Critiquing the WWDC Critics: Why They Think Apple is Doomed

In many endeavors these days, outsiders have a louder voice than the people doing the hard work. It's so bad that scientists have to take classes on public speaking. The same goes for Apple. The people inside of Apple, designing and selling great products that are snapped up immediately by customers, are under a barrage of criticism by outsiders who boast loudly that Apple is failing. Why is this so?

There are several answers. First, many writers don't want to appear to be an Apple lackey. The distinct aura of an independent, neutral voice is sought, but then that only results in Apple being an equal opportunity victim.

Second, being critical is not the same as critical analysis. But some authors depend on the readers not knowing the difference.

Third, it's very hard to analyze from the outside, without perspective driven by facts. All some writers know about Apple is what they see in the WWDC Keynote.

Apple has stated their vision very, very clearly. Despite that vision, so well executed that Apple's retail stores are constantly mobbed and WWDC sells out in 71 seconds, outsiders insist that they have better answers than Apple.

For example, we have this tirade on the color scheme of iOS 7, slamming it for being a girly, estrogen driven OS. Oh, Puh-leze. The article was, itself, written by a juvenile. And then there's this low-insight article that goes through the obligatory list of WWDC announcements, but then, with a blind eye, declares that Apple produced no game changers in the Keynote. And then there's this slightly better article, by a writer who should know better, who declares that data services alone dictate Apple's fortunes.

WWDC Reality

Apple did a lot at WWDC that some observers haven't noticed or wanted to explore. Each item could be an entire article.

  1. Introduced (for those who have no vision) very clear vision statement in a video, linked to above.
  2. Launched the first totally new product in the Tim Cook regime, a new Mac Pro.
  3. Renewed their commitment to technical professionals with the Mac Pro and Mavericks.
  4. Took a huge risk in the redesign of iOS 7.
  5. Showcased Craig Federighi as the new father of iOS and OS X integration, not iOS-ification.
  6. Exhibited a calmer, cooler, buckle down company, tempered by the stable, intelligent personality of Tim Cook and a visible commitment to fix a lot of nagging problems instead of adding gratuitous features to their OSes.
  7. Celebrated and inspired 5,000 developers (and many more without actual tickets) who see a gold rush where the naysayer writers see a blind alley.

The developers we've interviewed see a world of promise. They've often been inside Apple. Some, many have worked for Apple. They've seen how Apple operates. They know that Apple has created an ecosphere that nourishes their business. They understand how Apple works. And while they admit that Apple has flaws, they don't see it as signs of a fatal disease, merely blemishes to be treated.

In time, Apple will use its talent and vision to build the Next Big Thing. The fact that Apple didn't do it on schedule, on demand, doesn't mean the company is doomed. It just means that writers who aren't deep on Apple are frustrated and anxious.

Meanwhile, Apple just keeps on building products customers love. If Apple were all that hosed up, they wouldn't even come close to meeting their guidance for revenues in this June quarter. But watch, Apple's practical, honest projection for $33.5 to 35.5 billion in revenue will be fulfilled and spot on. Here are some more numbers to ponder.

Some Good Analysis

I've looked at some dreck here, but I must say that there is a lot of excellent work out there. Much more in fact. The customary Tech News Debris fell away this week because there was so much positive discussion of WWDC. So, for balance, I'll list here some recommended items from a few of my favorite authors. They should provide some good insights for your Saturday reading.

iOS 7 is the most skeuomorphic, most liberating version ever

WWDC Opinion: Fall will be Apple's Harvest Festival

Apple Should Press Delete On Phablets, iPad Maxis And Cheap Phones. Here's Why

WWDC: Now it looks like Apple's going to take out the console market

Apple's security strategy: make it invisible

Apple’s WWDC: Instant Analyses


Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro's observations and opinions about a standout event of the week combined with a summary of articles that didn't make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holidays.