miss Steve Jobs.

Of course I didn't know him personally, and I never had any personal connection with Apple. But the world lost something with Jobs' death. His charisma. His marketing and business brilliance. And, most of all, his innovation.

Apple is still making good products. But so is Samsung, Amazon and Asus. But are they making GREAT products? The kind of cutting edge, innovative and beautiful products that make people say "wow" every time they see them?

Since Jobs died, Apple has continued to release new products, like the Iphone 5 and the Ipad 3 and 4. They are nice. But they are incremental improvements on previous models-- a little faster, a little lighter, and little brighter. And this is what all of the companies are doing. And this is the rut that Apple previously got itself into in the years that Jobs was in exile. Trying to leapfrog devices that other companies put out.

Think how different that is from what was happening until 2011. Every year or 2, apple was coming out with a REVOLUTIONARY product, that had the competition catching up for years. Forget the first Ipad, which blew the competition out of the water. (It is still better than most of the competition out there).  Think of Ipad 2. It wasn't just a little faster or lighter. It was completely redesigned, adding multiple new groundbreaking features (like Facetime) and announced in parallel with wonderful Ipad applications like Garageband. Part of the genius was pairing the hardware with great software and content and how the two worked together. There is nothing that comes even close to Itunes U, for example.

But now, it seems that Apple is treading water. They come out with new models once a year, but nothing really groundbreaking. I hear they're coming out with an Ipad 5, a little lighter and thinner than Ipad 4. Great. But its not going to make people run out and buy them. A few more years of this and they will lose their edge.