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.