Apple Death Knell #65: Apple Is Rotting from the Inside

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Apple Death Knell #65It's hard to believe this stuff is still happening, but we have a new entry into the Apple Death Knell Counter—Death Knell #65. It comes to us courtesy of one John Benjamin, who wrote a piece called "Apple Rotting from the Inside" for The Guardian Liberty Voice (not affiliated with London's The Guardian newspaper).

Mr. Benjamin argues—and I use the word loosely—that Apple's days of innovation are behind it. Using vague references to the death of Steve Jobs, something about iTunes not having evolved, and a completely unsupported notion that the iPhone 6 is going to disappoint, he comes to what he seems to think is the obvious conclusion proposed in his title.

"iTunes has not evolved much and despite new and shiny releases, Apple has not innovated their business to much extent," he wrote. "Without Steve Jobs at the helm, Apple’s creativity has stagnated quickly, and seems to be rotting from the inside."

Does he offer evidence? No.

Moving on, he noted that, "Since 2011, the year Jobs passed away, Apple seems to have lost their vision. Despite the fact that consumers replace almost indistinguishable devices at a premium year after year, the frustration of knowing how similar they all are is growing. With the iPhone 6 continually being hyped and hinted at, chances are the grand reveal will leave a lot to be desired."

The writer doth project too much, methinks.

Seriously. What does he base this opinion on? is it the way iPhone sales have climbed year after year? Is is the many projections that a large screen iPhone 6 will kick demand even higher? I've read precisely one opinion—and again, I use the term loosely in this application—suggesting anything other than the iPhone 6 is going to be the bee's knees.

Hint: That one opinion was this one from M. Benjamin.

I've written before on the absurdity of judging Apple's ability to innovate without Steve Jobs so soon after after his death. It's ridiculous. We're a little more than two and a half years past that sad date. People who think that the lack of a disruptive product in that time frame themselves lack critical thinking skills.

What's even better is that Mr. Benjamin offers not even one mention of Apple's much-rumored iWatch, a device that seems likely to be released this very year. If you're going to reach absurd conclusions about Apple not innovating, you should at least make a token effort to dismiss the innovative product that everyone and their brother thinks is coming.

My favorite quote from the piece is this:

When the iPhone 5c and 5s came out in 2013, it was described by Derek Ross of Phandroid as: “A phone that hasn’t changed that much from its predecessor, but includes just the right amount of marketing fluff to make it sound amazing.”

Oh, really? So someone writing for Phandroid panned what would become the biggest selling iPhone ever? Well, jeepers, I guess that just settles it, then. Apple is doomed.

More: "Monetarily Apple is doing very well, but consumer confidence, and with it stocks value, can be lost overnight. There are no guarantees in business, and a company’s ability to align itself with trends, or create them, can be vital for long-term success."

To which I say, "And?"

There's just nothing in that comment that forwards anything in this piece. I mean, it's all true. Stocks can decline overnight. Yes, though seldom without a catalyst. No guarantees in life—useless bromide, check. A company's ability to innovate and disrupt has an effect on its business—obvious statement is obvious. Right, got it.

But it's meaningless.

Let's not dwell on any of this, however, because it's time to get right to the conclusion:

With the years of innovation behind it, and technology changing and improving faster than ever, Apples lack of creative growth might be an indication of the people who are now running it. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is find a new coach, especially when the one who took you to the finals is a relative. Current market shares and sales trends would indicate that all is fine, but actual product lack of growth and development might hint that the Apple is rotting from the inside.

Here we have an unsupported statement used to reach a spurious conclusion followed by a nebulous reference to a change in leadership that might be a claim that Apple needs such a change. All of which takes us to the grand finale, "that the Apple is rotting from the inside."

Congratulations, John Benjamin. You are now immortalized in the Apple Death Knell Counter.

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I miss these “Apple is doomed” pieces, perhaps because I admit there is an element of being entertained by the village idiot…


“but actual product lack of growth and development might hint that the Apple is rotting from the inside”

It’s comments like this that allow the rest of us to sit back and find these editorials humorous.

It doesn’t take a maverick insider to glance at what’s being done at Apple to determine that Apple is currently in a mode of prepping for the future. And that sometime within the near future we will begin to see new products emerge. Not just devices, but fully thought out solutions to problems we currently turn a blind towards because no one has been able to think of a better way to do it.

As Steve Jobs once said,

“We’ve always tried to be at the intersection of technology and liberal arts, to be able to get the best of both, to make extremely advanced products from a technology point of view, but also have them be intuitive, easy to use, fun to use, so that they really fit the users – the users don’t have to come to them, they come to the user.”

And this is where Apple will always excel and stand above their competitors. And something their competitors will never get, because it can’t be quantified on a spec sheet.

The hacks who write this crap have no integrity, because they know there’s nothing to be responsible for if they’re wrong. No apologies are ever returned or even needed. They know their “opinions” will be drowned under another wave of articles in this sea of hit-whore journalism.


Is the ‘Apple must release an iWatch within 60 days or it is a dead man walking’ in the death knell already?  the 60-days have just expired since this insightful prognostication was made…

Bryan Chaffin

That was Death Knell #64, D R, and Kelly Guimont did a fabulous writeup about that yesterday: Trip Chowdry’s iWatch Deadline Arrives: RIP Apple

Enjoy. smile



Bryan, I went back and looked back at the ADKC archives. Do you know you’re approaching an ADKC 20th anniversary? Anyway, sure, I could see these back in the mid- to late-1990s. Heck, ADKC #1 is from Steve Jobs himself. But two of them practically back-to-back in 2014?

Benjamin seems to be ignoring not only the iWatch in his Apple-can-no-longer-innovate tirade. (And honestly, maybe TMO should start an Apple-Can-No-Longer-Innovate counter, as it seems everyday someone’s making that claim.) He’s also ignoring sapphire. We don’t know what Apple is going to do with it yet, but they may have the largest capacity to grow synthetic sapphire on the planet right now. And why, when everyone cries that Apple can no longer innovate, does everyone conveniently forget the new Mac Pro?

The dumbest part of the article, though, had to be the comment that iTunes hasn’t evolved much. So adding movies, TV shows, podcasts, books, apps, and iTunes U doesn’t count? Heck, iTunes changed the whole way I watch television, which is to wait until an entire season is available, and download it then, rather than watch it on broadcast.

Looking at patterns through ADKC archives, it seems the can’t-innovate thing is just the trendy way to write about Apple now. We’ve had the Mac is dead trends, the Apple Stores are doomed trends, the Apple must license the Mac OS trends, etc. It seems something negative takes hold about Apple at any given time, and these analysts just parrot one another until the next bad thing takes hold.


Apple has done a good job of cornering all of the profitable part of the PC business, with a better product at a somewhat higher price. The main thrust has been to improve the product but Apple has cut the price a bit to remain competitive.

It will be interesting to see how that approach works with the price reductions now happening on Android smartphones. Apple has been the primary innovator but pricing has never changed (apart from a single adjustment very shortly after launch). The carrier “subsidies” mask some of the price, of course, but more people are now buying direct. So pricing will become more of an issue - it will be watched closely.


“chances are the grand reveal will leave a lot to be desired”

Duh. When has any Apple grand reveal not left a lot to be desired from the pundarazzi?

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