Apple is doing really well. The company is fantabulously successful, or so Bryan Clark argued at TheNextWeb. But all that success is only masking the reality that Apple is in a heap of trouble with no future. Again, or so Bryan Clark said.
Accordingly, I present to you Apple Death Knell #70: "We've reached – maybe passed – peak Apple: Why the narrative needs to change."
Here's his setup:
Last month, Apple's latest earnings call announced its “most successful year ever.” The numbers were reported, the stories were spun and Wall Street basically anointed Apple the god of capitalism.
They're all wrong.
The actual story, the story we should be telling, involves a different narrative. Apple is the largest company in the world, but success is fleeting. While the numbers are impressive, they don't come close to painting an accurate picture about how much trouble Apple is really in.
Apple's rise under Steve Jobs was historic. Its fall under Tim Cook is going to be much slower, more painful.
That's kind of a new spin on the Apple-is-doomed mantra. The notion that Apple's own success hides its failures is...novel. For introducing something new to the cannon, we must all take a moment to thank Mr. Clark.
Unfortunately, his underlying reasons are just more of the same ol' thing. They break down thusly:
1.) Windows and Android are going to magically come out of nowhere and out-innovate Apple.
2.) Steve Jobs had all of the special sauce for innovation at Apple, and now that he's gone Apple is incapable of coming up with a new product that matters.
3.) Apple Watch doesn't count.
4.) Apple Car will never work and Apple can't beat Detroit, Tesla, or Google.
5.) All of which is proof that Apple has no Plan B. It's an iPhone company and will always be an iPhone company, and smartphones will eventually pass, and Apple is doomed.
Mr. Clark has fallen into the trap that many Apple doubters—he claims to be an Apple fan, not a hater, and I'm giving him the benefit of that doubt—fall into. He can't see where Apple is going next and concludes that Apple must therefore not be going anywhere.
I counter with this: who amongst us saw the iPod coming? The iTunes Store? iPhone? iPad? Apple Watch? Apple Car?
The answer is no one outside of Apple. I mean, we got rumors and leaks on several of these products, but those leaks came because Apple was already working on them. There's a wide line between prognosticating and reporting what the real innovators are actually doing.
This has been Apple's modus operandi since the return of Steve Jobs. While Mr. Clark argues that Apple can no longer innovate without Mr. Jobs, I point to the Apple Watch as the proof he is wrong. That device isn't perfect, and I've argued it's missing killer functionality, but Apple Watch has gotten people to think differently about wearable computing, and it did so without Mr. Jobs's input.
That's a monumental achievement.
Next: Insults and Apple Car