“We’ve Hit Peak Apple” Former Employee Says

“We’ve Hit Peak Apple” Former Employee Says

In the Trash?

We’ve hit peak Apple – there’s nowhere to go but downhill now, a former employee claimed in a UK newspaper today.

In an opinion piece for The Guardian, Dan Crow wrote:

I think Apple has peaked and the story of the next few years will be one of a slow but real decline.

Referring to (among other things) the Maps debacle, the iPad 4 release so soon after its predecessor, and a general over-hyping of new products, Crow said the loss of Steve Jobs is still reverberating through the company, partly because

Apple was built in Steve Jobs’s image, and Steve was all about control – specifically, his direct control of everything at Apple.

The company is suffering from “serious structural faults,” Crow said. “The pace will slacken and … it will not return to the levels of execution and brilliance we saw in the first decade of this milliennium.”

Strong stuff. But before you reach for your iPitchforks and form a posse, take time to read Crow’s article in detail. He makes a lot of positive and encouraging points – referring to Apple’s “brilliant people,” and its “amazing new products.” Ultimately, his doom-saying about the future is really little more than a hunch.

But he sums up a section of public opinion. This is how people are talking about Apple now. The recent mis-steps haven’t gone un-noticed by the non-geek population. Apple is fair game for TV comedians. Maps is ripped apart by satirical Twitter accounts. Apple’s public image has changed.

The “brilliant people” remark is key, in my view. Apple is a product of its people. I don’t think Crow makes sufficient allowance for the recent changes at the top, with the ditching of Scott Forstall and the re-jigging of roles for Jony Ive, Craig Federighi, and others. These changes are very new, and could bring about substantial changes to Apple as a company, and its line of products. We need to allow some time for that to happen.

Apple has had a rough patch, there’s no doubt. But I think it’s a bit early to be calling “peak Apple” just yet.

  • ZeusCarver

    The Apple of the 21st century is not the Apple of the 90’s. He writes well but his opinion is as valuable as anyone else’s looking from the outside in.

  • theobserving

    He’s pretty much on point with what he’s saying. Steve may have built his DNA into the company, but you’ve got a lot of people ignoring that DNA.

    It’s just a bad PR move with the new new iPad so soon, especially when people already joke that Apple comes out with new things so rapidly. A year is arguable. A few months is embarrassing.

    And the Retail division needs to be gutted – it’s a mess.

  • gettysburg11s

    Apple has hit a rough patch? They sell millions of iPhones and iPads. So much so, that they can’t keep them in stock. They posted record profits. I bet every other company out there is hoping for this type of rough patch.

  • Market_Mayhem

    Apple has hit a rough patch? They sell millions of iPhones and iPads. So much so, that they can’t keep them in stock. They posted record profits. I bet every other company out there is hoping for this type of rough patch.

    Not being able to keep products in stock is a huge problem. If demand exists then Apple should be able to fulfill that demand. Apple is leaving far too much unfilled demand. Samsung is managing to handle production for its own products, but Apple isn’t even close. Do you think those billions in reserve cash should just be sitting out there collection dust. Use some of that money to increase production. That’s Tim Cook’s job to see that consumers get those Apple products.

    Wall Street doesn’t give a damn how much money Apple makes. Apple is not selling ENOUGH products Apple is steadily losing market share to Android in both smartphones and tablets. Why? Because Apple is always running out of stock. Consumers won’t necessarily just wait around for Apple products while Tim Cook twiddles his thumbs. Tim Cook is just giving away everything to lesser companies like Amazon and Google when he should be pounding them into the dust. There’s no way that Apple should have put out the iPad Mini with a display that’s inferior to the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD. No freaking way at all. Not when the company has $120 billion sitting in its coffers.

  • Jdsonice

    Former employees rarely say that their companies will do well in the future. Most likely this guy is bitter and upset. Having said that no one can predict the future.

    When I go to an Apple store it still takes me an hour to get in and on a bitter cold day the store has no place to stand. That tells me that people still love Apple products and want them. When the iPad Mini sells out in three days it means that people want it.

    So sometime in the future Apple may peak but then it may never peak and continue to grow. For now it is growing.

