In a virtual sea of flattering news that applaud Apple’s products and communicates their overwhelming success, are suggestions by former Apple employee Dan Crow indicating the most valuable company in the world has peaked and has started to settle into a “subtle downward trajectory.”
Crow’s prediction is based on a series of observations, including the recent annoyance of those who purchased the iPad 3 only to realize it would (too) quickly become obsolete with the launch of the fourth generation tablet. Of course, it’s not just about products (though Crow also has complaints about the iPhone 5 not being different enough from the iPhone 4S and iOS 6 being buggy and not living up to the hype), he also feels it is evident in the recent dismissals of iOS SVP Scott Forstall and Retail SVP John Browett, though he doesn’t make it clear exactly why (instability and change can be bad for a management team, but that isn’t the case when the team is dysfunctional as was the case at Apple).
Crow continues trying to support his hypothesis by saying that “replacing Google Maps with an obviously inferior experience shows how much Apple has changed.” He goes on to explain that the ‘Maps debacle’ proves Apple is now “willing to give users a clearly worse experience to further its corporate interests,” in clear contrast to their previous goal of giving users the best possible experience.
Maps was a mess, but it’s only an app. Apple is working on it (and you can be certain that a future version of Maps will be very impressive), but calling it a debacle seems a tad dramatic. For many users, Maps worked just fine. A mistake, yes. Embarrassing, yes. A debacle, hardly (even The Woz said that the problems were not that severe).
It also isn’t the first time Apple has weathered storms, Crow admits that the company has survived failed products in the past but tries to justify his opinion by stating that this time it is different because they “deliberately offered an inferior product, because its fight over Android was deemed more important than its users.” They did? I must have missed that press release.
Nobody can see the future. Years ago few people would have guessed that technology giants like HP and Research In Motion (RIM) would now be struggling to stay relevant (and afloat). Who would have predicted Nortel’s fate after their considerable successes? Apple is just as vulnerable as any other company.
While Apple’s demise is certainly a possibility, it could also be true that Apple will continue to innovate as a means of raising that top bar even higher while remaining successful.
Do you think we’ve seen the last of the best from Apple? Or is Crow just causing a stir for nothing?