Thursday, 6 September 2007

The fall of Apple

A new range of iPods has just announced (5th Sep 2007). We watched Steve Job's keynote as usual. Watching Steve Job's keynote was one of the must event, ever since I got my Powerbook G4 Ti 5 years ago, where I'm writing this blog on. I hate to admit, it is the worst Apple keynote I have ever watched. There is nothing more than disappointments. They used to be quite entertaining, I know many people enjoyed them.

A new line of iPods was introduced (above photo). What hell is with the new NANO! Oh, my god, it looks just like a cheap Asian MP3 player, such an unbalanced design. Of course, the iPhod, whoops, the 'Touch' looks pretty nice. Wait, what more is it than a phone-less iPhone. I bet the effort to make the iPod touch is less than a change of HDD in a iPod classic. I shouldn't be criticizing the efficient way of utilizing resources in Apple. It just bothers me that there isn't any surprises today.

Soon, we realize that it is not an discrete event leading to the 'fall of Apple'. Apple today is no longer the Apple that we were familiar with. It is all about market share and profit in Steve's keynote. The Apple we loved was a company with a dream. It was all about making the best products possible. Apple used to be a legend that lead the market, although small. The legend has died. It is driven by the market today, a big market, with big money! The question is, what are we left with? Clearly, this niche market has been abandoned by Steve. In my opinion, sadly, Apple brand value is confused in the halo of 'iPod'.

In some way, I am a purist. It is true that not many company can survive in the purist market, such as Leica, which I love a lot. It is not in my wish that Apple shouldn't grow. However, it is certainly sad to grow the business with compromising its core values.

Since the conversion to Intel 2 years ago, Apple has lost on its way. It is somehow difficult to differentiate a MAC to a PC these days. Yeah, it runs Windows too. I am not crying for the death of PowerPC. It was the right decision to adopt Intel lines, since IBM was unfaithful in the partnership. My complaint is that, the MAC line was left without any innovative or revolutionary development.

Some may argue that it was difficult for Apple to switch to Intel in such a sort time frame. Hence, having completed this transaction, it will free up a lot of resource inside Apple. The development of iPhone was a good example of that. But we believe Apple is much more capable than just able to develop the iPhone. So, what is coming next, is the most important thing.

Please, Apple, make something great, make us all proud.

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