  • NickRonin

    It may seem as if Samsung always has enough product to sell. Or to look at it another way, no one is purchasing Samsung products as much as they do Apple products. Anti-Apple consumers will go out of their way to buy other operating systems or products, for no other reason than spite. Which is their option. Look at the BlackBerry PlayBook. They had so much stock no one wanted to purchase, they practically gave the surplus away. Apple isn’t exactly hurting in the sales department. A couple hiccups with a non-Retina iPad mini screen or iOS6 Maps won’t topple Apple from being the mega-company it has become. Other corporations wish they were Apple.

  • lwdesign1

    Gee, yet another “Apple is DOOOOMED!” article. Where have I heard this before? Oh yeah, nearly every single day since 1984 when the Mac was released. It’s the popular thing to do: Find or make up some item that “proves” Apple is on its way out. It won’t be long now folks.

    The problem is, all those millions of pesky folks who keep buying and loving their iPhones, iPads, iPods and Macs every single day. Don’t they realize they’re all DOOOMED! Honestly, if these deluded people keep this up, Apple will be one of the richest companies in the world. Oh wait, it already is!

    Pay no attention to the naysayers and enjoy. Oh, and Maps will be corrected and beefed up if you have a bit of patience.

  • flitzy

    Oh, please. Sounds like someone is bitter that he’s a *former* employee.

  • flitzy

    Oh, please. Sounds like someone is bitter that he’s a *former* employee.

  • nefan65

    Wow, a “Former” employee thinks the company has peaked. How original…

  • eldersignin
    Apple has hit a rough patch? They sell millions of iPhones and iPads. So much so, that they can’t keep them in stock. They posted record profits. I bet every other company out there is hoping for this type of rough patch.

    ****Not being able to keep products in stock is a huge problem. If demand exists then Apple should be able to fulfill that demand. Apple is leaving far too much unfilled demand. ——-
    —– ER do you think that Apple is the same as Walmart, Kmart, sears,,etc. That if the iPod is not in stock that people will walk down the street and get a Creative mp3 or a Samdung one????

    Apple focuses on producing at the same rate that people buy. This is genius management. You do not want months of inventory sitting in a warehouse, you want a week or two at best. Its management, not bloat. For that, see Microsoft. I hear they do it well.

    ***** Samsung is managing to handle production for its own products, but Apple isn’t even close. —-
    —-If you do not manage to sell your product, they you always have stuff on the shelf.

    *****Do you think those billions in reserve cash should just be sitting out there collection dust. —–
    —– No we should spend it cause having cash in bad economic times is just a waste. Maybe we should just give it to share holders….. and yes we will wait for you to rush out and buy some shares to sell shortly after your dividend.

    *****Use some of that money to increase production. That’s Tim Cook’s job to see that consumers get those Apple products. ——- comment not needed. :-(

    ****Wall Street doesn’t give a damn how much money Apple makes. ——-
    —— Yes it does but what it really wants is to forment the stock price so it can screw everyone else and make vast amounts of money for itself.

    *****Apple is not selling ENOUGH products Apple is steadily losing market share to Android in both smartphones and tablets. Why? Because Apple is always running out of stock. Consumers won’t necessarily just wait around for Apple products while Tim Cook twiddles his thumbs. Tim Cook is just giving away everything to lesser companies like Amazon and Google when he should be pounding them into the dust. ——-
    ——- and more of the same clap trap from someone that just does not understand Apple business. Customers cannot just go anywhere else for Apple products (you know the ones getting 95% extreme satisfaction from customers). And people like you will only be happy, for a short time, when Apple is selling everyone on the planet 5 iPods each, every quarter….. Please go back to school and learn how business really works.

    **There’s no way that Apple should have put out the iPad Mini with a display that’s inferior to the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD. No freaking way at all. Not when the company has $120 billion sitting in its coffers.–

    Complain, complain, and whine…. If you want Apple to produce cheap junk, just buy Samdung. I bought one of their tvs once…. never again. Great tv, but made with some cheap undervolt parts. crashed the day after the warrantee ended. A class action suit finally made them pay back some of the cost.

    Yea, the race to the bottom of hardware crap is the place many people want Apple to be. Why??? no thinking person knows, but they do.

    Just a thought.

  • hdsalinas

    hmm, “a former apple employee” doesn’t say much to me. It could have been a gardener or someone who worked in landscape who would not have the slightest idea of what was coming from apple in the years ahead.

