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Former Apple Employee Says Apple Has “Peaked”

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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?

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  • Xian

    There is nothing in this article to suggest that this guy’s opinion is credible. Competitors who have peaked are generally those who put their feet up on the desk and stopped challenging the status quo, and more importantly, themselves. As an investor, I see Apple’s “big moves” (Lightning, Maps, and Management changes) as evidence that they continue to challenge the status quo.

  • bradg17

    Big moves….. Lightning? That’s seriously the first one you come up with? A new cord is bound to happen on almost every type of device at some point in its life. It’s a charging cable lets get real here. It’s not like it’s a batter that last 8 times longer in the same size. It’s a charging cable, that isn’t even much of an improvement. Looks and works better physically, but it would have been nice if they developed a new tech that makes its transfer a lot faster

  • FragilityG4

    I do believe Apple might have peaked as well. With that being said the only thing holding me back from believing in a demise, at this point, is the fact that all of their competitors in the rearview mirror aren’t offering anything that is truly more innovative thus enticing people to drop iDevices for thiers (much like iPhone stealing all of RIM’s customers)

  • FragilityG4

    Today what has been innovative from any company? People like you like to sit there and say things aren’t innovative but you never offer any examples of things that are …

  • bradg17

    Well said, I agree apple may have peaked, hard to tell it depends what the engineers can pull off. They’re a strong company, but so are their competitors

  • bradg17

    Apple does innovative things all the time. I just believe that making new maps and a new cord isn’t innovation when others have had similar or better functionality for 2 years or so. Things that are innovative are being the first one to develop retina displays on their macs and phones, making a glass back phone, being the first one to use a thunderbolt( a real cable upgrade), their touchscreen navigation, and countless other things. Lighting just isnt revolutionary, it’s evolution.

  • FragilityG4

    Well said! I agree on all points.

  • Well, Apple can die a Nokia or Blackberry death or a Microsoft death. The latter died years ago but it’s still making money and is relevant. Apple had a few years of growth in front of it before reaching the top o the S curve and starts to slow growing. Definitely premature to talk about decline. There are no alternatives right now, in fact Apple is currently the better alternative for existing markets, including the markets it created itself.

  • KJ

    First off who ever believes an ex employee…disgruntled…perhaps

    I feel that when apple can design A6x which is faster then any quad core that’s innovative..maps the only real complaint I hear and I use them every day in Calgary and never had a problem…so that excuse is getting tiresome….

    .like what gets more innovative at this point…apple designed the touch phone and every other company as basicaly copied the design an put there own twist on it (ie) Samsung, lol now Rim…..like really people how more innovative can the shell of a phone get….I know the iPhone doesn’t wipe ur ass yet but even if it did someone would complain about it

    I just find it funny how people want to see apple fail…

  • Yes, I’m in Calgary too and the new maps are a huge improvement in functionality

  • bradg17

    Thank you lol I wasn’t trying to dis apple. Just pointing out lightning isn’t revolutionary lol!

  • That guy Brett

    I believe that with forstall leaving the ios software will go through an enormous improvement next year.. I’ve been seeing a lot of patent design things from apple suggesting a lot of new ideas for a future phone as well. Ios 6 may have been a bummer for improvements but it won’t be the same in iOS 7

  • Apple had to force it’s maps on us in order to compete. I for one believe that they were well aware of the effect it would have. I love the new maps experience and I know it will mature to be a very good product. On the other hand I do see that Apple needs to pick up its game in the iOS department. I’m not seeing the innovation that they once had a hold on. I wish they would quit babysitting its users and give us what we want. A lot to say in that department. Crossing my fingers they step it up.

  • Leds

    I think Crow is just bitter he’s not still at Apple. Pretty weak arguments. I have faith that Apple will deliver great things down the road. It’s tough when you are on top and have no close competition that’s innovates.

  • Apple_Sauce

    I believe Apple has peaked, despite hearing it from an ex employee. Apple had a good ride, but lately their tactics and limited thinking are only heading them in a downward direction.

  • Guest

    Well personally, I think the ipad 3 > 4 was short lived, more of a microsoft “new version of the same old”, google maps vs Apples offering is still the reason my OS is still 5.x, I use maps extensively and I can confirm the moniker “crappy tire” and “crapple maps” are synonymous. Tim is pushing Apple too hard, too fast all for the shareholder experience. This x-employee, albeit slighted, is pretty much on the mark. I have owned the orginal iPhone, 3gs, 4 and 4s, recently a friend showed me how well the Samsung s3 works, i was impressed. Law suites and other bs aside, I am tired of my Iphones poor performance in non metro areas, after 5 years, my next phone will be the S3. I am tired of hard to fix batteries, expensive everything else options.
    Lastly, I miss Steve’s direction – the only thing i disliked was his stubborn nay to Flash support.
    Goodbye Apple, goodbye to my 1,000 annual contribution, I think im turning Jap..Korean, p.s. have you seen thier car line up?

  • Well personally, I think the ipad 3 > 4 was short lived, more of a microsoft “new version of the same old”, google maps vs Apples offering is still the reason my OS is still 5.x, I use maps extensively and I can confirm the moniker “crappy tire” and “crapple maps” are synonymous. Tim is pushing Apple too hard, too fast all for the shareholder experience. This x-employee, albeit slighted, is pretty much on the mark. I have owned the orginal iPhone, 3gs, 4 and 4s, recently a friend showed me how well the Samsung s3 works, i was impressed. Law suites and other bs aside, I am tired of my Iphones poor performance in non metro areas, after 5 years, my next phone will be the S3. I am tired of hard to fix batteries, expensive everything else options.
    Lastly, I miss Steve’s direction – the only thing i disliked was his stubborn nay to Flash support.
    Goodbye Apple, goodbye to my 1,000 annual contribution, I think im turning Jap..Korean, p.s. have you seen thier car line up?

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