The Apple Enthusiast Culture And The End Of An Era

  • Posted: 13 August 2011 03:04 PM

    For those of us who have have been active members of the Apple enthusiast culture for many years, the migration of the iPhone 5’s release date marks the end of an era.

    For years the Apple blogosphere and Apple web community focused on new product releases as if the company’s future hinged on each successful product release at the expected time. For those of us who have been active since the pre-SJ days of the early to mid 90’s and lived through the thrashing of the company by the CEOs who occupied the chair prior to his return in 1997, this is a welcomed day.

    In my view Apple’s proverbial fall from grace was due in part to three big and unfortunate events:

    1. The release of the Message Pad before it was ready. This product was famously lampooned and further development of the device before release would have made a world of difference.

    2. The CEO at the time publicly brokering a merger with IBM. If the CEO of the company doesn’t have faith in the company’s ability to thrive independently, why should investors be confident?

    3. The decision by the next CEO to rely on the brand name to build revenue and profits rather than new technology. In my view, and contrary to conventional wisdom, Windows 95 did less damage to Apple than Apple did to Apple. At that critical juncture in the company’s history, management chose to forego ample supplies of PowerPCs that were in heavy demand in favor of pushing high-margin 680X0 product on the public that wanted what was new, not just what was Apple branded.

    I do give Dr. Amelio credit on two important points:

    1. His resolve to keep the company as an independent and publicly traded concern.

    2. Determining he wasn’t the person to represent the public face of the company and chose to purchase NeXT to acquire the foundation of what became OS X and seek the return of Steve Jobs who he intended to have serve as a special advisor and publicly explain the transition to the new OS.

    Today Apple is rivaling Exxon in market cap and the release date for the iPhone has yet to be announced. That speaks volumes and signals the end of an era. Apple is bigger and stronger than any one of its market leading products and no one product or product release date will determine the company’s future nor its short-term prospects.

    Apple has come of age and will continue to transform the digital world in which we live, work and play.

    [ Edited: 13 August 2011 04:45 PM by DawnTreader ]      
  • Posted: 13 August 2011 04:40 PM #1

    The Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh also was launched (probably by accident) under Amelio.

    A commercial failure, it is in my opinion the greatest Mac I have, and still do, own. The Boze sound system to this day has never been beaten on any computer.

    The greatest performance Mac in history for it’s time was, hands down, the Mac IIfx, period. Super expensive, but at the time was blindingly fast.

    The most unique and finely engineered Mac ever remains to this day, without question, the Cube.

    All the quirky failures were the finest from Apple.

         
  • Posted: 13 August 2011 04:48 PM #2

    As part of Apple’s success, we should not forget why Apple doesn’t do focus groups or rely on industry opinion to guide them in making what people want:

    Courtesy of Jon Gruber is a reminder of an old John Dvorak column advising Apple to pull the plug on the soon-to-be-released iPhone.  It belongs in the Hall of Shame tech reporting and is worthy of an honorary Lifetime Achievement FUD award.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/apple-should-pull-the-plug-on-the-iphone

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 13 August 2011 05:21 PM #3

    Marcel - 13 August 2011 07:48 PM

    As part of Apple’s success, we should not forget why Apple doesn’t do focus groups or rely on industry opinion to guide them in making what people want:

    Courtesy of Jon Gruber is a reminder of an old John Dvorak column advising Apple to pull the plug on the soon-to-be-released iPhone.  It belongs in the Hall of Shame tech reporting and is worthy of an honorary Lifetime Achievement FUD award.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/apple-should-pull-the-plug-on-the-iphone

    Thanks for posting that link. It’s a classic and should be posted whenever this jackball bloviates again.

      cheers to the longs
        JohnG

         
  • Posted: 14 August 2011 02:32 PM #4

    Marcel - 13 August 2011 07:48 PM

    Courtesy of Jon Gruber is a reminder of an old John Dvorak column advising Apple to pull the plug on the soon-to-be-released iPhone.  It belongs in the Hall of Shame tech reporting and is worthy of an honorary Lifetime Achievement FUD award.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/apple-should-pull-the-plug-on-the-iphone

    It’s always fun to use 20/20 hindsight to laugh at people’s prognostications. But my God, there wasn’t one thing in that article that was right. Wrong in every particular.

         
  • Posted: 14 August 2011 03:16 PM #5

    On top of not really getting it, Dvorjak does intentionally wind up the Mac enthusiasts. Forthose that haven’t seen it, youtube has his confession.

         
  • Posted: 14 August 2011 05:13 PM #6

    Marcel - 13 August 2011 07:48 PM

    As part of Apple’s success, we should not forget why Apple doesn’t do focus groups or rely on industry opinion to guide them in making what people want:

    Courtesy of Jon Gruber is a reminder of an old John Dvorak column advising Apple to pull the plug on the soon-to-be-released iPhone.  It belongs in the Hall of Shame tech reporting and is worthy of an honorary Lifetime Achievement FUD award.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/apple-should-pull-the-plug-on-the-iphone

    I remember when I first read this:

    “Now compare that effort and overlay the mobile handset business. This is not an emerging business. In fact it’s gone so far that it’s in the process of consolidation with probably two players dominating everything, Nokia Corp. and Motorola Inc.

    During this phase of a market margins are incredibly thin so that the small fry cannot compete without losing a lot of money.

    The problem here is that while Apple can play the fashion game as well as any company, there is no evidence that it can play it fast enough. These phones go in and out of style so fast that unless Apple has half a dozen variants in the pipeline, its phone, even if immediately successful, will be pass? within 3 months.

    Four years later the original design of the iPhone remains virtually intact.
    The iPhone, today, controls over half of total smartphone profits.

    He writes well, he garners a ton of exposure for his wildly inaccurate prognostications, but, unless you count his ability to market himself and therefore make a lot of money, he’s an idiot.

    Signature

    You can’t do more, make more, be more, than the next guy, if you think like the next guy. Think different.