    But I think that his points may have some truth. In recent years apple’s innovations are things that should have been from the beginning in its devices. take for example the ipad, it should have had two cameras from day one. Or the new ipad mini, why not give it a retina display right from the start and not make us wait a year for the retina version.

    The IOS6 is a nice upgrade but not a new OS version. I hardly notice any difference from IOS5 on a daily basis, other than the maps fiasco.

    People don’t expect great leaps in innovation every few months, but when we are presented with new products (may they be computers or software) we expect innovation.

  • jahsoul

    Settle down with the sensitivity guys. I understand that most of yall are mobile/casual users but Apple is not beyond making subpar products. Who has owned an iMac? Has any one of you used a magic mouse? iPod Shuffle?

    No company is perfect and honestly, Apple hasn’t done anything to garner any loyalty from me. (long time Mac Pro user who has spent more on Apple products than consumption/casual users) but at the end of the day, it’s just a company whose bottom line is the dollar.

  • buckustoothnail

    Well this isn’t anything new. Anyone that hasn’t had their head in the sand knows the public’s image of Apple has changed, and quite drastically in just the past few months.

    Given that, Apple was already slipping a year ago. The introduction of the iPhone 4S instead of the iPhone 5 was initially met with huge disappointment, perhaps the biggest Apple had seen since  before the launch of the first iPhone, but the death of Steve Jobs the day after made everyone put aside and forget their disappointment, and instead consummated their grief and loss of Jobs with the purchase of the iPhone 4S.

    The iPhone 4S went on to become a massive success, but one has to wonder how it would have done if Jobs hadn’t passed away exactly at the right moment.

    For months prior to the launch, the tech world was buzzing with rumors about the iPhone 5. It was going to have larger screen at 4″, it was going to be Retina Display still, but even higher resolution due to the increase in screen size, it was going to be widescreen, it was going to have a blazingingly fast A5 chip, it was going to have HD cameras front and back.

    There were some rumblings a few weeks prior to launch that Apple was having issues with the yields of the 4″ Retina Display. There were worries that the launch might get delayed due to production issues.

    However, the launch announcment day came unchanged though rumors broke a day before that Apple was actually releasing iPhone 4S instead of iPhone 5.

    When that turned out to be true, there was widespread disappointment. While other smartphones were offering much larger and nicer displays, more advantageous for all tasks from browsing to playing games to texting, Apple had kept the same old screen size.

    From the outset it didn’t seem like a huge upgrade from iPhone 4. Yes it had a better back camera, but the front-facing camera for FaceTime was still dismal.

    Yes it had Siri, which was different, but not mind-blowing. The novelty of using wore off quite quickly being replaced with frustration and disappointment.

    But most importantly it kept the same look and feel as the iPhone 4. It felt very much the “same” and which any “improvements” were incremental and subtle.

    The true tragedy of all this is that Apple really did plan on launching the iPhone 5 last year. Everything that was rumored about it turned out true, from the larger 4″ widescreen, two HD cameras including for FaceTime, the breathtakingly faster new chip, and the beautiful outer design and workmanship.

    The fact is, if iPhone 5 was launched in late 2011 instead of iPhone 4S, then it really would have been a “cutting-edge” product, keeping Apple as the technology leader, and reminding the public why they had such faith and love for the company.

    Alas, those rumored production difficulties did prevent iPhone 5 from making its planned 2011 launch, and the iPhone 4S was quickly thrown together to have a product ready for the fall launch and holiday season, using much of the same parts as the iPhone 4, and adding some originally planned for the iPhone 5, like the 8MP camera.

    The A5 chip was introduced with the iPhone 4S, but was scaled down from what it would have been in the original iPhone 5 given that it wasn’t necessary to have as much power as it would if it needed to power a 4″ Retina Display screen.

    When the iPhone 5 was finally launched this September, the “cutting-edge” improvements that would have been so impressive in 2011 were met closer with “meh”.

    After all, Samsung had already launched the Galaxy S3 months before, with specs and features that not only rivaled the newer iPhone 5, but in many cases, were measurably better, and a few functions that weren’t even available on the iPhone 5.

    Also the expanding of the screen from 3.5″ to 4″ no longer seemed that impressive or even “adequate”, not when most rivals had screens of at least 4.2″ with the Galaxy S3 being 4.8″ and the original Galaxy Note even coming in at 5.3″.

    It became really apparent that Apple had slipped from being the technology leader to seriously playing catch-up.

    Of course the following outcry about Apple Maps just furthered the public’s diminishing view of the company, which was reflected in the spectacular free fall of Apple’s stock price from over 700 prior to the iPhone 5 launch to now hovering around 585 with the potential to drop even further, particularly if Apple doesn’t have a good holiday season.

    With so many competing and technologically superior products coming out for Christmas, like Google’s Nexus 4, Nexus 7 32GB and Nexus 10 which are direct challengers to the iPhone 5, iPad Mini and iPad 4, as well as the Galaxy S3 Mini smartphone and Kindle Fire HD and Nook HD tablets, and all of them priced below Apple’s offerings, it seems AAPL is destined for another free fall that could rival that of one of their over-worked, underpaid and underage Chinese factory workers jumping out of the window.

  • extra_medium

    Unless you work for apple, or you work for a blog that does nothing but cover apple, there’s no need to get upset. You people act as if your life and existence is based on apple’s success as a company, and will do anything you can to pretend all is well despite the fact that all companies, regimes, kingdoms, societies, no matter how ubiquitous and successful they are, will eventually receed. Its not like apple will cease to exist as a company or not continue to make crap for you to spend your money on. You just might not be one of 12 others on the subway car with the exact same phone anymore. That’s OK I think.

  • technochick

    This guy is full of crap. Because he’s pulling same “Apple equals Steve Jobs” that killed Apple’s stock value more than once and was proven incorrect.

    And he’s confusing a general slowing down of all tech innovation with Apple. It happens. It’s the ebb and flow of technology. Eventually things get to a plateau where it’s small steps not giant leaps. And then in another 5-6 years someone will make a huge discovery and it all starts again.

    Apple’s evolution not revolution is a planned move to avoid scaring off non technies that freak over even little changes.

    Not to mention, as pointed out in the article, he’s basically just crowing other thoughts around various blogs (pun intended). I’m not shocked that he’s a former employee and not a current one if this is a sign of his brilliance

  • technochick

    In recent years apple’s innovations are things that should have been from the beginning in its devices. take for example the ipad, it should have had two cameras from day one. Or the new ipad mini, why not give it a retina display right from the start and not make us wait a year for the retina version.

    Those judgements are generally made in hindsight and without regard for the reasoning. Why the lack of cameras when the original ipad came out. Perhaps they didn’t exist with any level of quality. Why not a retina screen in the ipad mini, perhaps the battery life would take a huge hit to a point of rendering the Mini unusable

  • technochick

    When I go to an Apple store it still takes me an hour to get in and on a bitter cold day the store has no place to stand.

    That’s what that whole Apple Store app is for. I hit that I want help and then go wait in the Microsoft store across the way (always plenty of space in there) until they page me that it’s my turn.

  • buckustoothnail
    In recent years apple’s innovations are things that should have been from the beginning in its devices. take for example the ipad, it should have had two cameras from day one. Or the new ipad mini, why not give it a retina display right from the start and not make us wait a year for the retina version.

    Those judgements are generally made in hindsight and without regard for the reasoning. Why the lack of cameras when the original ipad came out. Perhaps they didn’t exist with any level of quality. Why not a retina screen in the ipad mini, perhaps the battery life would take a huge hit to a point of rendering the Mini unusable

    I agree COMPLETELY. It’s like when people are always complaining about the full-sized iPads not having stereo speakers. Had they took the time to pause and reflect they would have remembered that stereo speakers weren’t invented until the iPad Mini.

  • jahsoul

    Had they took the time to pause and reflect they would have remembered that stereo speakers weren’t invented until the iPad Mini.

    ???

  • buckustoothnail
    Well this isn’t anything new. Anyone that hasn’t had their head in the sand knows the public’s image of Apple has changed, and quite drastically in just the past few months.
    .

    Tip. Nobody reads your tombs. Blatant trolls like you should use brevity.

    Except that YOU have not only READ every one of my posts, but you’ve either LEFT A COMMENT or a RATING on EVERY SINGLE ONE. Kr00, my biggest FAN (STALKER)!

About the author

Giles TurnbullGiles Turnbull is a freelance writer in England. He also writes for the Press Association and The Morning News. You can find out more at his website, and follow him on Twitter @gilest.

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